What kind of personality are you: a social butterfly or hide under a rock shy? I was sitting in the den reading my RSS feeds when I came upon and article from my personal branding professor Bret L. Simmons that got me thinking and fuming simultaneously. It took me a few minutes to realize why i was so affected by this post, I live out this scenario every day!!
Working in the field I deal with customers all day long. It is part of my job to greet everyone entering the store and try to engage and connect in order to find out their needs and sell them something. Day after day, hour after hour, I warmly say hello to complete strangers. I actually like talking to new people because generally I can strike up a conversation with just about anybody.
The conversation usually goes like this: ME-Hello, how are you today?, CUSTOMER-great! and you?, ME-wonderful… Well you get the picture. I then move on to talk about the product, or just maybe comment on what they are wearing. But the end result is usually the same.
What gets me worked up is that lately when I do my customary hello, the customer avoids any eye contact and walks past me like I am not there. What is up with that? I don’t expect to become good friends by the end of the transaction but it doesn’t cost anything to be friendly and polite to someone who just put herself out there.
Recently one of my colleagues had a customer snap at her when she greeted her and asked how her day was going. She said something to the effect of, “FINE CONSIDERING I HAVE ONLY BEEN IN THE STORE FOR 30 SECONDS!” My coworker was thrown off for the entire day and spent most of her time in the back room where she didn’t have to encounter more people like her previous customer.
Bottom line is this, if someone says hello when you are entering an establishment, attending a networking event, or just walking your dog in the morning, smile and say hi back! You will find that your mood may lift because of the connection you just made to another human being. It will probably elevate the moment for the person greeting you too.