You know the golden rule, the one that top service providers and commissioned sales people live by… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” commonly known as “The Golden Rule,” is a valuable guide to live by.
I have lived both my personal life and business life following this rule. And yet, what if others want or expect something different from me? What if how they do unto others is not how I do?
I was forced to think about this a few years ago when one of my really good clients called about refinancing their mortgage. We talked about rates, the process and the documents I would need them to gather for me, time lines etc. They were both dealing with deadlines and stresses around their work, so I suggested that they take a few days and I would contact them after the weekend to get it all rolling.
I reached out to them as promised and I was shocked to hear that they had applied for a mortgage with another lender! When I asked what happened, they said that the other lender cold called them and was more aggressive, talked them into locking the loan on the phone, took the application over the phone and had them agree to send in all required docs the next morning. Because he was so aggressive, they just did what he told them to do and it was done. So, even though I treated them as I would like to be treated during a time of high business stress, he did exactly the opposite of what I would want as a consumer and he won their transaction.
I am having a similar experience today with a potential recruit. He is very busy, has a parent with major health issues, has multiple fires to address in his pipeline, and has another employment offer to consider. Do I back away and give him mental space? Or do I jump in aggressively and try to get a commitment from him now?
I know that if it were me, I would want me to back off, give me some space and then time to sort everything out. I would also remember to keep “me” in the loop as I worked through the decision process. However, in the past I have had some great connections with potential recruits and clients who when ready to make a career move or buy a new house, forgot all about me. Because of this, I have learned to stay in front of people who really interest me and not to stop unless they ask. Just because I want to be left alone does not mean that is what works for others.
My golden rules are different from yours, and yours could be different from the client sitting in front of you. You need to ask them what’s important. How do they want to be treated, communicated with and what works for them? The golden rules still apply when talking about being treated with kindness, respect, fairness… but we need to model our service delivery around what our clients want not what we think they want. It all starts with questions.
So ask them, what does the Golden Rule mean to you? How can we be sure that this transaction is a winner for both you and for me? Now, you have the golden opportunity to serve your clients as they want to be served.