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Quit working for peanuts…START WORKING FOR SMILES

I was talking to 5-month-old Nico Farris. Well, not actual words…just “Whoop, Whoop, Whoop! Wheeeeeee! Whoop, Whoop, Whoop! Wheeeeeee! Whoop, Whoop, Whoop! Wheeeeeee!” I say this as I bounce him up and down in my lap and then thrust him up in the air and hold him above me. I do this over and over, and keep it up no matter how much my arms ache or how tired I am. 
WHY do I work that hard? I do it so I can see that twinkle in his eyes and watch his cute little grin turn into a big beautiful (toothless) smile. When I get that smile, I feel good…I feel successful. I know I’m making him happy, and I want to go on bouncing him and lifting him up forever to keep him smiling.
After one especially long “Whoop Whoop” session that culminated with a large dollop of drool landing in my hair, I realized that what I do with Nico is also what I do with my clients. I work to make them happy. I work to get them to smile. When they smile, I know we’ve been successful.
We get paid a good fee. No one will ever say Farris Marketing is the low-cost leader in the market. But I have to believe that part of the reason we can get paid what we need to get is because money isn’t our only incentive. 
Having a client that appreciates us is important. And clients expect results. But what we really want is their smiles. 
We want them to be happy with the results…we want them to be happy to see us. We want them to look forward to talking to us and dealing with us.
My Uncle Jim was a supervisor at a chain of grocery stores. He was tough. He expected people to work hard and do what needed to be done. He was critical of sloppy work. He didn’t cut you a lot of slack. I know, because I worked at the same chain and saw him in action.
Most of the time a visit from a supervisor caused employees to cringe. But people looked forward to Jim’s inspections and visits.  
That’s because no matter how critical he was — even if he had to chew you out — at some point he made you smile. He told a joke and made you laugh. He complimented you or made fun of himself. He made his employees smile. 
What does it hurt to laugh and tell a joke once in a while? It doesn’t mean you’re a slacker just because you enjoy talking with employees. The return is clear — loyalty and good work. 
We all like to smile. It means we are happy. Why should your customers be any different? 
You may make more money in the short term by focusing just on profit. But if you want to keep customers for the long term, you better make them smile.
Make your customers smile and they’ll be loyal to you. They’ll come back again and again. 
I’m not suggesting you get a joke book and put on a funny hat to get customers and employees to smile. You don’t need to take a course or get a degree. 
The best way to GET a smile is to GIVE a smile. When you smile at someone, the natural reaction is for them to smile back. 
After that, you’ll see it gets easier and easier. And if you make it a habit, who knows…maybe you’ll smile more also.

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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