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!
Are you worthy? Are they worthy?
The beginning of a new year is a great time to evaluate our personal, professional and business relationships. Are our partnerships working? Are our loyalties being reciprocated? Are our partners of the highest quality? I look at all of the people I conduct business with as service providers. I believe that as consumers we should expect high-quality service from our doctors, dentists, hair dressers, plumbers, drycleaners — any business or person who we pay to provide us with a service in return.
I’m an incredibly loyal person — I’ve had the same accountant since I first entered the workforce, many decades ago. I saw the same hairdresser for 15 years, until she passed away suddenly. I had the same doctor and dentist from the age of 12 until just five years ago, when moving caused me to review my situation. Moving one town away isn’t a big deal, driving an extra three to five miles is nothing… but considering how busy our lives are, I decided I needed to conduct a loyalty review of my personal practitioners and partners.
In the end, I found a new dentist just blocks away, and I love the practice; since my doctor was going to retire, it seemed like a good time to find a new physician anyway, and that was a fantastic decision. I replaced two of my most loyal relationships and haven’t regretted that for one minute. The new perspective from both professionals changed many practices in my life. In fact, a new relationship can very likely produce new and different results. Many people don’tlike change, but remaining attached to a professional relationship can mean that you’re actually missing out on something better. I would suggest that a move is great reason to re-evaluate — I didn’t want to add another 20 minutes to a visit with my doctor or dentist if I could find a better practice closer to home; however, if I believe a practitioner is worthy, then my loyalty would withstand the 20 added minutes.
As I network and meet new people each and every day, I’ve realized that it’s time to consider my other loyalties, and whether or not I’m receiving any rewards for my loyalty in the professional space. Everyone complains that companies are always rewarding new customers with special offers — ‘first month free’ or ‘six months of extra services’ — but those same companies do not reward the loyalty of their long-time clients.
Take a few minutes to do a loyalty check today! Who are you doing business with in your personal and professional life, and are you getting the best service today for your loyalty, or is there another provider who will take better care of you?