​The Pittsburgh tragedy will hurt Business even if you’re located across the country.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a shop owner and he mentioned that business was down.

I asked if there was anything in particular they attributed it to. He proceeded to say yes and let me know there was a recent tragedy in their town where 18 people died in a crash. Most lived in the community. The shop owner also mentioned that everyone who came in was sad and depressed. He went on to say, “It’s hard not to be. We keep the news on the TV in the reception area and that’s all they talk about!”

We’ve all had some type of tragedy happen near our shop. Near one of my shops there was a local Marine base about a 1/4 mile away. Their unit had been ambushed in Iraq and there were many casualties. The whole town was affected. Folks in the restaurants, the barbershop, the gas stations where they frequented all mourned.

You don’t have to be a victim of the tragedy also!

What you can do?

Try to keep a positive atmosphere in your shop, especially in the reception area. If you have a TV or radio, do NOT have it on the news channel – EVER. Most of what is on those channels all day is negative. The important thing is to make sure your staff is aware of this.

We know, statistically, consumers spend more money when they feel good and are happy and upbeat than if they are the opposite. Just look at how soon the retail stores begin playing Christmas music. It’s why some radio stations go to all Christmas music so soon before Christmas. IT MAKES PEOPLE FEEL GOOD. When they feel good, they spend more and they are more likely to say yes to a sale than if they are bummed out!

You are not totally helpless. Keep a radio station that plays a lot of upbeat music on in the reception area. If you can’t find a station, get some CDs or MP3s. Remind your staff to smile when talking with your customers.

Remind them NOT to initiate any conversation about the tragedy. This should be the case all the time, but is even more important when there is an event like what happened in Pittsburgh that will naturally bring everyone’s mood down.

Given a choice, an over-whelming percentage of people will have their coffee in the cup with the smile on it.

As an added bonus, your team will perform better if THEY can remain as upbeat as possible too. Here’s the biggie — IT ALL BEGINS WITH You!