Home > Ideas > Give them a bit of your most valuable asset.

Give them a bit of your most valuable asset.

Every morning when I leave home my Mom sees me off at the door – then she would step out onto the balcony (we live on the first floor) and watch me proceed up the road. No, it’s not “damp–tissue moment of the day”. In a while you will learn why.

Let us switch to a scene in a typical front-office (Customer Service or Sales Department in any medium or large sized organisation). You’ve gone in to get some work done – maybe opening a new account, buying a policy or trying to get the phone bill explained – it could be a whole host of other situations too. Have you noticed how long it takes to get the attention / catch the eye of the person on duty and how the moment the your work gets done the Service Executive cuts you out of his or her life and moves onto something else – sometimes the phone is already ringing and they hastily close the transaction with you to answer the call. You turn around to clarify a doubt, that had popped into your head as you walked away, and the person couldn’t be found … Gone!

Unless you are Mr. or Ms. Big Cheese people rarely walk you to the door or even stand up to see you off – there is so much to do and no time for the small details.

“Grow up, Dude! You are in the 21st century.”….. Right?

No way! I expect better treatment in return for my patronage – I matter! It’s also because I offer people such treatment when they visit me. You know who has been training me.

But I wasn’t that way always. There was a time when I used to be terribly fidgety and distracted. I still am fidgety, somewhat distracted too at times, but I am much more careful about interactions thanks to the lessons learnt.  Don’t they say that when you fail you gain experience.

As a Manager I obviously had a lot to do and when a member of my team visited me table, for support or for a discussion, I used to be busy preparing a report or reading mail – at other times my phone would ring and I would walk away from the table, talking to the caller, leaving an exasperated team-member at my desk. I could have dealt with all these situations differently. But there was someone who did it differently for me.

I have said this earlier – there was one member of my Customer Care team, Maya, who without uttering a word would proceed to confiscate my phone, switch the computer monitor off and put stuff like pen or paper-weight (stuff that I used to fidget with) out of my reach – all this happens in complete silence and with a serious expression on her face. Once down she would settle down and say – “Hi, Jayadev! Can we talk now?” With a helpless, yet amused, expression on my face I would tell her – “Sure!” Was there another option left for me.

The others wouldn’t dare to do that to me, but whenever my attention strayed off in the middle of a Sales Meeting a team-member would say half-seriously – “I think we have to call Maya in now; Jayadev is not focused on our discussion.”

By and by I learned that it was discourteous and extremely discouraging to detune from someone who was seriously trying to share something important with you.

It would be easy for someone to say that my Mom is past 70 and has a lot of time to spare – No way! Even today she is in charge of the home and there is so much for her to do. Why, she can get busy with her prayers instead of watching me leave the neighborhood. Little does she know that I consider it a treat and privilege to see her there as I leave – she was sharing with me a generous dollop of the most valuable asset she owns … Her time!

Yes, people appreciate you more for that than for any of the material gifts you can shower on them.

Let me tell you with complete confidence that unless it has to do with the launch of a counter-missile to neutralise the ICBM headed for your nose there is always time available for these little extras. So, acting the busy-bee executive is a futile act and one that will get you nowhere. When you give them your complete attention people tend to return the compliment by being more focused and to the point – you can set timelines and they understand. Since you are offering them undivided attention the work gets done faster and you can return to your work that much earlier.

And in the long run such small actions pay off much more than the amazing campaigns you ran.

Make time for your team-members and they will pay you back with performance!

Make time for your customer and they will return the compliment in …

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  1. March 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Good One. I have been guilty of those distractions many times…

    Will remember this, next time it begins to happen.

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm


      Most of us a guilty of it one time or the other … Great that you have taken on the challenge to buck the trend!

      Best wishes .. and thank you for the visit!

  2. Anantha Kumar
    March 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Lovely posting Jay.. One very interesting link between all these sequence of events, which I felt was hidden inherently, but felt cohesively – is the eye-contact, be it mother seeing the son, being Maya looking @ her colleague or the salesman to the customer. Body language is a very important resource and a powerful tool either to secure or lose customers and the most important attribute is the eye-contact. Everything else is secondary. Going deeper into the nuances of customer-salesman relationships, one attribute, which most ppl. miss is the intra-customer relationships (within an organization), which is a true reflection of team-work. Yes. It does pay to have a long, professional and meaningful relationship with customers, peers and the likes.

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Bang on, Anantha! Eye contact is very essential … didn’t focus on that aspect in this article to avoid digressing from the theme.

      Thank you for reading.

  3. jeevan johny
    March 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Good one. Acknowledgement is vital, be it be a customer , internal or external. Appreciate the note.

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Jeevan

      Thank you for visiting … and for the appreciation!

  4. G.Venu Gopal
    March 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    that was a good one , a good one to touch 100 , keep going ,

  5. March 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    jayadev,thanks for sharing this valuable tip with easy to understand real life example.I hink i wil have to ask Maya to do this silent organising of the table for me too..

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Ram,

      Am glad you could relate to it. Yes, many of us need a Maya to rearrange things. 🙂

      Thank you for the visit.

  6. Nommy Paul
    March 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Good one jay sir.. Very insighful will try to imbibe.. Thanks

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you, Nommy!

      Am glad you found it useful.

  7. pg
    March 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm


    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Thank you, PG!

  8. March 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Hit the nail on the head with this one. I remember this line being my Facebook status not very long back: ” The most precious gift you can give your loved ones is…Time”. Substitute ‘loved ones’ with ‘anyone’ and it still stands good:) Another good one from you J …going from strength to strength with this blog.

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Raji, so true!

      Wise folks have been saying this for centuries .. it was as much a reminder to myself as it is to all my friends who visit the Sales Coach Blog … the inspiration came as I turned to say Good-bye to my Mom – she sends each one of us off for the day with a pleasant smile and her presence – no words exchanged, no Good Bye or wave from her … her being there says it all!

      I thought that this has to be mentioned …. Am glad it sent such a powerful message to so many of my readers. A lot of them responded with supportive comments.

      You guys made this day special – 123 readers so far today … Thank you!

  9. March 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    100 articles in 2 months or so!!!! Very impressive Jayadev and a great following. I was able to pick something to put it into my business from all of your articles. Great job, you should put all into a book as publish it like how Roald Dahl did, even though his was short stories 🙂
    Keep up the good work.

    • JayadevM
      March 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Hello Paul,

      A bit over 3 months actually – but yes, 100 articles on the trot! Been an enjoyable journey … so many repeat visitors in the 4500 plus visit numbers – and you have been among the most regular ones!

      Thank you once again, Paul!

      Am glad you could pick a few suggestions from the articles.

      And, then there is that minor matter of Roald Dahl … Ha! Ha! Ha! He is streets ahead … No! Galaxies ahead. But thank you for putting down his name next to mine. It’s an honour.

      I do intend to create a book out of some of the better articles from this set. Your have been a huge support and inspiration. Hope to hear from you again real soon.

  10. Jamy
    March 22, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Boy, this is something I would love to perfect in my line of work- Guest Relations and get my team to go the extra mile by making sure the small things are never ignored. For instance, a guest who arrives on property should not be looking for the reception, the bellperson/ receptionist/butler/ manager should be reaching out to them and make them feel welcome from the word go, no time to waste waiting for the guest to come to you; the same for when a guest is walking rapidly towards the reception to get something done- we should be always anticipating someone coming to that desk so that when a person appears you are ready to act on their request / query/ issue; give them undivided attention. Great read Jay!!

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 4:49 am

      Absolutely, Jamy!

      Those small details you mentioned would make a huge difference when every member of your team makes it a practice. All the best!

      Thank you for the appreciation.

  11. Jose
    March 22, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Gud ‘un Jayan. As U say most of us are guilty of this at one time or the other if not usually.

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Thank you, Jose!

      Yup, guilty as charged. 🙂

  12. March 22, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Spot on! All of us are so peroccupied with so many things these days, that we don’t focus on aything. Multi-tasking is wrongly over rated !

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

      Hi Bindu, good to hear from you.

      True, we multi-task even when there is no need for it .. got to put on a show of being busy, don’t we?

  13. Jude Varghese
    March 22, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Jayadev sir, i strongly feel that i pass this bit of info to ma boss here…..i am giving my time for my colleagues for discussions and i can sense the success tats following in the team… t

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

      Hi Jude

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

      Am glad you are giving time to your team-members. It’s smart managerial behaviour

      Sure, pass on the link to your boss …let him read too.

  14. girishkosuru
    March 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Congratulations on getting the 100th article out and a very important one at that…

    With so many things distracting you all the time … emails, social media in all its forms, one does tend to get lost in all the small stuff and avoid paying attention to people.

    Very important learning for me, I had discovered that I had turned into one of the really distracted people, my team was not performing… communication became an issue. I would not hear their ideas always on my phone or tablet.

    Now, I am a lot wiser … i make effort to ensure that when some one speaks to me, I give him my full undivided attention for the 10 min and I am getting a lot more done and the team’s happy.

    my current motto … Focus – less is more!

    Servicing the internal customer is also very important.

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Hi Girish

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts is such detail.

      So much wisdom in your thinking and actions. Keep at it. Am sure you will find success pursuing the methods outlined.

  15. Devi Nayar
    March 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    multi tasking is the biggest hoax of modern times. multi tasking almost always ends up with nothing getting done right. i learned it the hard way. each activity has to be given its due. that was a good article, jayadev. way to go !

    • JayadevM
      March 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Thank you, Devi.

      Yes, multitasking can be a bane and a boon … we ought to know when to use it and when to avoid it.

  16. Kailash
    March 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Adding little more in what ever you do ………. is like addinbg topping of extra ice cream on top of filled up Ice cream cone. ANy one would love it. You rightly said J doing little more is always a + point, like Auto driver drops your luggage till the lift, at Shopping center guard helps you to put up you stuff in you car etc etc..there are many such things which makes you glad and makes you to go back to that place/people to take service. And i must say J You don’t have nerviuos 90s 🙂 Our God of cricket shaould take leaf out of you :). Good Going J it was / is a pleasure speading time at your blog pages, it gives us small pills and makes me think/observe/do things in a different/better way. Cheers to your 100th Blog J. Many more to come…

    • JayadevM
      March 28, 2012 at 3:16 am

      Hi Kailash!

      Rightly observed .. No nervous nineties … the incentive to keep writing is regular visits and comments by a set of loyal supporters and well – wishers.

      The remarks you have made regarding service speak about the good work done by otherwise unrecognized people at the front – end of many organisations.

      Managers could do well to observe and encourage such behavior.

      All good my first 100 were useful and thank you for the good wishes.

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