"Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other person will in the end prove unprofitable for you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated. " - B. C. Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine
For some reason many businesses seem to be designed to leave customers with a bad taste in their mouths. It might be from indifferent service, mediocre merchandise, or from the feeling by the customer that they were in some way short changed on the deal.
Some businesses act this way and then wonder why they don't get referrals. Most businesses that act this way don't even think about referrals; they just worry about getting the next sucker in the door. This qualifies as brain-dead stupidity, since any marketer will tell you that the cost to acquire a new customer is much higher than the cost to get more business from an existing one.
The same holds true in your relationships, by the way. It is easier to develop and maintain a good relationship with your spouse or your kids than it is to win it back (or break in a new one) after you've screwed it up.
In “The Science of Getting Rich" Wallace Wattles introduces the concept of “use value" in our transactions. He says, "Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value. " What he means by this is that you give more VALUE than they expect, and they feel that they got a great deal. Guess what - there are three recent business books that hit strongly on this theme with an interesting twist. They advocate a different kind of use value - love.
Yup, you heard me right. Love.
"But Wes, " I hear someone whining, “isn't that getting pretty hokey and touchy-feely? I'm running a business, after all. " Yes, it's pretty touchy-feely, but as Harv Eker would say, “Do you want to be touchy-feely or do you want to stay broke?"
Let's look at these three books, all by certified business experts. The first to come out was by Yahoo senior executive Tim Sanders with his book, “Love Is The Killer App" in which he said:
"The most powerful force in business isn't greed, fear, or even the raw energy of unbridled competition. The most powerful force in business is love. It's what will help your company grow and become stronger. It's what will propel your career forward. It's what will give you a sense of meaning and satisfaction in your work, which will help you do your best work. "
Hmmm - grow our company and our career, give us meaning and satisfaction - maybe there's something to this love stuff.
The next book is “The Radical Leap" by Steve Farber, former VP of the Tom Peters Company, in which he says:
"Love is the ultimate motivation of the Extreme Leader; love of something or someone; love of a cause; love of a principle; love of the people you work with and the customers you serve; love of the future that you and yours can create together; love of the business you conduct together every day. Think about it. . . . . . . . . . Without the calling and commitment of your heart, there's no good reason for you to take a stand, to take a risk, to do what it takes to change your world for the better. "
Ah, so here we see that love isn't something we do for others, it's something that powers us! It's associated with a higher purpose for the business, a sense of mission and desire to make a lasting impact. It makes us passionate about our work.
The third book is “Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands" by international advertising company CEO Kevin Roberts, in which he said:
". . it's not a touchy-feeling concept: companies that make deep emotional connections with their customers create ‘loyalty beyond reason’ and have no problems retaining clients over a lifetime. . . . It's the only thing that differentiates companies. "
Wow! So here's a way to create massive “use value" for our customers - build deep emotional connections that show we really care about them, and not just their orders. It creates “loyalty beyond reason", Roberts says. Would that be good? The side benefit, if you can call anything this important a side benefit, is that running a company this way inspires and empowers us at a deep level. It changes the office atmosphere, it adds meaning to the work day.
I've never been real big on following popular trends, but this is a trend I can really get enthused about. It starts in us, spreads to our coworkers and then to our customers. When we do this, Wallace Wattles says, "you are adding to the life of the world with every business transaction. " And becoming wildly successful in the process.
Yes, that would be good.
Wes Hopper is the founder of Create Success Seminars and an author, trainer and motivational speaker who is dedicated to assisting sales people and business owners in finding their purpose and living their dreams. http://www.CreateSuccessSeminars.com