Are you interesting enough?


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There are things I do well, and some not so well, as the parent of two teenage girls. I’m okay

when it comes to helping with math. Science, not so much. I’m pretty good at helping them with hitting and fielding in softball.

But this is where I excel: Embarrassing them. If you could earn a degree in embarrassing your teenagers I would be known as Dr. Dad, with a long string of letters after my name. Heck, I could even win the Nobel Embarrassment Prize.

What embarrasses my children the most is when I converse with total strangers. I can’t help it. When I find someone interesting I talk to them, whether I know the person or not. Happens all of the time. I like interesting people. Embarrassing my teenagers is just an added benefit.

I think most people are like me. Not necessarily the embarrassing children part, but if one is a parent of teenagers that probably happens. Most people are drawn to interesting people and situations. Some people aren’t comfortable starting conversations with strangers, but I believe the majority of people will engage in conversation with others if they share a common interest.

Do you believe that?

If not, you won’t agree where I’m going with this. As a matter of fact, if you don’t agree, have some fun and go read the 25 funniest tweets from Monday’s Presidential debate here. They’re very funny.

Now, for everyone who stayed, here’s where I’m going with this. If you sell products that people find interesting, why in the world would you think customers don’t want talk with you?

But I hear it over and over again.

“Customers want to be left alone.”

“Customers blow us off.”

“We try to talk to customers but they give us dirty looks when we try.”

I don’t think the customers are the issue. I really don’t. I think the issue is that we need to be more interesting.

If an individual, or the entire staff is struggling to engage customers, then the individual/staff needs to be more interesting.

The more interesting we are, the more people will talk to us. The more strangers talk to us, the more we’re no longer strangers. We’re two or more people with a common interest.

That’s why we can’t engage in an uninteresting way. Think about it.

I don’t talk to a stranger who just asks, “How are you today?” That would be weird.

I don’t strike up a conversation with someone who says, “Do you have any questions?” I do, but you’re not going to like them.

I do talk to strangers who comment on something we share an interest in.

I do talk to strangers who are clearly passionate about something that interests me.

I am open to talking to someone who is interested in talking to me.

Customers will talk with us; we just need to be a little more interesting. At the very least we have to get better at letting our customers know how interesting we are.

Today is a good day to practice doing just that with your team. And who knows, if you’re lucky enough you might even get to embarrass your children.

So let me ask, are you and your team interesting enough?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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