Recently, Yeni sent me to the grocery store to grab some milk for the bakery. So, like most people in the Sunshine State, I headed to Publix and went to the dairy case. A minute or so later, after fighting my tiredness and the tempation to buy a Twix, I slid my card through the reader and got ready to leave. When the cashier handed me the receipt, her words instantly awakened me.

“There you go,” she said, with my receipt in her extended arm.

“There I go,” I replied as I walked away.

When exactly did “There You Go” replace “Thank You?”

Driving home, I thought about my recent retail interactions and couldn’t recall a recent

Thank you, let alone the prized Thank you with a Smile.

Yeni and I own a bakery together and the thought of telling a customer, “there you go” infuriates me. I know firsthand the difficulties of competing with large corporations and online retailers. I could talk about the differences that quality ingredients cost versus the additives that both cost less and increase shelf-life.

An even better value comes from two words: Thank you.

Yeni and I have been lucky enough to attend one of John Spence’s special sessions (we’re even luckier to be able to call him a friend, but that’s another story). Some time ago, John posted a great article on the Five Keys to Business Success. I loved these so much, we made them then entire employee manual at the bakery.

Right on the list?

Say “Please” and “Thank you.”

And with that – there you go.