WHEN someone tells me to ‘have a nice day’, I don’t think they mean it. I think they’re just saying it as a kind of mundane, almost impolite, form of politeness. Forced nicety. Said out of habit, not sincerity.
To me, it’s not just thoughtless, it’s also meaningless; half the time people don’t even look at you when they say it.
They don’t mean it as an insult. People say ‘have a nice day’ because they don’t know what else to say, or don’t care what they say, or they are trained to say it.
But think about it. Do they only mean that day? Do they want me to have a crappy tomorrow? Or maybe they will go so far as to say ‘have a good rest of the week’. What does that mean, I’m going to have a horrible weekend? Or month? Or year? Or life?
If you are going to say something to me, or your customer, make it sincere, make it meaningful, and make it relevant. Otherwise, I mentally check you off - the same way you check people off. And the question here is, are you being checked off?
Consistency of message and expression is important - but not robotic. Give people leeway to be human.
Boring and insincere typically has a way of permeating everything else in a company: the color of your logo; the political correctness of your slide show; the stuffiness of your business card; or the boringness of your job title.
Who cares? Only you! (Your marketing people, your ad agency etc). Anyone preparing ‘boring’ marketing tools in this day and age should be forced to take that rubbish out on a sales call and see how customers perceive it or care 10 cents about it.
The key word is sincerity.
The secondary word is differentiation.
Here are some golden opportunities to be creatively sincere.
• At the fast-food window.
• When customers walk in your store.
• When customers pay for something.
• When customers board the plane.
• When customers are about to order in a restaurant.
• When customers are sent an invoice.
These are all opportunities to prove differentiation, be sincere, and even wow the customer.
Marketing and HR people: Get off your corporate hobbyhorse and saddle up your creative brain.
Employees: You’re an individual, not some kind of automated answering device. Use your friendliness and creativity to craft a message that the customer perceives as real.
Forced corporate politeness: I love it when service reps or managers say their canned piece (our policy, blah, blah), the customer is clearly right but the manager won’t admit it because they are under corporate edict to be professional and polite (not friendly). Then they tersely ask, ‘Will there be anything else?’
Makes me smile and feel sad all at once.
Southwest Airlines is anything but politically correct. Its people are happy, its customers are happy, its message is clear, and it makes a lot of money. Jeez, I wonder if there’s a correlation?
What about you? How sincere are you?
Here are four things you can do tomorrow without anyone’s permission.
• Look me in the eye. Make sure there’s a locked-in moment.
• Say something slightly different. ‘You’re all set’ instead of ‘Thanks for your business’.
• Shake my hand like you mean it; firm, with eye contact.
• Smile. When you smile, it makes others smile.
Idea: Make a goal to create 12 smiles a day through your words, actions or deeds. Creativity and sincerity will automatically materialise.
Have a nice day.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training, seminars, and webinars - or email him personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
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