Positioning is Everything

When Fred sat down to dinner and saw the scowl on his wife’s face, he just knew she was ready to unload some stifled complaint about her day.  His life was just one episode after another of repositioning for the world and for her all of her cares, difficulties and troubles, and it seemed that tonight would be no exception.

“I wish that you would go down to the drugstore and have a word with that new fellow.  He was very rude to me today,” she said.

The town drugstore, owned by the same family for over 40 years, had recently been sold.  The new owner, a young pharmacist, had done an amazing job of modernizing the old store, adding compelling displays, offering a wide range of new products and services and generally bringing new life to the business.  Problem was, he was not what you would call “a people person.”  Perhaps the stress of all that work he had put into the store and the worry of making a go of it were getting in the way. Fred thought that the pharmacist may have been just a little abrupt with his wife.  Well, he would stop in there tomorrow and “fix things.”

“Good morning!” said Fred cheerily as he entered the store the next day.  “You’re the new pharmacist. I’m so glad to meet you. I have heard the most wonderful things about you and the store.  My wife was in here yesterday to drop off a prescription.  Perhaps you remember Mrs. Philips? She was so impressed by the work you’ve done to modernize the store and make it easy to find things, and she said you were most helpful to her.  Thank you so much for your kind service to her. I know she is going to enjoy doing business with you.”

Dinner that evening was pleasant. Fred’s wife gushed praise for the new pharmacist.  “Well, I guess you must have spoken to him and I’m glad you did.  He was so nice to me today. ‘Oh Mrs. Philips,’ he said with such a big smile.  ‘Welcome back!  I have your prescription all ready for you.  And you will be pleased to hear I met your husband earlier today. What a nice man.’  You must have given him a good talking to.  Oh Fred, you have such a way with words!”

Is there a moral to this story? Of course there is and I don’t have to explain it to you.  These situations come up all the time.  Recognize them for what they are.  Tell the employee who is struggling with a colleague how that colleague spoke well of him.  Tell your child that his teacher praised his hard work and intelligence.

We all want to be well thought-of, so help bring about that good feeling.

Think Like Your Customer

I leave for Boston in the morning and bringing my family along with me to cheer me on in the Boston Marathon.  If I survive, you’ll see another post from me on Tuesday!

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About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at www.actionsystemstraining.com.

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