A lesson in humanistic customer service.
A door to door salesman came to my door smoking a cigarette - when I complained - he said - oh, you don't smoke. I said no. He apologized for being so rude and stepped back from me but didn't put out his cigarette and continued to smoke while attempting to talk to me about his product - which had something to do with construction. I wasn’t paying attention because the smoke was still bothering me. I made an excuse and went back inside my house.
I don't want to critique his sales technique but .... Obviously, his sense of how his behavior was impacting other people was lacking. He was aware of it, but didn’t care enough about what impact he was truly having and how it was negatively impacting his ability to make a sale to change his behavior.
And this matters. It is not enough to be aware of other people and how your behavior is impacting them if you don’t use that knowledge to improve how you interact with them.
Sales are a very social and interactive activity. You have to talk to and deal with other people. F you want them to buy from you, you have to listen to them, understand their needs, and help them feel comfortable enough and secure around you to want to do business with you.
Customers matter. Without them you have no business. If you aren’t willing to pay attention to them as individuals and you aren’t willing to accommodate their basic needs, like the need to breathe air, you aren’t going to get their business. And yes, I realize I have no right to ask this man to not smoke. But this wasn’t just about him. It was also about me, his potential customer. We both matter. And since he showed me through his actions that I didn’t matter, I didn’t bother to listen to his sales pitch, whatever it was.
Basic courtesies like understanding you shouldn’t be imposing your worst habits on others without their permission is basic. Your customers matter. Treat them like they do and adjust your behavior accordingly.