The High Art of Paying Attention

Most of you probably saw a brief mention here in the blog that I became a grandpa for the first time a mere three weeks ago today.

This is one response that shows me someone is mastering the fine art of paying attention. It arrived in my mail on Saturday with a letter, and was wrapped in a pastel tissue paper.

In part, the letter said “This latest blend only gets produced with love on a rare and special occasion….Sit back; enjoy a great cup of coffee while watching your new grandchild discover all that life has to offer. Congratulations!!!”

That is the high art of paying attention.

Were you paying attention? Let’s see.

How many of you put that date in your Outlook, phone or customer database? Yes, I’m assuming I’m there for what should be obvious reasons.

Why would you do such a thing?

  • Not because you’re going to send her a card next year.
  • Not because you’re driving to Missoula next summer to attend the 1st birthday party.

Nope, if you did it, it’s because it’s smart business.

Next summer in mid or late July, your reminder system should tell you to mention her 1 year birthday to me.

Not because she’d recognize you at the party, but because you know its important to me.

If you’ve been reading for a year, you should know my birthday (or at least the week), and anniversary months. You should know quite a lot IF you’re paying attention.

And your clients… What do you know about them?

If you are paying attention, you should know their spouse’s name if they are married. You might know their anniversary, birthday month (or the date itself). You might know what college they went to, or what town they grew up in, and what their favorite sports teams are.

You might know that their spouse is a scratch golfer and volunteers at the food bank on Tuesdays. And each one of those things is something your lazy competitor wont pay attention to, much less remember or do anything about.

Likewise, each one of them gives you a chance to do something inexpensive, but special, whenever it makes sense. It gives you something to talk about with them that they’re interested in and will start them talking in earnest about something important to them.

Paying attention isn’t being nosy. It helps you make the relationship you have with your client MORE personal, without going through their medicine cabinet.

Suggested reading on this topic: Harvey Mackay’s Swim with the Sharks (without being eaten alive)

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