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  • Writer's pictureDeeAnn Bennett

"I'm Only Here Because of You, You Go First"

Last week, I walked into a Sprouts Grocery Store to go food shopping. As I was walking in, a clerk stocking the bread area was in front of me, so I said "I'm sorry" (as I was trying to push my cart out of his way). He replied "I'm only here because of you, you go first." It was so kind and unusual that it stopped me in my tracks. I turned to him and said "You are so sweet. That's very kind of you." We struck up a brief conversation and then I thought about what he said all day long (and ever since) to be completely honest.

I started to wonder "What would our businesses look like if we truly put others first? What if we truly believed that our customers were the reason we had our businesses in the first place?" As someone who has now owned her own business for a little over a year, I truly think about these things. I want my clients to know that I am here because of them! I never take my clients for granted and I've always felt as though they were the ones I was fighting for when I had to "disturb the force" at work to get my clients the help they needed.

I guess everyone has their own motivations as to why they do something, but I've always felt that if you did right by someone, they would not only respect you (duh) but they would also refer their family and friends to you because they trusted you. The second you lie to your customers or you aren't on the up and up all the time, you lose credibility and you lose business because of it. I'm certainly not perfect at everything I do in business (no one is), but at the minimum, I do try to put myself in my client's shoes.

Let's face it, we are all born pretty selfish. Look at toddlers, their first words besides "Mama", "Dada" and "No" are usually "mine". Both of my kids did it and we have to teach them to "share" and to put others before themselves. This doesn't come naturally. I guess the question is: Are we willing to walk away from a deal if it's better for the client to stay where they are? Am I willing to help someone else without expecting anything in return?

As consumers, we all deal with sales and servicing representatives. I recently had a light go out in my pool and I had to contact multiple pool servicing companies to see how much it would cost to buy the light and have it installed. The first company I called clearly did not put customers first and wanted to charge me $950 for the install and the replacement light. Just to give you some background, the light for my pool is roughly a $250 to $300 part and the time it takes to pull the new light through would take about an hour of labor. The second company I called was not only fantastic to talk to but he gave me an education on why my LED light went out after only four years in my pool. LED lights are supposed to last 10,000 hours in perfect conditions but we all know nothing operates in perfect conditions. The owner of this pool company went on to tell me that he has been servicing pools for over 26 years and that although he is not a big fan of LED lights, they are better and last longer than incandescent lights. I could tell within 10 minutes that this man puts his customers first. He was like the clerk in the grocery store that understood what it meant to take excellent care of his customers and to give without expecting anything in return. I could have easily gone with the lower proposal I had received but I had to give props and my business to the person who educated me and gave me information unselfishly.

I am thankful for the lessons I learn from other people. I don't have it all figured out and I will always make mistakes but perhaps every year that I get older, I will continue to serve others well in my home, at my church and at my business! Now that I'm done writing this blog, I think I will write an email to the Store Manager at Sprouts and tell him/her how impressed I was with this man who taught me a great lesson last week!

DeeAnn Bennett is the President of ark Payment Solutions and a veteran of the merchant services industry. DeeAnn can be reached at or 702-257-8295.


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