From #DNNWorld to #ASCPAM11 - Observations about business
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Annual Meeting 2011
We were at a Yogurt shop in the Phoenix Convention Center at 4:00pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I had planned to meet Susan there before the exhibit hall opened at 4:30. We thought this would be a perfect time to have a Yogurt and catch up on the day together. We arrived at 4:00 and proceeded to get some Yogurt from the self-serve machines and top it with various fruits and candy pieces. Now this is an innovative idea as the Yogurt is sold by weight. Susan was on the phone and was taking a couple of extra minutes to conclude her business call as the young lady behind the counter asked me if we were together or if I was just waiting. Now what we didn’t realize is that the Yogurt shop closes at 4:00 (well normally at 2:00, but they were apparently staying open extended hours on that day) and the counter lady was getting annoyed that we were taking our time. As other people approached, and here is the reason that I am writing, she told them that she was done. “I’m done,” she would say to anyone that came up as she was rushing us to get finished. Three, four, five more customers appeared and she shooed them away.
My point here is that employees are not business owners, and that business owner lost money that day because of a couple of either bad decisions or lack of involvement. As I said the Exhibit hall opened at 4:30 and everyone from the convention had completed their last session at 3:45 and was walking over from the other building. So they had a good 45 minutes to mill about. This business owner had extended the normal hours to 4:00, but had not really checked with the convention schedule to see if that was appropriate. He should have stayed open until 5:00pm and put out extra signage to direct people to the counter. There were other coffee shops and pizza places that were also closed and should have been brewing coffee and making pizzas to attract business. You see this convention has around 2,500 attendees that are convenience oriented – meaning that they don’t care how much an item costs, they just want the experience of whatever it is at the time they want it.
The other thing that Mr. Yogurt business owner could have done is to incent his employees to be focused on sales rather than on watching the clock. She was clearly an hourly person with no interest in customer service. She couldn’t have cared less if the customers were taken care of; she was done for the day and she was letting everyone know it. “I’m done” still echoes in the halls of the convention center…
Feel free to use this experience to tune in to your own business and make sure that you are following local events and opportunities where you can maximize your sales. Also be sure to align your employees with your goals so that they are empowered and incented to act in your business’ best interest when you aren’t there. This will ensure that your customers never have to hear the words, “I’m done…” when they want to give your business their money.