The Power of Conversation
- Posted on: Aug 9 2016
On a recent trip to West Coast, I walked into the lobby of the hotel as I had done dozens of times before without thinking much about it. Head in a fog from the airport, I went through my usual “travel routine” of writing emails on my phone to maximize my time in lines, the cab and eventually the hotel lobby.
“You’re from Chicago?” the young man at the hotel reception inquired as he looked at my I.D. while getting my room key ready. I smiled and replied yes as he enthusiastically began to tell me how it was his favorite city. He probed about my favorite restaurants, city activities, sports teams and so on.
About 15 minutes of conversation later, I realized I’d had my room key in my hand for some time now and had to continue hustling through my afternoon. I thanked him and voyaged onward to my room to start unpacking. As I stood in the elevator, I instinctively went to grab my phone and continue plucking away at the never-ending sea of emails. As quickly as I reached into my purse I stopped myself. I suddenly realized how disconnected I felt from my feeble attempt to constantly stay connected.
The man at the front desk reminded one of the most effective ways to connect your business to your audience: to simply engage people. We live in a society where “being too busy” has become a badge of honor. We expect responses from people late night, on weekends and even on holidays. We have a society where people are virtually “surrounded” by hundreds “friends” while sitting completely alone. At that moment it dawned on me that art of conversation and genuine connection in business and dare I say life, are in many ways endangered.
Trust me, I love the efficiency, familiarly and results of this constant connectivity that our world has but its sort sad to see how many people walk around with their heads down virtually communicating versus looking up to see the people and world right in front of them. I myself am often guilty of this.
As I made my way to my room, one of my many take-aways from this warm interaction in the hotel lobby was remembering just how far a friendly hello can be. In the aesthetic industry, I work with my clients to help maximize their staff’s ability to connect with patients. This is often called “relationship marketing.” We want to put in place as many “soft touches” as possible throughout the patient’s journey with your practice to help facilitate conversation between new patients and your staff. There are several small initiatives you can take to achieve this.
One of my favorite “oldies” that has withstood the test of time entails personalized name tags. For less than the cost of a lunch (give or take $10) you can have custom name tags made for your team from www.nametags.com. Employees can list their passion, where they are from or their favorite treatment in your office. You can even consider having seasonal ones created that say their favorite “holiday song” or where they are vacationing that summer. The point of the name tag is to offer a personal fact about the staff members to try and facilitate friendly conversations with patients. Recently I have challenged some of my clients to have their staff try and engage patients throughout their cosmetic appointment to the point that patients don’t have time to pull out their phones to pass time.
Back to my trip, I made my way to my hotel room after a dinner meeting and was looking forward to a good nights sleep. To my delight there a surprise waiting…a gesture of Chicago pride and great customer service. It just so happened to be the evening that the Blackhawks won the championship. Needless to say it was a big night for Chicago and Ron the manager from check-in, showed yet one more incredible example of customer service. I felt right at home in my hotel room that night as I enjoyed my chocolates and was grateful for the sweet reminder of how great it is to truly connect with people. Needless to say I am commited and loyal patron of that hotel for life. Go Blackhawks!
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