In most of my books (including two to be released later this year about Zappos and UCLA) I find myself touching on a theme that sounds something like “all business is personal.” I think I am attracted to this message because well-intentioned business leaders can get drawn into tasks, products, and profits and lose sight of the basic importance of personal care for staff and customers. So here are a few quick hits to serve as reminders of the importance of personal connections:
- Max out what you know about your staff and customers. Do you remember the old adage…”its not what you know but who you know?” How about building that out to state, “it’s not what you know but who you know and it’s not who you know but what you know about who you know.” Now that’s a mouthful but it gets to the notion that having a large contact list is only valuable if you take the time to get to really know something about the people on that list.
- In my upcoming Zappos book, (The Zappos Experience) I have a section entitled “Vendors are people too.” As a consulting or speaking vendor, I can assure you that all things being equal the client that cares for it’s vendors tends to get that little extra effort from the vendor which can make a huge difference.
- Great leaders go where their people and customers already are! While they are there, those leaders listen and see listening as a key element of service. In the end, these “walkabout leaders” use that results of their listening to inform solutions and to be responsive to the needs of customers and staff.
What can you do today to take your business a little further toward the personal?
How can you be “all ears?”