“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” Ah, the golden rule, engrained in many, practiced by….some.
The Golden Rule, or ethic of reciprocity is an ethical code, or morality, that spans many generations and can be found in some form in almost every ethical tradition. It’s the one rule that most parent’s teach their children. Since this code, or concept, exists throughout hundreds of cultures – you’d think it would be practiced by everyone at home and on the job. I believe that most of us know what the right thing to do and say is, but executing it is the difficult part.
I think we can agree that doing the right thing isn’t always easy. People tend to act and react based on their emotions and often do not think before they talk – or do. I know I am guilty of this from time to time, but it is one of the many things I constantly strive for, in my personal life and at work. Since this post is of a corporate nature – let’s stick to business. Treating your customers how you would like to be treated, is a sure-fire way to build sold, trustworthy relationships – and treating your customers right will, more often than not, enable everything else to take care of itself.
In business, many companies come up with a core set of values, or core values. These values are often well thought out from business executives and in companies where communication is key – these values are instilled and practiced throughout the company.
Here our ours:
I am proud to say that our core values are ingrained and practiced by every member of our team. I believe the same goes for companies like Zappos and Google.
Zappo’s #1 core value is to “Deliver WOW Through Service”
Google’s #1 core value ( or 1st of 10 things they know to be true) is: “Focus on the user and all else will follow”
When developing (or re-developing) a company’s goals and values, it is important to be very, very clear about what the company is all about and what it stands for – and although every company is different, each one should have the same end-goal in mind – the customer.
Building Relationships: It is critical for companies to think about relationships in business. Oftentimes, we are only focused on tasks, transactions or deals. Relationships are nurtured over time and consist of many transactions – each of which is critical to the relationship. In addition to nurturing the company-client relationship, it is also crucial to build successful relationships with suppliers, management, staff and even competitors.
Here are some ways that you can help build those relationships and practice the golden rule:
Listening – Like you, everyone wants to be heard; therefore, really listening is essential in business. By doing so, you will gain respect – and ultimately, have a better understanding of what their needs are. Additionally, you will most likely be listened to when it’s your turn, as listening often compels others to listen if they’re listened to.
Communication – Being respectful, polite and genuinely concerned with others is vital. It is also important to feel out the other person and see how they communicate. It will be greatly beneficial to communicate with them in the way they desire being communicated to. As you get to know them better, you can adjust your communication style (tone, style, etc.) to match their preferences.
Internal clients: Yes, everyone in your company is your client – and ultimately, these clients should be your first priority. If you make them your first priority, you will be successful. Well treated internal clients will take care of external clients, ultimately keeping them as loyal customers.
Existing Clients – Your existing clients are the reason you’re in business. Be sure to put your existing external clients first – before prospects. If you do, you will have happy, loyal customers who will rave about you which will, in turn, generate referrals – the most cost effective and genuine way to generate business.
By practicing the golden rule – and reading, understanding and practicing the core values of your business – you will be successful.
To put this all into perspective, I’ll leave you with this quote from Mark Cuban, the co-founder HDNet and owner of the Dallas Mavericks: “Treat your customers like they own you, because they do.“
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