Are your promotional efforts being hijacked?

What’s wrong with this scene?

I arrive at our local bakery right on 7.00am (its opening time) on a rescue mission. My instructions.. four loaves of white, four loaves of multigrain, both thickly sliced.

The door is locked. The girl inside looks at me and continues to put the labels on the fresh pies she has just put into the warmer. The pies look good. Their bread is good. I wait – first customer of the day.

She saunters over towards the door and takes a detour – to do something else. Then she wanders to the door, unlocks it and lets me in.

[Note the absence of greeting, hello, how are you today…]

I make my request (nicely of course..) The response – a card thrust towards me with “This is a large order – you need to ring the day before.”

So at this stage I’m thinking – “mmm does this mean I’m getting my bread (I believe by paying for it, the bread becomes mine…) Or do I need to travel back in time to yesterday to order the bread like a good customer…”

It seems like I’ve been granted a pardon though as I hear the whirring of the bread slicer ( I did get the option of thick or thin..although I was imagining I was being fed through the slicer for my sins…)

Eventually I get my bread and even get told to ‘have a nice day’…interesting wish.

The BIG LESSON here – your great efforts in doing effective promotions are at risk of being hijacked! So be on the lookout for people who don’t care about you, your efforts or your clients. Make sure you model positive behaviour towards clients and make sure any staff or colleagues follow your lead. You work too hard to be undermined. Get people enthused and understanding what you’re trying to do. And remember “Employ for attitude, train for skills”


Just as I’m about to race off (with $38.00 worth of bread – not bas for the first sale of the day)  the next ‘customer’ comes in.

“Would you like a pie?”

“No I was hoping for my morning sausage roll..”

“They’re not ready.”

“Really..but it’s 7.00am and you’re open – you should have sausage rolls.” (In a friendly tone)

“I’m not the boss”

Have a nice day! 😉

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

Reader Interactions


  1. Rick says

    Just been to the south west and so many businesses are suffering from a lack of staff interest. They may have the goods I want but they are not making me feel good about prising them out of their reps.
    Even at the Bunker Bay Resort where breathing costs lots, we were treated very poorly, an hour waiting for our dinner, a promise of 25% off because of the delay that turned out to be a lot less than 25%. Our booking was even made by the PA of GM for Mirvac so that one will be getting back to them with a recommendation to facilitate a quality service program for their staff.
    So much work to do and so little time……

    • Andrew Huffer says

      Dude – it just does my head in….especially when as the customer, you’re paying their wages!

      But there is hope…from a workshop I was running yesterday in Pemberton with Community Resource Centres. They had a mantra of ‘treat the customer how you’d like to be treated.’ Such a great wttitude!

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