The eyes have it

Take 10 minutes to look around your business, but do it with your client’s eyes in your head. KIRSTY DUNPHEY

Kirsty Dunphey

By Kirsty Dunphey

In the TV show Friends, massage therapist Phoebe is accused of flirting with one of her clients because she got a pedicure, new toenail polish and a toe ring. Obviously as a massage client, looking down through the hole in the table, Phoebe’s feet are the only part of her he can see.

My husband would be relieved to know that my masseur yesterday was definitely not foot-flirting with me! As I peered down through the hole in the table all I saw were some scuffed shoes and a very plain boring floor. As someone who has the attention span of a goldfish I must admit I was a little bored (not by the massage – just the view). 

As I sat there peering at beige linoleum I was reminded of my firm belief that as many people as possible within a business should experience the business from the client’s perspective.

If the masseur had been in my place, perhaps by the next time I went back there might be a bowl of water with lilies or even goldfish, as a friend of mine once experienced while getting a massage in Vietnam.

If all dentists sat in their own chairs once in a while (and felt the terror that many of us do), perhaps they may all have the very groovy television on the ceiling I’ve heard one Sydney dentist has where you can watch a TV show or movie, which you can even pick up from where you left off last time you were in.

Where do your clients eyes go? If you run a gym, what is there for your clients eyes to go to while they’re on the spin bike or on a treadmill. My gym has little motivational quotes on the equipment. What about when they’re flat on their back doing a chest press – your client’s eyes are on the ceiling; what’s there for them?

My eyes always go to the restroom with me (shock horror) when I’m in a restaurant. If you work in a restautrant, head on in to the restroom and look around with your client’s eyes on (metaphorically of course!).

If you’re in retail, perhaps it’s your dressing rooms you need to study (see Interaction Enhancement for more ideas on client service and being a dressing room superstar). In real estate, the eyes may be focused on your car (what is that smell?) or the insides of your client’s cupboards (the buyer’s eyes will almost definitely go there).

Take a moment and be your client for 10 minutes today and change what doesn’t delight the eyes.


Kirsty Dunphey is one of Australia’s most publicised young entrepreneurs and is the founder of – the ultimate tool to help real estate agents write amazing advertisements. The youngest ever winner of the Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award, Kirsty started her first business at 15, her own real estate agency at 21, was a self-made millionaire at 23 and a self-made multi-millionaire at 25. For more information on Kirsty or either of her books – Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million and Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can, or to sign up to her weekly newsletter head to:

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Barry Sheales writes: Many years ago I met a American business-man who travelled the world constantly, including many out of the way places. Our discussion led to how he handled his choice of eating places and water etc. His reply fits in with your restroom experience. “The first thing I do, after appraising the look and gut-feel of the place, is to order a drink and spend a few minutes watching their people in action. I then visit their toilet and rest room. If it is not immaculately clean, I return to the bar and pay for my drink, and leave. I assume that the standard of their kitchen and food preparation will be of the same standard.”

I have used this system over the last 30 years and, at times, am simply amazed as I find many upmarket restaurants cannot pass this test. Always visit the restroom before you order.

Your experience with your masseur and dentist indicates there is a business opportunity for someone; probably the same people who provide the TV sets in doctors waiting rooms.

One of the leading examples of systematic creation of good and lasting impressions is the Walt Disney Organisation. Of particular importance to them is not only a great first impression, but also a memorable last impression as they leave Disneyland. The entire systems of planned impressions, as most people drive to Disneyland, starts and finish in their car park. It works. Nothing is left to chance.

Many busnesses, including real estate, do create good first impressions. The real challenge is to create a great final impression. How could your masseur and dentist handle it. Obviously they can’t, thus creating another business opportunity for an impressions coach.



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