How often are you served by someone who is not present?
You can tell, whether over the phone or face-to-face in a store, when someone is really not with you. It feels like their attention is partly focussed elsewhere. In the case of the restaurant waitress last night, I could tell half of her attention was focussed on her resentment that the older people I was with couldn’t quickly get out of her way so that she could clear the plates and get to her next task.
I compared this with the waiter who came to our table later. Before he cleared, he looked us all in the eye and asked how we enjoyed our meal. He was totally present and focussed on us. And I felt valued. And I now want to return and make sure I get a table in his section.
I wonder how many sales people (or marketers, or business owners… .the list can go on) really understand the value of being present with their customers in every communication.
Being present is more than just eye and ear contact, although those actions are exceptionally important. Being present is making sure that your full atttention is on the customer, the task the customer wants you to undertake and be fully attentive to the notes and the followup items that you promise for a later date.
Being present allows you to hear both the verbal messages (and believe me, so many people liten to something without really hearing it) and the non-verbal messages that allow you to satisfy the needs of your customer. They also allow you to use all of your energy, not just the bit that is left over, to fully satisfy.
Being present is a foundation piece that engenders loyalty. And loyalty is what brings your customers to you again and again.
Before you attend to a customer today, remind yourself to be fully present. Write it on a sticky note if you need to see it (draw a cryptic symbol if you think it’s inappropriate for others to see).
You will be amazed at the result.