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Seminar touts customer service

A 90-minute free workshop to help owners with “GeneratingBusiness During Tough Economic Times” filled the State Bank StateRoom Thursday morning.

John Lindsey, a renowned speaker on marketing, had heads noddingin agreement and realization as he outlined several methods forowners to increase their business.

“I think it was fabulous. He actually had information everyonecan use,” said Pamela Richards, owner of Mid-South SignGraphics.

Richards said the information presented could be employedequally well by small and large businesses.

“This was wonderful. I have so much I need to do,” said DonnaDavis, waving pages of notes.

Davis is building an equine business and needed help getting itstarted. Lindsey stayed after the meeting to work with herone-on-one on designing an effective marketing plan.

Some of his tips surprised business owners.

“Hire for attitude and train for skill,” Lindsey said, citingstatistics showing that 68 to 72 percent of businesses were lostbecause of poor customer service.

An inviting tone and welcoming gestures coupled with a pleasantattitude and a real desire to help the customer are the mostvaluable qualities an employee can have, he said. Knowledge of aproduct can be taught, but attitude is inherent.

“There’s not a lot of traffic on the extra mile because not manypeople will go there,” Lindsey said.

The speaker said his research showed Brookhaven was doing welldespite the economic times. Sales taxes for the city were only$80,000 less than the previous year for the same period.

“What you’re doing here is working,” Lindsey said. “Thehospitality here is absolutely phenomenal. Those kinds of thingsmake a big difference.”