I love the city and particular East London as it's where I've spent most of my life. It was really only put on the map recently because of the London Olympics in 2012.
There is one thing about a number of east Londoners that I respect. We can let you know whats on our mind. They may not always do it in the most courteous way but you always know what they think and believe about a topic.You just have to walk into a pub at a weekend football game or a morning breakfast at a local Cafe and you'll hear it for yourself.
There is a cafe I used to visit called the 'The breakfast cafe' (they knew their market). Sue who owned the cafe was amazing with customers. She was very attentive and cared about the experience people had when they came in. She treated the cafe like you were coming into her home.
The one thing that was very clear about Sue is what she believed and it came through in almost everything. On the wall in the cafe was one big post that said.
"We serve amazing breakfast to amazing customers if you don't want the first at our price or respect others we're not the cafe for you"
She wasn't kidding. I remember 7.15 am walking in before work saying my hello and two guys walking in who were dressed well and obviously in transit from another place. Sue is very accommodating and they asked for their eggs and to be a certain way but they made the cardinal sin and made a comment about the price and the decor.
Sue looked them in the eye and said calmly but firmly. "Are you looking for an amazing breakfast? they said yes. Have you been treated with respect around your preferences and choices for breakfast? they said yes. The only thing that needs to change in this cafe is not our price or decor it's your attitude."
They looked at her shocked as they finally noticed the sign and saw a woman very serious about her business. They apologised, sat down, had their breakfast, said thank you and left.
What about you?
I always remembered that moment. We don't have to hang a sign over our doors like Sue, but there will come a time where you'll be faced with the choice to accept, challenge or ignore the behaviour of others in your business or with your customer.
It can be challenging in business not to conform and accept behaviours around us particularly when the perceived consequence of that challenge is high. I want to encourage and challenge you as I did myself that day to live out those values not because your better but because you want better for others.
Those who live and act out of their values recognise the impact of behaviour on their environment and the environment of others. When you stand for something you set the standard for how you and your customers stand together.
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Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.