With the New Year I decided to evaluate my loyal relationships, both personal and professional — but now it’s time to look in the mirror.
Over almost 30 years in the mortgage and real estate industries, I’ve built some tremendous relationships, but no matter what, I need to take a look to be sure that I’m earning loyalty from my consumers, referral partners and employees every day.
Five years ago, a move to a new home prompted me to reevaluate my dentist’s and doctor’s practices — I wanted to see if the value they provide was worthy of the longer drive to continue seeing them. In the end, I chose new professionals — here are some of the reasons why I made those changes, and how I look at my loyal relationships:
- Proximity is important to me in my crazy life, so I’ll choose a provider by location.
- Being good is the cost of admission — I want to work with smart, innovative, life-long learners in whatever profession I’m reviewing.
- If location doesn’t matter, then technology will — if you don’t need to see the provider live, you’ll still need to communicate well, such as with a financial planner or accountant.
- Communication is my top requirement; effective, efficient and smart communication from service providers is at the top of my list of loyalty requirements.
- Education – I want to learn new things, try new approaches and routines, and look at issues through a different lens. Whether financial or medical, there are many approaches to different subjects — my loyalty will go to a provider with knowledge, and the ability to communicate a new way of considering a subject.
- Friendliness of staff, cleanliness of facilities, easy to use technology — all of these are important to me.
- I want to feel as though my providers are on top of everything, but I never want to feel like they’re trying to upsell me. I’d rather be provided with options — I don’t want to be sold, but rather feel that they’re providing a solution.
- I want to feel hugged — yes, that sounds silly, but I want to feel like my loyalty is valued, that I’m respected by my providers, and that my opinion matters.
So when I look in the mirror, I need to review where my loyalties stand, and question what I need to do to strengthen those bonds, or create new, stronger bonds with each person who chooses to do business with me.
What are you doing to earn and retain loyalty in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
To lots of loyalty in the New Year!