Come See Me When You Are Hungry

On a recent business trip to Daytona Beach, Florida I decided to stop at the Olive Garden for dinner.  My server, Leslie, did an excellent job taking down my order (which had lots of exceptions), bringing me the correct food on time, etc. and I was very pleased with the service.  When the time came to bring and collect the check, she did so promptly.  What I found most remarkable about the service was her parting remark: Come see me when you are hungry.  I thought the remark was extremely effective because it suggested an action that I could take; it was positive and highly relevant.  Indeed, I felt the need to apologize for not following up on her suggestion as I explained that I was travelling and probably would not be back in Daytona Beach for a long time, as it had been four years since my last trip to Daytona Beach.  She told me not to worry about that (just to come back next time I’m hungry and in town), because sometimes her repeat customers have a ten year gap between visits, and she still remembers them and they remember her, as she has been there for 35 years and plans to be there for many more.

Since my Olive Garden visit on November 6, I’ve been thinking about Leslie’s parting line and decided to share it with you, first asking, do you have an effective, positive, business-relevant parting line?  If so, please share it with me.  If I receive a substantial number of parting lines, I’ll include them in a subsequent article.  If not, why not give some thought to coming up with a parting line that is highly memorable and positive, and suggests that your customers return to you.

Of course, a restaurateur, baker, or grocery store employee could just borrow Leslie’s line.

A clothing store sales representative could say: Come see me when you are ready for some more beautiful clothes (while presenting the customer with a business card that has a small discount coupon printed on the back).

A motel or bed and breakfast proprietor could say: Come stay with us in a month or two for another restful weekend.

Someone who runs an emergency plumbing service could say either: Ask your friends not to worry, just call me any time of day or night if they have a plumbing need (and hand them a bunch of magnets with your name and number on them) or Ask your friends and neighbors to place these magnets on their water heater so they can call me when they need me.

As a speaker for businesses, I might conclude discussions by saying: Call me when you want to improve business results and learn while having fun.

Your parting line should coincide with the action or service that you provide.  In the Olive Garden example, I know I can see Leslie when I’m hungry because she proved herself through the action of providing food in a very pleasant manner.  It was a memorable and positive experience, which is why her parting remark was so effective.  What might you use as an effective concluding statement?

1 Special thanks to Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.

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