Published September 07, 2017
If you’ve ever been to Chicago, there’s a pretty good chance you flew over, passed through, grabbed a bite at or spent the night in the O’Hare Hilton.
It’s a towering, sprawling, fast-paced frenzy of people and activities.
Over the years, I’ve had lots of meetings and done lots of speaking, training and consulting at the O’Hare Hilton. It has always been a friendly and convenient place to conduct business, for both my clients and me.
I’d pull-up to valet parking and be cheerfully greeted by Oscar, Oscar Jr. or Stephen. I knew them by name. And with each return visit, they’d exclaim, “Hi Jeff, nice to see you again!”
Since I spent so much time at the O’Hare Hilton, it hit me one day, “Heck, they should become a client.” And they did! Along with other Chicago Hilton properties.
When the O’Hare Hilton was led by General Manager, Bruce Ulrich, I had the pleasure and privilege to work with Bruce and his talented team of hospitality pros.
Bruce was an incredibly gracious guy. Well-liked. Well-respected. A dynamic leader. He “lived” for and I guess you could say “at” his place of passion. For the hotel wasn’t his “home-away-from-home.” It was his home! Bruce and his family even lived there!
Because Bruce brought a relentless commitment and never-ending dedication to his work, he of course expected the same from his people.
While Bruce and I had lots of conversations, there’s one thing he said, I’ll never forget. He asked me, “Jeff, do you know who some of the most important members of our hospitality team are?”
He continued, “The janitors or members of our custodial team, who clean the first floor bathrooms, just off our lobby.”
Now, if you’ve ever walked the hallowed halls of the O’Hare Hilton, you know which bathrooms Bruce is talking about. They’re the ones located between the front desk and the bar/restaurant area. It’s a high-traffic area. Every day, it gets lots of visitors. And captures lots of eyeballs.
Bruce went on to explain…
Those bathrooms are making first impressions, with meeting attendees, bar and restaurant patrons, hotel guests, visitors, weary travelers on a brief layover or a long delay.
And those impressions better be positive. Because if they’re not, Bruce exclaimed, “They’ll begin to wonder about the cleanliness of our sleeping rooms, the food quality in the restaurants, the caliber of room-service and the meeting experience.”
The impact of Bruce’s statement was profound and obviously, unforgettable.
Bruce’s fanatical focus on the small stuff, was and still is, dead-on!
Bruce knew, in some way, a visit of only a few minutes to the men’s or women’s bathroom could either generate or jeopardize future revenue. And it wasn’t a gamble he was willing to take.
What are you gambling?
What’s at risk in your business?
Bruce and his team took control, of what they could control. He and they knew, neglect and abandonment about a bathroom could cause a customer’s neglect, abandonment and indifference about their property or even, the entire Hilton brand!
Bruce realized tangible observations drive intangible insights and conclusions. Like opinions, judgments and word-of mouth.
Now some might bellow, “That’s too much pressure. The expectations too high. It ain’t fair!”
Fairness and equity aren’t part of this equation. Not when you’ve got logic and emotion driving decisions. And customers, clients and prospects demand and expect value and positive outcomes.
So ask yourself what relationships, sales or profits are being lost or influenced by these important by:
– How your phone is answered?
– How your members, customers or clients are greeted upon arrival?
–How your building, office or lobby conveys your image and culture?
–How your car, clothing, uniforms or delivery vehicles communicate “who” you are, or at least who you’re telling the world you are?
–How your promotional literature, website or correspondence reflect your talent, skill and expertise?
–And yep, perhaps even, the cleanliness of your bathrooms?
–What can you improve, enhance or upgrade?
To drive profits, there are three things you and your folks should always be thinking about and answering:
1. Who do we market and sell to?
2. What do we market and sell?
3. How do we market and sell?
Of these three, which can you control? Influence? Adapt? Take action on?
Remember somebody is always watching and judging!
And they’ll probably tell someone else. Who tells someone else.
Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Jeff at: 847.998.0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition, of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults