read it here before you continue!)
Cherise the Waitress
About once a month I eat at a restaurant in St. Louis called Ozzie’s, named after the great Cardinals shortstop. This is where I first met Cherise. One day, after taking note of my ‘ready to order’ behavior, she walked over to my table.
‘Good afternoon, my name is Cherise – how are you today?’
‘I’m awesome, how about yourself?’
‘I’m blessed, thanks for asking!’
Wait a sec. Did she just say ‘blessed’?
‘Excuse me Cherise, but did I just hear you say ‘blessed’?’
‘Yes I did! I’m just so fortunate to be blessed in all areas of my life and I love to share that with all of my customers!’
Wow. Now that’s a flavored answer. I inquired further about Cherise’s ‘blessed’ life and discovered she was not only a waitress but a musician who was in the process of signing her first record contract.
Now…in my life, I’ve had somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 bazillion waitresses. Give or take a few. But I never had anyone like Cherise. Her original answer turned water into lemonade because she created memorable presence. Once she said ‘I’m blessed, thanks for asking!’ I no longer saw her as a waitress, but as a magnification of God’s love whom I would never forget.
Henry the Bellman
I met Henry during one of my first shifts at the Ritz Carlton St. Louis. You can’t miss the guy: fifty five years old, six-foot-six and always smiling! One evening as I waited by the front door, I noticed Henry strutting in my direction. As he passed by, I quickly glanced at his nametag and introduced myself, ‘Hi Henry, I’m Scott – how ya’ doin?’
I’ll never forget what he said next: ‘Alright! Everything is beautiful!’
Hmmm…awfully chipper for someone about to work 11 PM – 7 AM, wouldn’t you say? I later discovered that Henry had been the overnight bellman for more than 10 years. He strutted into work every night at 11:00 PM, and didn’t leave until every shoe was polished, every bag was delivered and every guest got his newspaper. And Henry always had a smile on his face.
I found Henry’s flavored answer to be incredibly magnetic because it surprised me. The overnight bellman is not the most glamorous of positions; it’s not the most profitable and it’s certainly not the most recognized. But Henry doesn’t care. To Henry, everything is beautiful. Even if it’s late at night. Even if there’s a million things to do. Everything is beautiful. And to this day, Henry still says that same sentence every time I see him.
Jeffery the Salesman
Last year I attended Jeffery Gitomer’s ‘Kick Ass Selling’ seminar. During one of the modules in his presentation, Jeffery spoke about using positive sales verbiage. He asked the audience to chorally respond to mundane questions like ‘How is business?’ or ‘What’s new with work?’
Most people in the audience yelled ‘Business is slow,’ ‘It’s picking up,’ or ‘Well, the economy is down.’
‘Your answers suck!!’ Jeffery said.
‘You’re in sales to make money!’ he continued, ‘So when people ask ‘How is business?’ say something like, ‘Cashin’ checks baby!’
Now, keep in mind Jeffery isn’t your typical salesman, so his answers won’t work for everybody. But his flavored responses are honest,open and funny. And I am lucky enough to call Jeffery one of my friends, so I will attest that as a person, he is honest, open and funny. Therefore his answers also personify his attitude.
For the last section of this article, read Part 4 to discover the value of turning water into lemonade with your flavored answers to fruitless questions.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who’s got the best “flavored answer” you’ve ever heard?