I read a lot about business these days. Marketing, branding, workflow and the like. I want to stay up to date and know all the ins and outs of what I’ve chosen to do. One of the big ones for me is business persona. How many times have you gone to a business and felt the cold impersonal vibe all around you. You just knew you were there to pay whatever it is and they could absolutely care less about you.
I can’t say enough how much I hate that. I love walking into a small business and feeling their personality. Hey, maybe it’s not always going to be a personality that meshes with mine … but I love that it’s there. You know what the person behind the business is about. There is comfort level there because they’re sharing a part of who they are with you from your first interaction. You almost start to care about them and what they’re doing. Yes, they’re just selling you coffee, or wrapping up your gift purchase. Maybe they’re “just taking your photograph”. 😉 The thing is … they are real people. When I say real people, I don’t mean some sort of cookie cutter “smile all day, everything is perfect, I’m just so happy” small business either. I don’t trust anyone who behaves that way. It’s a facade and that to me is just another word for lie. I don’t do business with liars. Real people have lives, children, illnesses, and passions. I’m more likely to spend my money at a place where I feel like I’m giving my money to real person than a Stepford Wife or a cold impersonal business who’s only interest is their bottom line.
One of my goals is to create an environment where people feel comfortable. Where they understand that I’m a real person providing a service, not a servant. In return, I want to treat them like genuine people and not just another client or sale. It works both ways and in the end, I think you create a long lasting relationship that will inspire loyalty and respect.