Treat Everyone Like A Customer… Because They Might Be One Day.
In the business world as in life, The Golden Rule (“treat others as you would have them treat you”) is a solid principle to live by. In addition, this attitude should not be saved for your customers alone, because everyone with whom you come in contact is a potential customer. It is easy to have your “show face” on at networking events and customer-related events, but are you your company’s “ambassador” 24/7? At the grocery store? At church? At the dump? Be helpful, be attentive, and most importantly, make them know that you care. People who need the product or service you provide can surface at any time or any place. A few years ago, I attended an alumni event and ran into a friend I had not seen in years. She attended with a woman I did not know, so she introduced us, and we struck up a nice conversation for the next few minutes.
A few months later I saw on LinkedIn that this woman was looking for a job. It so happened that I knew someone who was hiring in her area of expertise. I introduced the two and she got the job. I did not give it another thought until a few months later this woman’s company was in the market for the products my company sold. She not only recommended us but was able to influence the final decision. Obviously, my motivation for helping this woman had nothing to do with business, but the fact that I took the time to help her out eventually paid off for my company.