“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Amen. I am one of those loyal customers. You know the ones you small business owners salivate over. The ones that will drive 30 minutes out of their way pay more than the going rate and willing to wait because they feel you are just that special. When I lived in San Antonio, Texas I would drive for over an hour to Austin on Sundays to just have breakfast at Kerbey Lane.
The reality is that I am not that special. Many people will go to even greater lengths than I do. I have a girlfriend that will travel 200 miles to another city to see her favorite hairstylist. Why do people go through such extremes?
The owners of these businesses treat them like royalty. Royalty is knowing their souls, not their names, but their souls, what motivates them, what is important to them and truly do appreciate who they are and the fact they are leaving their hard earned money with them. These are the owners that leave a real gift for them, not a company logo gift, but something that is more unique and special. At the end of they day, people want to be heard and remembered.
Hear your customers, help them without any expectation for reciprocity and I will tell you it will be like Harvey Mackay’s Dig Your Well Before You are Thirsty. I read this book when I was in my twenties. So you know that was some time ago. But it left a permanent impression on me. Help others…not because you want something but because you want to help others. When you are in need of help people will be there to help you. That is human nature.
About six years ago I worked with a very smart man, we were peers for a few years and then I was promoted. There were a few things I remembered about him. He was always interested in himself, his career and his finances. He was rarely interested in others and always looking for ways to move up and not living in the moment and working to do well in his own position. After I got promoted I remember going to lunch with him and he said “you know my wife and I were talking about you.” I was thinking really what were you thinking? He proceeded to tell me that with my new position I would be looking to fill one of my open positions and his wife would be a good selection. While she doesn’t have current experience she would be a good; however she would require working from home. It would be ideal for her to work from home with their small children. So maybe work would not be first on the list of important priorities. How is this helpful for the business and me? That was one of the last lunches I had with this individual. I knew for sure he was so focused on himself that he would never get anything good coming to him and frankly I wasn’t interested in helping someone who was unable to see beyond himself.
Customers sense these feelings in business leaders and owners. If you are heart is not into them, they are not going to be into you.
You Give Good and You Will Get Great! It is a life truth. We know it; now practice it. Go get great!