This January I had the opportunity to work with the Barrett-Jackson auction company at the 2015 Scottsdale Auction. This event is the largest and most attended classic car auction during the year and my position was working with the company security and loss prevention people.
Along with investigating and documenting incidents, I had to “herd people” in the auction arena.
There was a large amount of contract security guards and the local police there as well to manage the thousands of people. We had applied bright red tape on the floor to indicate an area to stand to watch and leaving a place for people to walk around the perimeter.
I applaud the attendees as most saw the lines, understood and complied. Once there were so many people, seeing the floor was not possible so we had to move people into those areas who were standing.
I saw the police officers talk to the customers mostly with an air of authority ordering them to move and saw the reaction on the customer’s face. They seemed irritated and not happy to move.
I, on the other hand, used a couple of the 5 Maxims.
People want to be treated with respect and want to be asked. And as Vistelar Consultant, Joanne Glanzt mentions, you should “MMFI” or “make me feel important.” This goes a long way to treating others with respect!
And I added “WIIFM,” or of course, “what’s in it for me.”
I approached the customers and started with (paraphrased) “gentlemen or ladies, I think you might get trampled standing here, would you mind moving into this area where you will be safe?”, adding some humor when appropriate.
Also when I saw people distinctly standing in that area I would let them know with some humor that we appreciated their compliance.
I was met always with smiles and some return of humor and quick compliance. Spinning the request that their compliance would be good for them and leaving out the “authority and rules” attitude made a huge difference.
Therefore I see that MMFI+WIIFM+5 Maxims + appropriate humor = good natured compliance.