Mar 03 2010

Are You Human? Prove It To Your Customers.

Do you work to establish rapport with your customers right away? When someone walks into your store or visits your website, you are a stranger to them. Remember how your mom told you not to talk to strangers? Do you let them know right away that “we’re in this together”?

Let them know you’re human just like them. Once you do that, you can make the dumbest mistakes, say the most stupid things, and they will still want you to succeed.

My friend Rode Sipe eats fire for a living. His stage name is Dr. Dumpe. He’s one of the most entertaining people I know. People love this guy! He’s also a very good businessman. When he works the streets, they rush to fill his hat with money. Why? Do people secretly hope to see him go up in flames? Maybe. 🙂

His secret: Rod is a master of communicating his humanity to his audience.

Here’s what I have seen Rod do in every one of his shows…


A smile tells a stranger you are comfortable being with them. It shows you are confident and friendly. It’s easy to do and it’s costs you nothing! A smile says “I’m happy to be here with you”.


Rod welcomes the audience. Acknowledges their presence. Thanks them for being there. He constantly looks for opportunities to welcome newcomers. Everyone that walks by becomes part of the show.

Eye Contact

I have never seen him utter a word unless he is looking at someone. He talks to people, not things. Looking at someone tends to draw them into the experience. People want you to pay attention to them.

Tell stories

Rod tells funny stories about his travels. He works a lot of fairs and outdoor festivals around the country. It gives you a sense of how fun he really is to be around. He could just stick fire in his mouth and show you how dangerous it is. Rod doesn’t do that. He knows it is more entertaining to tell a story about how his hand caught on fire during one of his shows!


Everyone in the audience becomes part of the show. When Rod screams at the audience, he expects you to scream back. He encourages interaction. He involves people on stage with him. He asks questions. No one ever feels left out. It’s a party with friends! He doesn’t talk ‘at’ you, he also wants your opinion.

Your customers want to know you are just like them. How can you use these techniques in your business? You are human, right?


  • By Glen, March 3, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    The whole time I was reading this I was thinking how this is the very thing I try to get other staff to do at my real world job.
    Just saying hello to a customer makes such a huge difference..

    Then, I realized I need to do this on my own website and thought, yikes..
    It’s just so much harder to transfer that to site visitors..

  • By Tim, March 4, 2010 @ 7:36 am

    I agree it’s tougher. I need to do that also. A welcome box with a smiling face and video might be a good start.

  • By Glen, March 4, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    That’s a brilliant idea. I’m going to set something like that up on my site.
    Not sure about the smiling face part though,ha,ha..

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