THE IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS

So I’m sitting in Starbucks, sipping a cup of Pike Roast, wondering what ONE BUSINESS PRINCIPLE is so important that 1) I should write about it, and 2) you should take your time to read it… and here’s what I have for you.

Seek relationship, not profit

As far as a business concept goes it’s pretty simple really… care more about your clients than care about making a dollar and the dollars will come!… but the application of this is not always as easy as the speaking of it.

Let’s take a look at an example from the files in the underground vault of Red Roof Rentals!

Here is a case where I promised a longtime friend of mine, a very busy and successful local businessman, that we (Red Roof) would “take care” of his $350,000 rental home for him. “No worries! We’ve got you covered! We’ll handle it.” is what I told him, and everything went well for a year or two… until the tenant “went bad” and trashed the place to the tune of over $7,000 before we could get her evicted. The cost to haul away the 7 tons of trash she had hidden in the 4 car garage behind the house was over $2,000 alone. This was a major mess!

What do you do in a case like this? Do you shrug and say “It wasn’t my fault- I can’t control all the tenant’s actions.” Or do you step up to the plate and say “You are more important to me than making money. I told you “I’ve got you covered and I’ll handle it.” … and so I will!”

What will you do? $7,000 is a lot of money to spend fixing someone else’s property, even if he IS your friend!

It’s situations like this one that test your resolve to “put your money where your mouth is”. As they say, words are cheap but actions can be costly.

So what did Red Roof do? Well, first we asked the property owner (my friend) if he wanted to join with us in the restoration. He did not. So WHY, you ask, did I ask him? Because friends talk to each other, invite each other to “join in”… because communication is part of relationship. I am actually no friend at all if I don’t talk to him when times get tough.

And then? Red Roof Rentals chose to step up to the plate and we had his rental property restored, at company cost. We felt proud to see how good the place looked when we were done.

Stupid decision? Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but I felt good about what the company had chosen to do.

And the result? Ironically my busy friend didn’t say too much {which for him meant that he was happy with our work)… but others noticed what we had done and they just couldn’t believe it. They will remember and they will refer new business to Red Roof!

So don’t focus on gaining. Focus instead on giving… your time, your thoughts, your help… because this is what relationship is… and what relationship does.

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