I was reminded last night of the way we influence people all of the time, sometimes unconsciously. My mother belongs to a weekly study group. And, when one of the ladies has a birthday, they all go to the same restaurant and have lunch and a little cake.
As part of my mother’s gift to the group, she always buys the coffee. Last week on my Mom’s birthday one of the other ladies decided to pick up the tab and was told that there was no charge for the coffee and the cake. The staff had pitched in to pay for this. They said they wanted to do it because Mrs. Gies is always so nice and she makes a point to say to everyone.
My mom was like; all I do is say hi and ask how their day is. That’s right, it is a little thing like a hello or a bit of empathy that makes an impact. Many of us encounter wait staff and we don’t even see them. They are there to take our order and to serve us, right? Yet, what happens when we take an extra 30 seconds to a minute to say hello, acknowledge them as a person in this encounter and to show a little appreciation.
Think of how this works in your business? I am active in several organizations. I notice that often there are cliques that form and it is often unconsciously. A new member shows up and sees two or three groups of people standing in a circle talking to each other. How inviting is that?
Now imagine what happens when that new person is a known buyer of influence. What do you see happening? How do they feel? How does the new member watching this feel?
Now imagine this; you introduce yourself to the new member. You ask what they do and what they would like from your organization and how you can help. You’ve invested five minutes. What have you gained? I have seen this kind of connection pay off in referrals, job leads and friendships. (Although that really isn’t why we should do it). Being nice is its own reward.
A lot of us just aren’t thinking about it. We are busy with the business of business. Let me offer a few suggestions that may remind you to pay attention to the power of nice.
1.1. Look the people you meet in the eye and repeat their name. (Even waiters)
2.2. Ask people what they do, why they are here and what kind of day they are having
3.3. Learn how you can help them. You never know where this can lead.
An investment of five minutes can make a big difference for them and for you.