My home state of Louisiana has suffered a tremendous blow from the flooding of August 2016. While this has not been reported on as much as we would like, it is now finally a generally known fact across the country. So it was a nice touch recently when a vendor called me and instead of immediately delving into her sales pitch, took the time to note that she knew I was in Louisiana and hoped that all was OK and asked if I had been personally impacted.

Even though I live in Northwest Louisiana and was thankfully not impacted, I of course, know of many who were and even helped to organize a neighborhood flood relief drive. So this statement of awareness was a positive thing, especially coming from a vendor all the way in California. It made me wonder how much I pay attention to what is going on in other parts of the country and take the time to express awareness and concern when the shoe is on the other foot.

There are so many moving parts to any customer encounter. But in the end, it often boils down to the ‘feeling’ that one is left with after the close encounter. What are you doing in your sales and customer service meetings to drive the importance of the emotional side of your interactions?

The vendor on the other end of the phone was with one of my favorite vineyards in California. After hanging up, I felt a bit guilty when I realized I had not asked her how they were faring amid all the fires in Northern California. We tend to be so focused on what we are going through that sometimes we forget to acknowledge the pain and the gain of others.

Did this statement of empathy and kindness impact the sale in this call? Well I will let you be the judge… I ordered a whole case of wine!