I always have, and will continue to have an unusual customer service philosophy, which goes something like this, “I’m not here to get customers what they want; I’m here to get customers what they need, and to help them make the most of what they have.” If you’re wondering how it has served me all these years; I have never had a dissatisfied customer yet.
I didn’t tell you that to brag. I said it to preface this story. I worked at a camera store for 8 years, and had a customer who was looking for a camera. I asked them the same question I always did, “What are you going to use it for?” Her son was in high school football, and she wanted to get some nice close-ups from the sidelines. I recommended a Canon digital Rebel with a 75 to 300 millimeter zoom for the close-ups. After a little more discussion, and her making the mistake of bringing up Consumer Reports (the biggest sellout in consumer magazines) she finally agreed to get the Canon. One month later she came back and showed me some of the pictures she took, and thanked me for helping her get the right camera.
This is not a blog about cameras, or sales. This is about important relationships, both business and personal, that will lead to success. It’s called the win-win relationship. I recently heard the phrase “give to get, that is the secret of life.” No offense to the writers of Charmed but in a win-win relationship receiving is never a motivation for giving. There is also the other extreme where you do something for someone, and if the recipient of your kindness offers you something out of gratitude; you reject it. In a Win-win relationship receiving is a by-product of giving; never required, or expected, but always appreciated, and accepted.
In our apartment building, there are several people who call me when they need help with their computers, and watching their cats while they’re away on vacation. I have never asked for compensation, and I have never made it a condition of our friendships, but they have always offered it. I always accept it because they find it important to do so, and I always express appreciation for their kindness.
Any time you enter into a relationship with kindness, and their best interest in your heart, you will build lasting relationships that will be equally beneficial to everyone involved; and that is the definition of win-win.