Establishing a Visitor Philosophy

July 22, 2004 by

I love well-written pieces. The article by Michael V. Copeland, in the July issue of Business 2.0 titled “Best Buy’s Selling Machine,” is one of the best company write-ups I’ve read in a while. From start to finish I couldn’t put it down. Even the ending had my hopes escalating toward a conclusion that left me smiling.

The whole point of the article was about how Best Buy uses “Blue Shirts” to sell (and up-sell) their electronics, computers, and appliances. These “Blue Shirts” are the men and women who come to work everyday motivated to be the best: in their city, district, and country. Of course, “best” is measured by sales, but surprisingly, none of the “Blue Shirts” are on commission like much of the competition is. That’s right, no increased paycheck because they sold you a better video camera. Although Best Buy does use other incentives (food coupons for local restaurants, discounts for company stock, etc.), the reality is that these kids, and most of them are, sell because of something running through their blood. They believe in what they’re doing. They enjoy teamwork. They view other Best Buy stores as competition. Everyone else is the enemy. Wow, people motivated by something other than just money?

Perhaps the highlight of the article was Best Buy’s formula for success. They have training manuals for nearly everything, including how to respond to every situation, objection or opportunity that could happen in a typical day. The sales mantra that “Blue Shirts” live by is called C.A.R.E. Plus:

  • Contact (approach the customer)
  • Ask (engage the customer)
  • Recommend (suggest solutions or better alternatives)
  • Encourage (stroke the customer’s ego)

How could you apply this philosophy to your church? Could your greeting team actually have a “CARE” plan when new visitors encounter your church?

The book on church visitors: Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time VisitorsMore:

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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3 Responses to “Establishing a Visitor Philosophy”

  • kevin
    August 3, 2004

    Despite Best Buy’s success, I usually find the constant barage of sales people annoying. And it’s not just Best Buy. You can’t browse without being interrupted by someone asking to help you. I suppose they’re just trying to be helpful, but it gets under your skin.
    If your church had a greeting team, how could you be different than annoying sales people? What would it take to make people feel genuinely welcome?
    My church used to deliver fresh baked bread later in the day to visitors (I got a loaf when I came, I assume they still do it). It was very unobtrusive (I wasn’t made to feel like I had a big “Visitor” sign standing around after church with a loaf of bread) and made me want to go back.

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  • Danny
    July 23, 2005

    Unfortunately, the workers at Best Buy are not trying to be helpful. i know, i work there.
    It’s my job to talk to EVERYONE. i don’t like doing it because, like you said, it’s annoying as hell. but i get bitched at if every single customer in there isn’t “contacted.”

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  • Brad
    August 28, 2006

    Bingo! There’s a huge disconnect between the story they’re telling, and the minumum-wage shop floor associates living it out. If we’re guilty of the same thing in church, we’re toast!

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