It’s time to get your minds right to serve your potential clientele. It’s very important that you approach every interaction with a client with a blank slate.

Your mind can’t be thinking about the upcoming ballgame with your kid that night, or the last two appointments that didn’t book with you, or the fight you had with your spouse. Each interaction is a blank piece of paper with one focus.

How can I serve them better?

How did I come to this realization? In the book “The Closers” by Ben Gay III one of the last sentences in the book is “Sum Tertius.” The phrase is Latin, and it translates to “I am third.” Basically, if you always put your clients’ needs ahead of your own, you will come out ahead way more often than not. This shift in mindset is necessary to always have a heart for exemplary customer service. Let’s look at an example of how to approach this.

A new teller starts at a bank. She trains with a Senior Teller and they are working the drive-thru together. They are going through procedures when a car comes up and sends its transaction through the pneumatic tube. The Senior Teller greets the customer by saying “Hello” and then listens as the customer asks to cash a check. The Senior Teller then shows the new teller how to process the transaction on her computer, then counts the money and puts it in the envelope. The Senior Teller turns on her microphone and cameras, sending the money back out to the customer saying, “Here you go…please verify and sign and have a good day.”

The new teller thinks about this and wonders if that’s how she would want to be treated. She believes “I am third.”

She takes on the next transaction and the person in the drive-thru wants to cash a $75 check. She greets the customer warmly, “Good morning, how can I help you today?” The customer says, “I’d like to cash this $75 check please.” The Senior Teller lets the new teller know that the customer is a regular at the bank that she knows so there is no need to see I.D. The new teller carefully processes the transaction in the computer and pivots to the window as she turns on her microphone and camera. She says, “I’ve got you all set Mr. Smith.” She lifts her hands in the air and holds the money out as she counts back to Mr. Smith “Here’s $20, $40, $60, $70 and $75…Thanks for stopping Mr. Smith and come back and see us soon whenever you need money.”

The Senior Teller stands there a little stunned. Unbeknownst to both of them, their Branch Manager was watching the new teller in action. She went up to both of her teammates and said, “Wow…great job! I think you have a future here.” What was different here?

The Senior Teller was stuck in her ways. The Senior Teller was doing everything she has always done…the same routine way. Not warm, not congenial, not being of service to the customer. The new teller thought about how she would want to be treated in this situation. The new teller worked her job to the benefit of the customer and represented her employer well. She took responsibility for the transaction. She owned her part in the business. She put her customer FIRST.

Are you “stuck in your ways?” When was the last time you took a look at your business from an outsider’s perspective?

ACTION ITEM: STOP reading right now. Think of an aspect of your business that you haven’t changed in years…(hopefully, that’s not too easy for you). Now think about it from a customer’s perspective or better yet ask someone you trust out for coffee. Tell them why you do that a certain way and ask for their input on how it could be made better. If you have a rockstar team, invite everyone into a meeting and ask them what they feel could be improved in your company. You may just be surprised, get a whole new way of approaching your business and be able to grow beyond your current state, all while fostering employee loyalty.

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