Loose Ends: The meet and greet

Listen to this post

The phrase “meet and greet” is now one of the most overused as many social gatherings use it as the main draw for people to get together. The assumption is that simply putting one’s best foot and food forward is enough to make people more comfortable. What often happens in a rural area is just the opposite: the same faces and the same old divisive issues dampen the congenial spirit.
Greeting customers with a smile is essential, as is making small talk, yet often what happens is that the welcoming spirit is limited. While the local business community is generally friendly and welcoming, community members have commented throughout the years that there are times when a hot button issue in the town has made it impossible to feel comfortable with the people who have become known for their strong views. It is so much easier to take business elsewhere in those cases.
I am not a part of the business community but I am aware of the challenges they face in this difficult economy. Those who participated in the recent workshop addressing how to overcome many of the business challenges were pleased with some of the suggestions made by the speaker. Cinda Baxter’s positive message encouraged the local businesses to work together and come up with new ways to show customers they appreciate their business.
Looking back at the business community in Meeker over the years, one is struck by the change in the amounts of goods and services available locally these days. Many of the oldtimers talk about how society has changed with Internet shopping and better roads increasing accessibility to shopping out of town. It makes sense that the business community has to work together more often to keep the customers they have.
The new motto is sure to be “Meet, greet and compete!”