Everyone enjoys a hug. Even Especially customers, particularly now. I am not talking about touching them that is not what hugging is really about. Take a look at this Gallup article from the author of Hug Your People, Jack Mitchell.
Jack believes that the mental sensation of recognition adds value to his business. He is a super-successful men’s clothing retailer. His business has thrived despite the rise of business casual and the current recession. People are productive when they enjoy what they do in a supportive environment (employees). People spend money in places, and with folks who recognize them as important (customers).
Listen to your customer conversations and recognize what turns them on. Speak your value proposition into that space, that is where they hear best, because they are engaged in the topic. Here’s an example: “John, you know how you mentioned your boat and how you can tell when the engine is about to crap out, even before you hear anything wrong? Well, our analytics dashboard helps you develop that same sense about your sales force performance AND it backs it up with data.” You captured his attention, and by the end of your sentence, he is likely nodding his head in agreement.
Do the same with your employees. You don’t have to recognize everyone as “the best,” and you can recognize anyone as valuable to your organization. Otherwise why would you allocate budget dollars toward their position? “John, I don’t know how you do it, but this floor shines. My husband can seem to master your technique.” John feels great. Your husband likely isn’t flattered, but he isn’t a professional cleaner, either. John will clean your floor better tomorrow, simply because you noticed and took the time to recognize him as contributing value.
The simple truth is recognition feeds people’s soul. Recognition and acknowledgement are renewable, off-balance sheet assets you can leverage to add velocity to your business. (AND it’s free.)