A while back (All Business is Show Business), we discussed the similarities between our business and the business of entertainment. Today our buddy Seth Godin posts in a similar vein. [Note: While we'd like to claim that Seth got the idea from MYOB, it's much more likely that he had the idea first. It's just that he has so many good ideas, it took him a little longer to get it on the web. Besides, we got the idea for the post from Anna Farmery who interviewed the uni-named authorTsufit, author of a book called Step Into the Spotlight]
Seth's take on the subject is much the same, if a little broader. He contends that even in our personal life, we're putting on a show and that we should be deliberate about it. He writes,
"Some people insist that they're not putting on a show. That's a show too, of course."
We can't afford to be haphazard when we're in front of our public, whether we're performing Shakespeare on the stage for hundreds of people, or explaining the benefit of buying our particular product to a single customer. This's not to say we should be fake or phony. Far from it.
"If you can live the role, really be in it, and be transparent about your motivations, putting on a show is productive and highly leveraged. If you work in customer service, marketing yourself as friendly (and being friendly!) is far more effective than just acting however you feel in any given moment, isn't it? That's because, if you're good at it, you realize that becoming a friendly customer service marketer is exactly what you need to do. Not pretend to be friendly, actually be friendly."
Don't take the advice of Mark Twain who once said that sincerity is very important. If you can't fake it, you'll never succeed. Retailing is a reality show. It's up to the customer to decide whether you get to play on, or if you're voted off the island.