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Dealing with people/customers as a low-patience introvert

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am a fairly introverted person and have little patience (mostly because I have 3.5 kids and a FT website/store job.) Sometimes I have a hard time dealing with people/customers. Does anyone have any tips for forcing themselves to be more extraverted against their natural type?
post #2 of 8
Just keep in mind that they are enabling your livelihood-- and be thankful you can work this way (even when people ask silly questions) and eat and care for your family because of your customers.
post #3 of 8
I know, it can be hard! Just remember that in this business, you're going to be answering the same questions over and over. I've found it helpful to set up canned responses or a Word document I can cut and paste from if I'm answering the same or similar questions frequently. You could also think of hiring a few SAHMs (some might take store credit) to do some of the email answering/customer service/customer outreach, especially if they have really outgoing personalities.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
I know, it can be hard! Just remember that in this business, you're going to be answering the same questions over and over. I've found it helpful to set up canned responses or a Word document I can cut and paste from if I'm answering the same or similar questions frequently. You could also think of hiring a few SAHMs (some might take store credit) to do some of the email answering/customer service/customer outreach, especially if they have really outgoing personalities.
I agree. Canned responses can be really helpful and you can do a lot to cut down on e-mail with really good FAQ pages but there will always be e-mails.
post #5 of 8
What kinds of situations try your patience the most?

Is it answering the same stuff over and over? Or belligerent customers? Or maybe you hate answering the phone and find it hard to sound cheerful when you're thinking "stop ringing!"?

Also, introversion is not a flaw, but losing your patience is one of those things where it could be totally normal or indicative of a problem. How is your health? Do you suffer from depression? How is your blood sugar? Do you eat high quality food including proteins and fats and not too much sugar? When my blood sugar drops, for example, I have NO patience AT ALL.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I can deal with repetitive emails... my problem is the people walking in the door and wanting a full orientation, no matter how many incentives I offer to come during a scheduled orientation. It is REALLY hard for me to change my focus, drop what I'm doing, and give them the cloth diaper info for 30 mins whenever they want. I made a brochure and I hand that out, and we offer 10% off for those who attend the free orientations, but some people still want me to do my dog and pony on the spot, and it takes sooooooooo long for me to warm up and get going and I get resentful.

And a lot of it is being pg and getting very cranky when hungry. I cannot just stop eating b/c someone walked in, KWIM?
post #7 of 8
I think you have to find a way to short-circuit the dog and pony process, especially because what if someone else walks in the middle, etc. It seems to me that a) you need to really think about the dog and pony and how you can condense it down to a 5 minute intro, not a 30 minute disquisition; and b) how you can put up information in written form or signage all around the store so that people can do a self-guided tour. You don't want to turn people away, but you can do a "here's the quick and dirty, here's what I recommend for first-time cloth diaperers, and please come to our class where I can go over all of this in much more detail!"

I know it's really tempting to share everything you know -- but sometimes saying "there are a number of good choices, there's not a BEST choice, and here's the top two you should start with" can jump-start that decision-making process and save a bunch of time.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
I think you have to find a way to short-circuit the dog and pony process, especially because what if someone else walks in the middle, etc. It seems to me that a) you need to really think about the dog and pony and how you can condense it down to a 5 minute intro, not a 30 minute disquisition; and b) how you can put up information in written form or signage all around the store so that people can do a self-guided tour. You don't want to turn people away, but you can do a "here's the quick and dirty, here's what I recommend for first-time cloth diaperers, and please come to our class where I can go over all of this in much more detail!"

I know it's really tempting to share everything you know -- but sometimes saying "there are a number of good choices, there's not a BEST choice, and here's the top two you should start with" can jump-start that decision-making process and save a bunch of time.
Yes, I have thought of the signage. So many projects, so little time!!!!! And of course, my brain orientation is towards tons of information, so it can be hard for me to condense, but that is the key.

You do orientations for slings, Quirky - how do you handle the "burnout"?
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