…is a great conversationalist. Part Two of my series over on the Amex site…
We humans are a very social lot. Without getting too academic, a pretty common tenet of psychology states that our greatest satisfaction comes from adding value to the lives of others. I know that in my business, my greatest satisfaction comes from the result of the work we do – providing a key source of revenue for scores of talented publishers. So think about that question again – what gives you the greatest satisfaction in your business?
I know the answer for my friend Mark, who runs a successful family restaurant near where I live. For him, it’s the countless exchanges he has each and every day with his customers. His place is always full of people, always buzzing, and Mark’s at the center of it all. He knows nearly everyone who comes in, and makes a point of getting to know the newcomers. He remembers your children’s names, your favorite wine, or the fact that you’ve been traveling too much lately. And when he comes by your table, nothing seems to please him more than to tell a story about his business – where he got the special cheese in the pizza, for example, or the day last week when a local winemaker came for dinner. In short, Mark’s greatest pleasure seems to be the conversations he has with his clientele.
And his restaurant is, in effect, a platform for those conversations. It’s a truism for nearly every successful local business I’ve seen: The owners are engaged with their clients, they know them well, and moreover, they are seen as leaders and storytellers – masters of their domain, and more than happy to talk about it.