In business, and really in much of life – it’s not about you, it’s about them. Consider this one of life’s little lessons, remember it and you will go far.
This weekend my daughter danced in the Nutcracker and I volunteered to help sell tickets at the door.
Performance weekend is very exciting but emotions are running high. Parents want good seats to see their beautiful dancers perform, and rightfully so.
But there are always last minute adjustments and these can be stressful for the families.
Most people are very cordial and accommodating – but every once in awhile someone is a bit short, or shall we say has an air of negativity.
If you are on the receiving end of this – you can instantly become defensive.
But, if you put yourself in the other person’s shoes you can usually diffuse a hot situation.
Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them.
Most People Just Want to Be Heard
In business, when people complain, it is hard not to take it personally. Each complaint is a personal affront.
But the reality is that usually, your customer is unhappy with the situation, not with you.
In the case of performance tickets – it might be that they are not sitting close to other family members or with friends. Maybe their child is dancing on the other side of the stage.
Whatever the case may be, repeating the situation aloud can help your customer see that you do understand the issue and you get their feelings.
That is half the battle.
Softening the Blow
If your customer feels that you understand them and that you are on their side it might even take the edge off of bad news too.
This weekend I had to tell people on more than one occasion that there were no empty seats available near their existing tickets.
Obviously, I could not oust someone so I had to offer an alternative.
“I understand that Aunt Betty has traveled a long way and that you want her to sit with your family. Unfortunately, there are no seats available adjacent to yours. However, I do have 3 free seats in row Q. It’s still a good view. If you would like to exchange the two you have now, I can offer you those three instead.”
A few people took me up on the offer and a few chose to keep their seats and have the proverbial Aunt Betty sit somewhere else.
But in all cases, the “customers” were happy that I understood the situation and made a good faith effort to help them solve the problem.
People want to know that you care.
What Little Lessons Have Worked for You
I am sure that you have a Life’s Little Lesson story to share.
What have you done in your business where you have put “it’s not about you – it’s about them” to the test.
Tell us about it in the comments below.