Have a Love Affair with Your Customer!!

Many years ago when I was just getting started in my sales career, I had a client (Jim) say the following to me: “Our business relationship will be very much like a dating relationship”. I’m sure I had a puzzled look on my face so he continued, “In this relationship, you will play the role of the man, and I will play the role of the woman.”

At this point, I was more than a bit puzzled – I was starting to sweat uncomfortably and had an overwhelming desire to break and run. What did he mean by “play the role of the man”? Instead of breaking and running, I asked him to continue. He could see the look of concern (more like sheer terror) on my face and laughed and said, “It’s quite simple really – I want what I want, when I want it, and just remember – I’m always right!”

Overcome with relief that he wasn’t part of some weird sex cult and coming on to me, I muttered something like, “Sure, I can play by those rules”. He turned out to be a very demanding yet very loyal client. Over the course of a couple of years I sold him over $45 Million in products and services.

One of the key takeaways I learned from that experience is that it is imperative to have a “Love Affair With Your Customer”. No, not in the kinky degrading sort of way, but in a way that is authentic and truly has your customer’s best interest at heart.

You see, what Jim was really telling me all those years ago is that he wanted to do business with someone that:

1) He Trusted.  Without trust, your customers will never “love” you. Trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship – business or otherwise.
2) Listened to Him.  At the end of the day, your customer is a person and wants to be treated like a person. This includes listening to their issues. As Stephen Covey would say, “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” So often, we want to tell our prospective customer all of the wonderful things our product or service will do for them without truly understanding their needs.
3) Met His Needs.  Only after you have built trust and listened to their needs will you be ready to proceed to step 3 which is meeting those needs.

Here’s the beautiful part of this equation and where it truly gets exciting. If you perform the following 3 steps better than anyone in your particular market place, your customers will indeed develop a lasting love relationship with you that will stand the test of time.

As a matter of fact, the bond will be so strong that it will defy all logic and reason. Your competitor can lower their price by 20% and your customer will not “cheat” on you by switching to your competitor. That’s the power of love. Are these steps easy? Not always. Are they worth it? Every time! Now quit reading and go find a customer to have a love affair with!


Days of the Week…or…Daze of the Weak?


Life is a grind.  Then you die.  The end.

Does it ever feel like that to you?  Yeah, me too.  If we’re not careful we can allow our lives to become mind numbingly monotonous as we simply grind out one day after the next.  Wake up.  Work.  Go to bed.  Rinse and repeat.

In the fast paced society we live in, it becomes very easy to get caught up on life’s treadmill with tigers and lions nipping relentlessly at our heels!  One day fades obliviously into the next until we look up and it’s Sunday night and time to start all over again.

Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”     – Psalm 90:12 NIV

So how do we ensure we are experiencing joy filled and meaningful “Days” instead of living out a zombie horror movie and stumbling around in a “Daze”?

Here are a few ideas you might want to experiment with:

  • Have a “Big Why”: Finding your “Big Why” is the first step to climbing out of the haze of the daily grind and into your purpose.  Your “Big Why” or your purpose should absolutely rip you out of bed in the morning.  It will fuel your tank with energy all day long and when the going gets tough it will keep you from putting it on auto-pilot.  It’s your reason for being and why you were created.
  • Number Your Days: “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 NIV.  Life is brief and it’s a wise person that takes into account this brevity and works to make each and every day count.  The life expectancy for men is 27,740 days and 29,565 days for women.  I am 52 which according to the charts, means I have about 8760 days left.  I intend to make every one of them count!
  • Be Fully Present: This is the micro version of “Number Your Days”.  Quick quiz.  How much of each 24 hour day are you fully alive and present?  Are you just going through motions or are you 100% engaged and focused during your waking hours?  Are you eyeball to eyeball with your young children providing them your full attention when they ask you the same question for the zillionth time?  How about your spouse or co-workers?  No “phoning it in” allowed.
  • Get Some Peeps: Everyone needs a community or a tribe to belong to.  My wife and I have 3 other couples that we “do life” with.  Every Sunday night we get together at one of our homes, share a meal together, and spend time enjoying each other’s company.  When I’m hurting, this is the group I turn to.  When I’m coasting through life, they are the ones that encourage me to get back on track – or even provide a swift kick in the butt if that’s what is needed.  When I have a victory to celebrate, they are there to congratulate me and celebrate with me.  No man (or woman) is an island.  We were created for relationships.  If you don’t have peeps, get some.

You were not placed on this earth by chance and you certainly weren’t placed here to stumble through life in a daze.  Find your people, learn your purpose and commit to being present and alive throughout the rest of your life.