Yesterday, Scott and our little 5-year old, red-headed Bean and I were at Costco doing an In-House Event for our Tree Service, right after Bean and I went on a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch with his Kindergarten class. We got to set up a table, show off some pictures of our work and pass out business cards to passersby.
Bean at the Pumpkin Patch (How ironic, that he’s got his eyes closed!)
Anytime we can meet people in person, we love it. We are friendly, no-pressure people. We offer a card, let people know that we do Tree Trimming, Removals and Stump Grinding, and that is the complete end of our sales pitch. We smile.
More often than not, it is the potential customer who then starts a conversation with us about a particular tree they have in mind that might need some work.
Down the way from us, was a salesperson who was walking out into the aisle and trying to sell people something they clearly didn’t want. He would walk along with them as they were saying, “No,” and try to get them to change their minds. He was young. He was perhaps new at sales, but I see this kind of thing a lot. Pushy salespeople who only succeed in getting people to put their guard up, and walk away in a hurry.
By the time they got to our booth, they were flummoxed and annoyed, and didn’t even want a sample from the lady across the aisle giving out toasted bread dipped in oil and balsamic – which is a heavenly combination. Our little Bean, looking up at them to offer a business card, was rejected more times than my mom’s heart could handle. I asked him to stay at the table and color. I think it takes a special kind of hardened to turn down anything offered by a five-year old.
We stood back and watched the Sociology Experiment of Costco at mid-day, with Vendors hawking services. People were in such a Rush. People were speed-walking through Costco.
We continued to be cool and calm, because we are simply not high pressure. Nothing will make us be that way. We would just stick out a card and asked if they wanted one. We kept smiling.
We ended up having several people slow down and talk with us, and seem relieved that they had done so. One man signed up for an estimate the very next day. We filled up a page of sign-ups for estimates. Many, many people took business cards and told us of the things they needed us to look at, and said they’d call us.
Once they slowed down long enough to realize we weren’t going to give them a big sales pitch, or try to twist their arm into making any sort of decision right that very minute, they suddenly weren’t in such a hurry. At that point, they looked up or out, looked into our eyes, and connections happened. We each would smile. We each were blessed by eye contact.
It is a busy world, getting busier and busier all the time. Yesterday I decided to make a conscious effort to slow down in every area. To pause long enough to thank the check-out girl adds beauty infinitely to my day. To slow down so my little one isn’t jogging to keep up with me, and so he can show me the things at his eye-level that are interesting fills me with tenderness. When I see someone wanting my attention so they can share their product with me, I will look into their eyes. If I don’t want what they are offering, I will say so plainly, but I will not ignore them like they do not exist to me.
We are human beings, not human doings or human hurryings. I want to BE in every moment. I want to fill up the moment I am in with my attention and presence. I want the people in those moments with me to know they matter to me.
It was something Scott and I had JUST been talking about – for Tree Work itself. Scott isn’t one to rush through a job. He enjoys what he is doing. He enjoys his customers and the interactions he has with them. Often people want to come outside and watch him work, and he likes that. We don’t have such a huge overhead that we have to speed through jobs, to get on to the next job, to race through that one and collect checks along the way. Yes, we are in this business to make a profit. No, we do not want to do that at the sake of Customer Service or doing things right.
Scott on a Job this last Monday. Our customer was out watching and took this photo. I love that my husband enjoys his work so much!
We would rather do a job well, at a speed that is safe and reasonable, do an excellent job cleaning up, and leave our customers singing our praises.
What are the effects for you, when you slow down just a little bit, and sense the world around you more?