“We get to ‘love our neighbor’ primarily through family, friends and business. We have contact with more people through business than we do in any other part of our life. If we create a business that loves our clients, in business terms that means giving them a service that is very helpful to them, focusing on their needs rather than our own, we will be successful. Life will expose our clients’ needs to us if we are truly interested in helping them. With any luck we will perceive the exposure that life reveals and can thereby act on it.”
I received this piece of golden insight years ago from my father-in-law, Michael Yantis. Michael owned his own acoustical engineering firm for many years before merging it into a larger firm. The quote addresses so much about the fundamental nature of relationships in just a few sentences, and I’ve put it at the core of how I approach my business at The Fearey Group every day.
We all know about the golden rule and about karma. These are nice ideas and they come in handy when you see a car stranded on the side of the road or an elderly person struggling with his or her groceries. But often in the world of business they are an afterthought if they even come up at all. Profit. Growth. ROI. These are the imperatives that drive the corporate world and there is no room for touchy-feely.
And yes, there is a great deal of attention today given to customer relationship management. Putting the client first has become the cornerstone of many successful businesses and I’m a big fan. If you carefully follow the words delivered by Michael, you will succeed, guaranteed!
What does it really mean to “love our neighbor” through business? I believe it’s more than just good service. It means making clients into neighbors: a long-term relationship built on trust that is mutually beneficial. It’s about perceiving needs rather than being told and putting those needs ahead of your own. It is about caring for your customers just as you do a family member or close friend.
When we stop thinking about the deal, the transaction, the close, ourselves! and start thinking about relationships, the whole dynamic shifts.
Our goal at Fearey is to stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about you. If we sincerely want you to be happy, we’re going to do everything we can to get you there. In business that means giving the best service and product possible, without regard to the bottom line. It means tuning in to your personal and professional needs. Being motivated by the quality of the relationship instead of our immediate return is going to nurture the relationship, which will yield something far better than a quick buck: mutual success. This is the core route of any successful business.
Client relationships should lead to long-lasting relationships. In my eyes, every new client is a new friendship ready to blossom and take form.
There are two kinds of people in the world – those who walk into a room and say ‘Here I am’ and those who say ‘There you are’. – Abigail Van Buren, Dear Abby columnist