“I don’t know
what to do!”
restaurant manager was totally stressed out!
The kitchen team
was not working together. This created problems getting orders out
correctly and on time. The cooks ran out of prep items, increasing
preparation time. The dining room staff was upset because guests
were waiting too long for their food. Their tips shrank due to
these delays. The cooks complained that prepared meals were not
delivered to guests quickly enough.
called his boss, venting his frustrations. His boss invited him
over tomorrow for an afternoon chat. They sat down in his
His boss said,
“Look closely at that ant bed. Tell me what you see.” The
manager stated, “Some of the ants are building the ant hill.
Some are taking food underground. Others are attacking a
beetle.” The boss asked, “Where is the Queen?” The
manager said he assumed she was in the nest.
His boss then
told him to observe a squirrel as it scampered around. “What do
you see?” asked the boss. He said, “The squirrel is
gathering nuts and berries, taking them to a nest high in a tree.
The squirrel is repeating this over and over again.” Then he
stated, “I just don’t see the relevance.”
His boss shared
that each ant had a job to do for the nest to survive. Those
killing the beetle and carrying the food knew that if they failed,
the ants would starve. Those building the hill knew it was needed
to protect the bed. The Queen did her part by laying eggs. Each ant
had a job. Each ant did their job.
“The squirrel knows there is lots of food now, but there will be
none this Winter if he doesn’t store enough in his nest. He knows
that during Winter he needs to locate where he will search for food
next Summer. Thus, he is thinking of Summer all Winter, and of
Winter all Summer.” He asked the manager, “How does this
help you solve your problems?”
The young manager
stammered, “Like the ants, I need each team member to understand
how their job affects
every other team
member’s job. Like the squirrel, each needs to be trained how to do
their job. Taken together, what must be prepared in advance makes
the entire team ready to serve our customers, eliminating delays.
Each person must do their job. And, like the Queen, I am
responsible for the success of our team.”
boss smiled, knowing that his manager now knew and understood what
he must do to correct his problems and relieve his
And that is
today’s Morning Minute!
The ringing phone broke her concentration!
Nicole just found the solution to a nagging problem she had been
struggling with. Simultaneously, her timer reminded her she had to
pick up one of her children. Working from home, she was juggling
work and family issues. Then the phone rang, interrupting
everything she was dealing with.
When Nicole answered there was a 7 second delay. The voice then
asked to speak to Nicole. Immediately the salesperson started his
sales pitch. She stated “Not interested,” and hung up. She
had previously replied to an ad for this service. She wanted more
information. But she hung up after just a few seconds. What
The salesperson lost the opportunity to help Nicole get what she
wanted. His phone process was unprofessional and ineffective. Let’s
examine where the ball was dropped:
after the person says, “Hello,” there cannot be a 7 second
delay for the salesperson to speak. That delay shows a disrespect
of the person’s time.
when someone answers the phone, you quickly and pleasantly identify
who you are and who you represent. For instance, “Good morning,
this is Larry from ABC company.” That way the person being
called knows your name and whom you represent.
now that you have identified yourself, then ask for the person you
need to speak with.
take the curse off of the call. For instance, “Nicole,
you indicated an interest in our service recently. Do you have a
few minutes now for me to answer your questions and to discuss your
options?” This is asking for Nicole’s permission to
She will answer with one of three responses:
answers, “Yes.” You have been given permission to continue
the call and you know you have her attention.
answers, “No.” You do not have permission to proceed.
Apologize for your interruption and secure a later time to call
answers, “What’s this all about?” You just received
permission to continue the call to help Nicole to get the service
Being polite, using good manners, and using this call process
creates a comfortable start for your call. That, in turn, generates
a greater opportunity for you to assist your prospect to set an
appointment and/or buy your product or
And, that is today’s Morning Minute.