Stand Up! (or Fight)
Years ago I nearly got into it with a colleague. I was never a big one for fights but this one was close.
I was paired up with a guy from my company we’ll call “Steve”. We were at a Home Show and in our cool and very expensive company booth. And we were selling. And selling. That’s how we made the business hum. That’s also how I put food on the table.
“Steve” somehow corralled a tall chair and decided to sit down in the booth.
Heresy. Really it was. Any sales pro worth his salt knows it’s a sin to sit in a trade show booth. At least that is what I was taught. Call me old school but it’s a bad message to send all the customers and prospects walking through the show – that you’re lazy and maybe your company is too. Your job is to be engaged in booth visitors, be passionate and proud of your product or service. Sitting on your butt behind desk does none of that.
We got into it. I kind of freaked out. It didn’t come to blows and he eventually put the chair back where he got it. I did make sure we never worked another shift together again anywhere.
Fast forward 18 years or so to last week.
I was walking through the mall with my wife. It was packed. Kiosks lining the center of the mall.
I walked past 7 of them in a row. Every single one was staffed by an oblivious, lazy, selfish and disturbingly care free employee sitting in a chair with face buried in their smart phones; most with ear buds in as well. That’s the impression they gave. And these folks in the Kiosks were no teens either.
Not one was buried in their company email. Every one as I circled was buried in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or some other time suck away from driving revenue out of their booths.
If that was my Kiosk that I paid for on this Saturday in a packed mall and you worked for me and behaved like that –I’d fire you on the spot.
Chairs are for the customers who might need a seat when you are explaining your product or they are filling out an application. Chairs are for customers who need to break to rest their legs and their wallets as they consider investing in your service or product and putting money into your checking account to pay the rent. Smart phones are for your pocket or your purse or to take a payment or read an email from your boss or to look up product specs.
I’m not preaching trade show booths and Kiosks in mall owners or employees need to be carnival barkers and invade the paths of a passerby and scream “come on in and take a look!” I’m saying what we know is true; stand up. Smile. Be engaged in those who show interest. Be engaged and proud of what you represent in public.
Being engaged is attractive. And that’s true in any setting. At a trade show, in a retail store, in the field, on a phone, even in a meeting.
Sitting down and being physically selfish and mentally selfish by immersing in your time waster smart phones at work has the opposite effect on people who look at you. “If you don’t care about your product and your company, why should I?”
Till next time,
Grow The Business.