Whole Foods, the grocery store chain based in Austin, recently opened one of three Flagship stores just down the street from my office.

The grocery section is almost entirely encircled by just about every type of prepared food or libation you could imagine.

One day last week, I was having my lunch at one of the seating areas in the store. When the server delivered my food, I said ‘Thank you’, and she replied ‘You’re Welcome!’ While what she said may have been unremarkable, how she said it was not. It contained an inflection that caused me to sit up and take notice. As best I can relate in writing, it most strongly emphasized the “Y” in “You’re” and the “wel” in “welcome.”

It made me feel as though she was sincerely happy to have the pleasure of serving me. So impressed was I that I asked her if the store trained her to do that. Without hesitation her reply was “My mother taught us well.”

Notwithstanding the server’s ‘home field advantage,’ I believe we can all enhance our communication by the simple act of injecting enthusiasm and sincerity into our speech. The benefits from such a simple act far outweigh whatever effort may be associated with the enhancement.

If you are skeptical about the impact a slight change in inflection can have on one’s communication, consider the following sentence:

I didn’t say she stole the flowers.

Now, recite the same sentence seven times, changing only the word on which you place the emphasis. Amazing isn’t it? The same exact sentence can be spoken to mean seven different things!

The next time you answer the phone or greet a new patient in your dental office remember: every touch point with your patient represents an opportunity to create and support a positive impression of your office, and isn’t that what marketing for dentists is all about?

 
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