It’s your choice
One afternoon, my family and I were shopping at a local grocery store just a few miles from our home. Once we made our purchases, we were escorted out the door by a friendly elderly employee. As he insisted on helping load our groceries into our family minivan, I noticed something was different about this man and I had to find out why he was being so helpful.
“May I ask you a question?” I inquired. “Your service is really impressive. You all go above and beyond, and it really stands out. What type of leadership and training does your management provide?”
I was blown away by his simple yet profound answer. “Well,” he explained, “our manager has a principle we do business by: If a customer is within 10 feet of you, you have 10 seconds to speak to them and look to serve them in some way.”
After carrying on a conversation for several minutes, the man turned to me and said, “I hope you’ll continue to shop here.” He communicated it with a sincerity that suggested he actually meant it. At this same grocery store, if you ask where something is, they always walk you to the item rather than point you in the general direction. They ALWAYS offer to help you out to your car. They thank you for your patronage and do so with sincerity.
And this service is very influential on our family’s shopping and purchasing decision. You see, our neighborhood is positioned between two different grocery stores, both of which are the same distance from our home. As new residents of our community, we’ve frequently shopped at both stores to see which one best meets our needs. And as we’ve sampled the two stores, one thing has become abundantly clear: customer service makes a significant difference in our overall experience. When you ask for help at the “other” grocery store, they point and say something like, “I think it’s down Aisle 8.” We’ve noticed these differences, and there will only be one store we shop at in the future.
Another example of a business with a reputation of delivering above-and-beyond customer service is Chick-Fil-A. Their food is pretty good but not exceptional. Their customer service, however, is first-class. It’s amazing what a difference two words can make. When customers say, “Thank you,” most fast-food chain employees reply with, “No problem,” or they don’t reply at all. Chick-Fil-A’s employees, on the other hand, respond with a hearty, “My pleasure.” There’s just something about, “My pleasure,” that keeps you wanting to come back. Couple that small detail with Chick-Fil-A employees’ infectious energy, willingness to serve, and warm smiles, and you understand how they’ve set themselves apart from their competitors.
As basketball coaches and players, we should pay attention to organizations like my neighborhood grocery store and Chick-Fil-A to see what we can learn about standing out and being different. Whether we realize it or not, each of us is selling something to those around us every day. In everything we do, we’re either selling positive or we’re selling negative. It’s in how we speak to others. How we show up to class or work. How we contribute or contaminate in practice. And how we live our daily lives.
What are you Selling?
In my experience, there are three simple but extremely effective habits that each of us can develop in order to sell positive. Every. Single. Day
- Make a decision to make a difference: Positive doesn’t happen accidentally. We must decide each day to lead a positive life. Wake up with one driver in your life every morning— to serve others and make a POSITIVE difference in the lives of those around you. Set a goal to do something special each day for someone who isn’t expecting it.
- ABF (Actions before feelings): Most people allow their feelings to affect their actions. Choose to be different and let your life’s principles dictate your decisions and behavior rather than your current mood. You won’t always “feel” like it, so decide ahead of time that you will be a person of positivity.
- Eliminate negativity and stop complaining. Simply put: Attention flows where energy goes.
Every day, we have a choice: We can be a 10-feet, 10-second person who chooses to make a difference in someone’s day. We can choose to be a “My pleasure” person who goes the extra mile to bring sunshine into the lives of those whose situation may be a bit overcast. We can choose to put our principles before our feelings and be positive, even when we don’t feel like it.
What will you choose?
THINK THE GAME
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