Seven Miles for Sushi

My coach, mentor and friend, Dave Sheffield, wrote a great article on customer service.
Feel free to leave your comments at the bottom.
Thanks, Dave, for letting me share.
7 Miles for Sushi
by Dave Sheffield on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 9:30am ·

“Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” The old Indian proverb says. Never mind that you happen to be a mile away from the guy whose shoes you stole. What they also could say is that “People will travel great distances for great service!”   

We have all been the victim of poor service at times, and we have also experienced stellar service which is so hard to find today.

OK, I realize that we lost a good chunk of you at the title. Please forgive me, but I really do enjoy this Japanese delicacy that in some parts of the country is affectionately referred to as “bait”. In this message, you will be reminded of 3 things that are crucial to success in growing your business.

My good friend and fellow professional speaker, Tony and I were in Las Vegas catching up on business matters and attending a large convention. After a long day of walking to and from meeting rooms and talking, we were both craving sushi. It’s just one of those rituals that happens to hit us when we get together and the time is right.

“No problem!” I said, “There is a sushi place right here in our hotel!” After being seated at the half-full restaurant and waiting for 45 minutes, we became agitated and decided to leave. I wasn’t sure if they had to catch the fish first before being able to prepare our meal, but if they did; the middle of the desert was not a good place for deep sea fishing. (Especially in a city built on and known for instant gratification!)

Vegas is a city of getting what you want when you want, regardless of the time of day or night. That is true, of course unless you are from the Midwest looking for a tasty plate of raw fish. It is also a city where you will walk very long distances between mammoth hotel properties. It was now nearing 10 pm, and restaurants were closing. We walked from hotel to hotel, wearing out our shoes in the process, with our stomachs grumbling all of the way.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we happened upon a wonderful place inside the mini city known as the MGM Grand Hotel called Shibuya. They were in the process of closing up when we approached the hostess, telling her of our 7 mile quest for sushi at all costs. We would not be denied!

“No problem” she told us as she motioned to our server who gladly guided us to our table. The staff was exciting and attentive and the food was worth every step of our journey. Yes, we’d finally found relief for our sushi craving!

At this dinner, Tony and I discussed several goal planning and strategic marketing ideas for the upcoming year. We were in there well past closing time; yet the staff treated us like family. What a positive and dramatic change compared to the first restaurant that evening.

Based on this experience and our dogged persistence to have a great meal at all costs even if it included walking several miles to find it, there are three lessons I would like you to think about when it comes to taking your customer service to the next level:

  1. Bend over backwards, sideways, and always go above and beyond for your      customers. You never know how they may impact your business. I have      shared this story with nearly 250,000 people who have attended my live      speaking programs, and countless others who have read this story. Shibuya      keeps getting free commercials from me because of this great experience!      Think of shopping at a Nordstrom’s or other upscale shopping experience. Sadly,      many businesses just don’t get this      concept. The Cajun call it “lagniappe” (pronounced lan-yap). Don’t      only practice it in your business; adopt it as a way of life.
  2. Be aware of the people that are      representing you. This could be the Director of First Impressions      (receptionist), the telemarketing team that does follow up for your      business, or any other person who has contact with your client base. If      you clearly define what kind of      culture is essential to work at your business, they will measure up. If      they don’t, find someone who will.
  3. Ask, ask, and ask. Your customers      are the best advertising you could ever imagine. We had asked more than      ten people to direct us in our quest for great sushi. Hand out your      business card to every client who passes through your doors or everyone      you come into contact with. If you simply ask enough people to help you grow your business, the right people will help you along      the way.

On a side note, always bring a good pair of walking shoes when you visit Las Vegas!!!

©2012 Sheffield Development Group, Inc. You may reproduce this article, provided you attach the following bio box near the publication:

-Dave “The Shef” Sheffield is a highly requested business motivational speaker and top selling author. Visit or call 563-343-5412 for additional information.

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