Yesterday morning when I slipped into my loafers, I noticed that somehow I had gotten dirt on my shoes and thought, "Boy, I need to be sure to dust these off and polish them up a little bit before I leave". I got busy, was running behind a little, and forgot all about my shoes as I dashed out the door. I didn't think about them again until I was halfway to Wilsonville, too late to turn around.
A few minutes later, at about 8:00, Tom and I were sitting in the ---lobby of the U.S. Bancorp Tower preparing for the day when a fellow walked over and said, "Would you like a shine?"; the first time in my life anyone has actually approached me to ask if I would like a shoe shine. I said, "Absolutely!" A few minutes later I was sitting in David the Shoeshine King's chair. He gave me the best shine I've had in my life. I don't know how many different applications of various potions he put on my shoes - his water mister, sole cleaner, shoe polish, shoe wax, cleaning rags, and snapping shoeshine cloth. As he was wrapping up the shine, snapping that rag with a subtle beat, I felt like a million dollars. I told him we'd need sunglasses and we'd have to get extra sunglasses for all of our customers. He gave us his card and said, "Next time you are in town, be sure and stop by and pass on my card to your friends."
We talked a little longer and found out that he is a boiler maker by trade. It was pretty apparent that he loves his shoeshine business. Everyone who walked by said ‘Hello Dave' and he seemed to know them all by name.
As I thought more about this serendipitous encounter, I realized that the reason we got a shine is because Dave asked us if we would like one. I don't believe in coincidence; I only believe in serendipitous incidents that coincide – I knew I needed a shine and he wanted to give a shine; we were both winners. I also realized that David the Shoeshine King, as Tom said, "Not the prince, count, or knight; the Shoeshine King is doing what he loves". You can tell he loves to please people. He gets a special feeling out of going the extra mile for his customers. He obviously loves interacting with his customers, and he's willing to ask for what he wants – "Do you want a shine?" "Come back and tell your friends."
I wonder how many prospects you have who are just waiting for you to ask, "Do you want a ________?" I challenge you to emulate David the Shoeshine King; put your heart into what you are doing, ask for what you want, and give your very best, go the extra mile. You may be surprised at how good you feel as your business grows.