Speak Human - How to Flirt With Your Customers
Seen from the business perspective, there is surprisingly much to learn from flirting. You can apply the same methods you would use to “score. Sure, there are "social networks" online, but what about the offline counterparts? You know, like "people who talk to one another?" Some companies have. If you are in sales, customer service, the arts, food service, or a receptionist, then mild flirting (the nonaggressive type) is generally acceptable, and sometimes.
If you need more detail on user requirements, having a connection with the business customer makes getting that information much easier. Know what you want to achieve by creating the connection.
Is it to get a clearer picture of the project? Is it to deliver in shorter iterations? Is it to vent your frustration with the work? The purpose of the connection determines who the target is. Sometimes the appointed user-representatives are not the ones with the real knowledge or the real power to help the project succeed.
As an Agile project leader, you need to find out who you really need to connect with and then do so. And if they are strong enough, the can destroy the value that you just created.
Show openness and interest. Could we get a cup of coffee and talk more about what you did? You want to make the other person feel noticed and valued.
Make sure that when you show your interest, you have done your research. Google your target if you need to. If you are friendly and interested in the other person, your interactions become richer. People are more likely to share vital information with people they feel they are friends with. Let the other have a chance to show that they are interested. Connecting is a two-way. You must listen to understand where the person you want to connect with is coming from.
There are obstacles to creating valuable relationships. The biggest obstacle is that you may be talking too much, using up all the interaction time with what you have to say. In the event that the other person truly shows no interest, just as you would in the bar, move on. Determine the next best person to connect with in order to create the understanding you desire.
In order to really understand customer requirements, it is critical to have an open and honest, and probably deep conversation about what is happening between the business and the project. Conversation like that only happens between people who have a close relationship. Sharing more about yourself, about your concerns and successes with the project, about whatever else is relevant will help create these close relationships. It helps lay everything out on the table.
The grey zone, as Ole puts it, is the difference between what the customer hopes to get out of the project — and what the supplier hopes to get away with. The tourist wants to get as many lamps as possible for his money. The salesman wants to get as much money for his lamps as possible. They are both valid viewpoints.
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If we talk with the customers about this early in the project, then we share some honest and open thoughts with the customer, and chances are that the customer will do the same — even admitting that he is usually asking for more than he actually wants because he knows that he will probably not get everything he is asking for.
I then sit and read my magazine. Instead, she yells at me until I finally hear.
I collect my breakfast: As my visit continues, I find myself asking why I feel so cynical about this place—particularly its chosen descriptor.
On first inspection, the lobby is certainly grand. It seems almost opulent, with marble flooring, high-ceilings, and an army of concierges welcoming visitors. One colleague noted that he half-expected Joan Collins to walk out, as the space seemed like something from the television program Dynasty. Perhaps my misgivings have something to do with the degree of consistency here starting to reach monotony. What I find is almost identical to the one in the Boston Hyatt I visited a year earlier.
Same television, same programming, same beds, same layout, same bathroom, same curtains, same, same, same. Consistency is important but this starts to feel bland and flavorless. Later I start to note that how many similarities the Hyatt has to an amusement park.
The veneer is impressive in a way, but upon going to another you realize that each is almost the same as the last.
"Flirting" With Your Customers
And everywhere you turn, you need to pay for something else. Marta suggested a little bed and breakfast near the wedding venue. Now, I should probably clarify something right here: I nearly laughed out-loud at the flowery patterns, doilies, and decor—all of which left me feeling quite out of place. The lack of a television was also a disappointment, as I wanted to watch Seinfeld and drink a scotch before retiring for the night.
It doesn't happen at least to me! He's shy too or he wouldn't be blushing, he'd be just asking you out. But you're the employee, he's the customer, and the onus is on you to break the wall if he's going to play his role like a proper customer.
Does he come at a certain time of day? If you can predict or plan when he'll come, I suggest taking a break then -- or coming in on your day off, if possible -- and approaching him on his way in, or out, of the shop. Even if possible just warn your co-workers that you might take a sudden five minute break to run out after him.
"Flirting" With Your Customers
Anyone who is cool will be down with that, it's just like a million rom-com set pieces. This removes the context of employment and means you are both peers. And also, if he has even a tiny bit of sense about him, he'll recognize you outside the shop, as you come up to him.
And then he'll simply have to acknowledge, internally, that you have a non-professional interest in him. After all, why else would you approach him? As for what to say, I suggest with the perfect icebreaker for shy people: Would you like to sit down for a coffee now or some other time?
Write YOUR name and phone number on his cup instead of his. When you call his name, hold up the cup at eye level so he sees what you've written and smile. You can't get what you want by doing nothing. A friend of mine did this while working as a barista. Her story was nearly identical to yours - obvious chemistry, guy was a regular, etc.
They've now been married 5 years and have two gorgeous children. YMMV, but what's to lose? I suppose you're another cutie who is already in a relationship". I think I would be totally weirded out if the barista at my regular coffee spot just handed me their number without ever talking to me the dozens of times I had already been there.
At least if you engage in some small talk you can feel him out and gauge his interest. Start off with old reliable, "How are you? I wish I knew more about astrophysics. Do you like it? I'm so surprised that so many people are all on board with this "customer-serviceperson pick up scenario".
If you're interested in him, please try to figure out how to run into him outside of work. Right now the only thing you actually know you have in common is that the coffee shop he stops at each morning is convenient for him. Rather than internet stalking him, you can start up light conversation and discover whether you actually might share a common interest, and thus figure out how to run into each other, or it might even just end up happening spontaneously: