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Treat Every Customer As If They Sign Your Paycheck, Because They Do


by Glenn Shepard
November 17, 2015
Category:  Management


Clifton Park, NY Nov 19
Kingston, NY Nov 20
Hamilton, OH Dec 2
Amarillo, TX Dec 8
Odessa, TX Dec 10
San Angelo, TX Dec 11
Paducah, KY Dec 15
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Dear Glenn,

What are your thoughts on weekly sales and service meetings? Do you think the staff should be informed and fired up every week – or is just informed and empowered enough? I find it is a challenge to get the staff fired up every week.

Renee in San Diego

Dear Renee,

Pick up a copy of “Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business” by Patrick Lencioni and then tell me what you think.

   Thanks for your question.

- Glenn in Nashville, TN

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A woman who attended my seminar at the University of Central Florida in Orlando once asked how much disrespect her employees should be expected to put up with from customers.

The answer is “A lot”. The customer is King, even when he behaves badly.

Because companies are paid to serve their customers and employees are paid to serve their companies, all employees serve the customer.

The woman responded, “So if I told you to get on the floor and bark like a dog, would you?”

Without hesitation, I got on all fours and growled like a Rottweiler, yapped like a Chihuahua, and asked if she’d like me to purr like a kitten too. (#4 on the Rules of Customer Service: Under promise and over deliver).

She responded, “Why would anyone humiliate themselves like that?”

The answer is simple. Succeeding in business requires choosing between the size of your ego and the size of your bank account.

That doesn’t mean putting up with flagrant abuse from customers, but it does mean you sometimes have to swallow your pride and do things you don’t want to do. And you ALWAYS have to behave professionally, even when your customer doesn’t.

When a customer yells at you, you don’t get to yell back.
When a customer lies to you, you don’t get to call him a liar.
When a customer calls you names, you don’t call him names.

Customers will forget what you say, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. (#2 on the Rules of Customer Service).

And how well does this work?

The woman I barked for was the first one in line at the book table at break. She handed over her Visa card to buy my $400 management program and said, “I wasn’t going to buy this, but anyone that insane has earned it”.

Insane or not, I’ll bark for anyone who wants to give me $400. It was the most profitable 10 seconds of work I’ve ever done.

To Your Success,

P.S. No matter where you are on the socio-economic ladder, you have to sometimes swallow your pride. The guy who dresses up in a pirate’s outfit to work at a seafood restaurant doesn’t want to. The doctor who has to disimpact patients’ bowels in the E.R. doesn’t want to. But they do it because it’s part of their job.

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