The unchanging

Our innate need for connection

We lament over ever-changing rates, changing fees and guidelines. We change companies, processors, assistance and our workspace. Every area and facet of our industry, it seems, moves, and changes with the wind.  It likely is part of what you like about your career. Each day has its own opportunity to be unique and come with its own interesting set of circumstances. But none of that really matters. One thing that consistently remains important and demands our full attention is people, and our need to add value and connect with them.

Why does it matter?

Why does this matter to you? Why should this be something you consider as one of the most impactful ways to nurture and grow your business?

It is the single most important thing, in my opinion, that differentiates you from your competition and keeps your customer, and your referral partner coming back to you, the caring expert, time and time again.  

Think about it like this, you visit your local coffee shop most mornings and order your standard large almond milk latte with an extra shot, no flavor, no sugar, extra hot. The same baristas are there with you day in and day out holding your hand while you start your morning, encouraging your energy with that perfect cup o’ Joe.  

You feel good about your coffee shop, you feel connected to them, they know your name, your order, that occasionally, you go off book and get a red eye, two extra shots and a cake pop if it’s “that” kind of morning. They add value to your day by allowing you to have a thing you care about and likely, let’s be honest, need, to make it through the day. This is why you go back there over and over again. It’s the human connection, the fulfilled desire to be seen, and valued. 

It’s such a simple, but relevant example of something so small we do in our daily lives where we experience these principles. When our customers allow us to be a part of one of the most intimate parts of their life, we should be memorable, we should leave that transaction with a lasting positive imprint on someone’s life. It should be unavoidable.  

My business

I want my clients to think of me and remember me for their friends and family, for their refinances, for their future purchases or even for post-closing questions, I want to be their constant resource.

I send them a pizza on moving day, a personalized gift post-closing, fridge magnets with their local baseball team schedule because baseball is one of the longest sports seasons, and there’s my face on their fridge for most of the year. Then there are Christmas cards and ornaments every year, emails on birthdays, and home ownership anniversaries. Imagine how you would feel if you received a thoughtful handwritten note in the mail, or a door dashed pizza on moving day. It’s easy, inexpensive things like pizza, that make you memorable. 

If you observe, or study, great companies, you will find the epicenter of their success is an intense focus on people – connecting with and bringing value to the customer.  We all know, understand, and likely have an oddly loving relationship with Amazon.  I know I do. 

Day one

Amazon has a foundational philosophy they call, “Day One.” When you think about the first day of anything, you’re fired up, excited, even unreasonable in your pursuit of excellence. Jeff Bezos states, “The foundation of their success comes from – relentlessly focusing on customers, creating long term value over short term corporate profit, and making many bold bets.  – this is Day One. “

Bezos goes on to say,  “We strive to deeply understand customers and work backwards from their pain points to rapidly develop innovations and create meaningful solutions in their lives.  “Day One” is about being constantly curious, nimble and experimental, it means being brave enough to fail, if it means that by applying lessons learned we can better surprise and delight customers in the future….. The number one thing that has made us successful by far is obsessive compulsive focus on the customer…”  

Great companies that have dominated their space such as Amazon, understand that when you focus on the customer, understand their wants, needs and desires to be able to work backwards from their pain points, you will be able to give them unmatched value that aligns with their principles.

So now what? 

I know the questions we often ask ourselves is” how?” How do I do this? How do I know I’m connecting or adding value to my customer? These are great questions, but often it’s much simpler than that. 

A man whose opinion and perspective I value deeply challenged me years ago with, what I believe to be better questions; Did I do the right thing?  Did I do the best with the things that I’ve been given?  If you can honestly say, ‘Yes, I did my best with the things I’ve been given, and I did the right thing,’ you will have maximized every opportunity, made genuine connections, and given true value to your customers.

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