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Posted by on Sep 14, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Do You Need to Shake Everybody’s Hand?

Saying goodbye to everyone at a birthday party, I shook the hands of those friends I was closest to, but there was one awkward moment between someone I kind of knew, but didn’t at the same time.

There was this strange moment when I waved and he went to shake my hand. Because I didn’t know him well, I didn’t know if I could complete the handshake and laugh about the awkwardness. So I ignored his offer like it never happened and left.

Everyone’s probably had an experience like this at one time or another. Do you need to shake everyone’s hand? If there are more than five people, that is a lot of handshaking time. Usually you shake the hands of those people you are closest to. Hugs are reserved for the most important.

Should brands have to shake everyone’s hand? At chain restaurants, managers are trained to say, yes. At Denny’s, Bugaboo Creek and the many others, every customer (or “client”) is valued. But what about those freeloaders that are actually a detriment to your company? Some brands not only shake freeloaders hands, but give them big fat hugs (in the form of gift certificates).

Many of these brands can learn from purveyors of luxury products and services. There are very defined barriers between those whom get their hand shaken, those who don’t and even those who get great big hugs. Wasting time and money on those that don’t matter makes poor business sense.

As it doesn’t make sense to shake hands with and hug the 20 people at the party, nor does it make business sense to cater to those that don’t matter.

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