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Personalization or Being Personal: The Hospitality Mindset in Marketing & Business

I’ve been milling over the idea of personalization and service for some time now. All of the marketing experts talked about the importance of personalization for 2015, despite the same predictions for 2014, 2013 and 2012. I found myself feeling agitated over the false personalization of emails in my inbox starting with “Dear Deborah” and the constant reminder of the boots I didn’t purchase showing up on various websites I visited. The obvious hunch that this personalization wasn’t truly for my benefit, but rather a big data hack to get me to continue spending more on junk that I didn’t need started to grate on me. I didn’t want to be that marketer or that person. And for the last few months, a podcast from the fellahs over at The Fizzle Show has simmered in my heart. The episode, How the Hospitality Mindset Revolutionized My Business (FS066), highlights the Canlis family and restaurant in Seattle, their passion around food and the hospitality mindset of serving others. Take a listen, think about how you can apply their idea of hospitality and service to your business.

What do our clients want? Are we giving it to them with gratitude? Are we providing them with exceptional service, or do we just complain when they ask us for more. Are we proactive with our clients? I found myself becoming more aware of companies or sales reps asking for me to buy their service, product, etc., but I kept coming back to this feeling that it wasn’t about or my experience, but what I could for them. That’s not the feeling I want my clients to leave with.

For the next few months, I suggest forgetting about “personalized” emails and click thrus and consider how you can personalize your service and hospitality to your clients. Will you give your clients all you can with joy or resentment? If 80% of our business comes from 20% of our customers, and if marketing is truly what people say about you when you’re not in the room, why don’t we work harder for our clients? What can give them? What do you want your clients to tell others about you?

“We need to be giving more than we’re taking.” – Mark Canlis

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