Posted on September 30, 2016 by Carol Hartzog

Pete Winemiller

Pete Winemiller, OKC Thunder senior vice president of guest relations, describes the "attitude of invitation" for his audience at the 2016 Oklahoma Building Summit & Expo.

By Carol Hartzog
Carol Hartzog Communications

Fifty plus years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. enunciated his “I Have a Dream.” The unadvertised event drew 250,000 people.

“Everyone has a dream, regarding their business or their life,” said Pete Winemiller, senior vice president of guest relations for The Thunder. “If you continue to have that as a dream, when you wake up the next morn, what is it?  It’s still a dream. So you have to put a road map in front of it.”

Winemiller explains to the state’s builders and suppliers last week how to approach that ‘dream’ every day to make it happen.

Those who attended the opening session love it.

“This is something I can take home and apply to business today,” said Associate Mark Priess.

Here is what Winemiller said:

Your philosophy is to be home-owner centered in this professional trade organization of residential construction and supply. You are trying to achieve something to be the very best.

The biggest gains are decided by the smallest details. To illustrate that:

Research has shown there are approximately 20,000 moments in each and every day. If you say you had a “bad day,” it wasn’t a 24-hour nightmare. And a “great day” wasn’t 24 hours of nirvana. Some moments went well. Some didn’t.

Think big, act small. People don’t remember days, they remember moments and moments matter.

If you focus on moments, you can make a difference in your business.

The bottom line is we are in the people business.

Why would the OKC Thunder, as with your company, lose customers -- fans, key accounts? Why would we lose those individuals?

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs: Why do we lose customers?

  • Approximately 1 percent of your customer base leaves because the individual dies, basically.
  • Approximately 3 percent of our customers cannot access services as they once did, i.e. move away.
  • 5 percent are influenced by a friend, that is “I had a good/bad experience with this group.”
  • 9 percent are lured away by competition.
  • 14 percent are unhappy with the product, that is, it could have been the way a shirt fit.
  • A whopping 68 percent turned away by an attitude of indifference on the part of a company employee. No. 1 reason.

An attitude of indifference is a lack of interest in that individual -- that you are not being paid attention to vs. having “attitude of invitation.”

What is an attitude of invitation?

  • It can be a Smile, demonstrating what you have in your heart you wear on your face.
  • It can be paying attention. Listening
  • Eye contact
  • Validation, which means appreciation, recognition, being a simple courteous communicator
  • Offering assistance
  • A simple thank you
  • Courteous
  • Enthusiasm
  • Having fun

Are you ‘clicking’ with that person?

For the Thunder, the road map for clicking with guests is:

  • Communicate courteously.
  • Listen to learn, don’t listen to respond. Great listeners listen to learn.
  • Initiate immediately
  • Create connections. You make them feel good about themselves.
  • Know your stuff. I can do all four of these perfectly, but if I don’t know my stuff, I have cancelled everything.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”-- African proverb.

 Many things in your business you cannot control. But what we can control is how we treat our customers. Treat people better when you leave vs. when you came in.

The way you do this is think big, act small. Are there some small things we can do? If we did those on a more frequent basis, we would we be able to do them sooner or better.

“People forget what you did, what you said, but they won’t forget the way you made them feel.” -- Maya Angelou, American poet.

I haven’t forgotten how someone made me feel. We are in the feeling business. And make that for a special moment.

It’s not doing one thing 100 percent better. It’s doing 100 things 1 percent better. … Something you can commit to over 12 months that you do 1 percent better. 

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