While still pondering over productive waiting, I remembered another aspect to a successful business! Attitude! Your attitude will attract people (note: I did not just say 'customers', I said 'people')! Why attract people instead of strictly customers? Well, first of all anyone can tell if they are viewed solely on their purchasing habits, or as a whole person! No one wants to be seen as only a number in the sales receipt books! Did your last customer mention how hectic her day was with her children? Reach out and talk! Ask what they have all been up to since the last time you were in touch! Keeping an upbeat and carefree type attitude with people makes you more attractive to them! (In the personality sense...we're aren't talking about getting a date! LOL). Return messages promptly, comment on their blogs/twitters. Always greet them in a cheerful manner! For example, you may have read my blog about the Shopping Kiwi. Why do I promote that blog? For starters, from the very first time I contacted Mesha she was pleasant to work with! Always a cheerful greeting in her replies, and never once came across as though I was bothering her or taking up too much of her time. When communicating via writing (emails, chat, blog, etc) you need to be careful that when it is being read the readers can feel your joy, passion, and humor! Re-read what you are writing--does it come across as cheerful? Are you portraying an interest in the reader? Imagine you as the recipient. Would you smile reading it, or would you wonder if the sender is irritated or harsh? Be personable--especially in writing! You want to come across as being a friend. You want to be an available outlet for people outside of just your business!
Let me give you a "real life" example! I live in a small town. On Main Street there is a Chinese buffet that we all go to. Sure the restaurant is a bit small, but we love it! A few years ago, a large Chinese buffet franchise came to town. They have a bigger selection, bigger seating area and more staff. The prices are basically the same. So why is it they are never full of customers come lunch hour?? I'll tell you. They have the worst service! They never smile when they see you come in, they don't refill your drinks, or come to the table to ask if there is anything they can get you, and overall the staff is just grumpy and unavailable! Back to the smaller restaurant...They know you. They know that if I go in alone, I'm going to ask for two buffets to go. They know how many kids we have, and that my oldest son lives out of state with his father (comes home at Christmas and summers...sucks, I know!). They've seen my pregnant with all of my children, and have seen them grow! They know that during my pregnancy I crave Chinese food and will make my food to order even if I get there close to closing time. All the servers come to check on you, you never are left with a half-filled drink, they are always excited to see you! Even the kitchen staff smiles and greets everyone when out refilling the buffets! They stop and talk to the kids, give the little ones suckers after their meal! When they thank you at the cash register, they mean it, and they really do look forward to your return. People in town will wait for a table at this restaurant, even though we all know the larger one is always open! In fact, the place on Main Street won an award for the Top 100 Restaurants of 2008! How do you think they got that award?? Their attitude attracts happy customers! My family came to visit this last Christmas for the time (they live out of state). When we took them all to the Chinese place on Main, they were so impressed! And not by the size, or decor, or infinite rows of selection...it was the employees and their quality of food!
So if you sell quality products, make sure you match it with a quality attitude! Happy selling! (No, really! "HAPPY" selling! LOL)
By the way, that restaurant is The New Young China Buffet on Main Street, in Weatherford, Oklahoma! If you are ever passing through Oklahoma on I-40, take exit 82 (if traveling west), and exit 82-A Main Street (if traveling east)! Open from 11am-9pm! You will love it! :0)