Selling Is Everyone’s Job

By Beacon Staff

One of Montana’s best business assets is a customer service training program called “Montana Superhost”.

Why every session of this course isn’t overflowing with people is a mystery to me.

People should be lined up for it as if they’re giving away iPads or hot crispy bacon.

Even if they do resume charging for the course, you’d be nuts not to send your entire staff – *especially* the newbies and temporary summer employees.

It only takes one
Yes, even your temporary summer employees. In fact, ESPECIALLY those folks.

It might seem like a waste to pay them for their time at Superhost training (yes, you should) and the course fee (if any)- but I suggest that it isn’t waste at all.

All it takes is one un/poorly-trained employee to provoke this summer’s tourists and their families to leave and never return.

But that isn’t the worst part.

Worse is that they’ll tell their friends about the poor experience (Trip Advisor or Yelp anyone?).

Research has shown that bad experiences are related to ten people, good experiences to three. Sometimes the numbers vary, but the spread of bad karma remains pretty constant.

It doesn’t take much brainpower to see the value of this investment, especially for those businesses with a lot of public-facing employees – particularly newbies and summer help.

Old man take a look at me now
About six years ago, I dragged my 15 year old to Superhost. I wanted to know whether to advise customers to send their people to take the course.

He came away surprised at what he learned and took lessons home that paid off in every job he’s held.

I think Superhost should be taught at every Montana high school.

Sidebar: I felt that even before reading that 23% of freshmen entering Kalispell high schools didn’t graduate in 2008. Disgusting and unacceptable. You’ve not heard the last from me on this.

With money tight this summer and your employees perhaps being a little older than normal due to low employment levels, you might be tempted to skip customer service training.


It’s easy to get distracted when things at home are tense – and lots of homes are tense these days.

Training goes a long way to assuring the kind of consistent customer experience that brings people back repeatedly, plus it makes your employees (permanent or not) more valuable.

That’s critical because the impact of their job reaches far beyond what they might think.

Why? Because they’re ALL salespeople.

Every job
Many years ago, I was sitting in a course when the group was asked about the impact of attitude on a customer’s experience.

Specifically, the question was why it mattered.

In a depressing Droopy Dog tone, I replied “Because every job is a sales job”.

The instructor detected the point of my tone and asked me to repeat myself.

This time, I said “Because every job is a sales job” in an over-the-top eager-to-please tone of voice – making the opposite end of same point.

From the snarky customer service rep having a bad day to the kindest delivery person, from the nicest hotel concierge to the annoying computer support person with no patience for anyone, customer interactions have a substantial impact on your sales.

Big enough to run off every customer they work with, if left unchecked.

It’s not at all uncommon for staffers who don’t frequently interact with customers, or don’t *want* to because they have work duties that require no customer interaction mixed with duties that require regular customer interaction (a bad combination for what should be obvious reasons).

Some of them don’t recognize that fact, because they haven’t been trained to recognize the value of their behavior to every customer.

It’s your job to make sure they HAVE been trained…because their job IS a sales job, no matter what they do.

Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him via email at mriffey at flatheadbeacon.com.

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