One of the happiest, sweetest, wisest people in my life is my dear friend, Mary Bichelmeyer Lucas. Professionally, Mary is Chief Resource Officer at Staffmark. Additionally, she is author of one of my all-time favorite books, Lunchmeat & Life Lessons: Sharing a Butcher’s Wisdom. The book is a tribute to her father, John Bichelmeyer, who was a man with an eighth grade education, a devoted husband, a loving father of ten children, owner of Bichelmeyer Meats (a Kansas City, Kansas, institution… now more than 70 years in business!), and, as Mary often states, “the smartest man I ever knew.”
Mary talks about how her father would hold court at the butcher block table in their family home, serving up advice to anyone who would listen. And, Wow! What wonderful advice it was! John Bichelmeyer, despite his lack of a formal education, was a master at Connecting with people. Understanding that, in fact, Connecting with people would be the key to her success in the corporate world and in her personal life. As such, over the years, she took note of her dad’s quips as they had an enormous impact on every facet of her being.
Lesson #2 in Mary’s book is “Create a Lasting Impression.” The reader quickly learns the secret to this task is to “pour ‘comeback sauce’ on every person you come in contact with.” That is, John Bichelmeyer believed strongly in giving people a reason to return – to your business and to you – time and time again. In his case, for example, if he learned that Mrs. Jones was planning a special meal for Mr. Jones that evening, he’d add a little extra ground beef to her package to ensure her spaghetti was extra delicious! He espoused one must treat everyone with whom they come in contact with integrity and respect. He also knew that when one must deliver bad news, if it is done in a compassionate, caring way – a way more powerful than anybody else does – your clients, your friends, your family, will come back again and again.
Good news: You can make comeback sauce at home! The recipe is quite simple:
- 1 part Recognition.
- 1 part Connection.
- Add a dose of the unexpected.
- Shake well.
- Pour liberally.
In her very useful companion Discussion Questions guide to the book, Mary asks the following:
- Comeback sauce works well with business customers. But how does it apply in relating to family members or fellow employees? Give examples.
- Is it possible to go overboard with comeback sauce?
- Is it possible for this idea, when improperly used, to backfire? What might be an example of the improper or excessive use of comeback sauce?
Mary poured a little comeback sauce on the attendees of my Business Toolkit Workshop this afternoon at the Olathe Community Center. She was the closing keynote speaker for an event I was honored to present in partnership with the Olathe Chamber, the Olathe Public Library and MidAmerica Nazarene University. Not only did she deliver an amazing talk, but she treated everyone in the room to a complimentary copy of her fabulous book! Click here to watch a recent segment she did for a local morning program and be sure to check out her website.
Encouraging you to heap on the comeback sauce today! Let us all know how it goes. Please take time to leave a comment below for the CLC Community to learn from and celebrate.