This post isn't long, but it will take you and me a lifetime to live it out. The single biggest thing that drives business success or failure is love. It drives sales, product development, marketing, accounting, teamwork, and customer happiness. Here's the deal.
We teach an eleven-week sales program a few times a year, and part of the process is teaching sales people to stop selling and start serving. Everybody wants to buy, but nobody wants to be sold. How do we get people to want to buy?
For most of my adult life I've worked with a description of love that works in just about every business situation, including sales:
Love always seeks the long term, best interest of the one being loved.
Take a look at the largest bankruptcies in history. Those companies all violated this principle. Here's how we use it in our business. Try replacing "love" with just about any business activity:
Sales always seeks the long term, best interest of the one being sold.
Customer service always seeks the long term, best interest of the one being served
Marketing always seeks the long term, best interest of the one being marketed.
Product development always seeks the long term, best interest of the one for whom the product is being developed.
It works internally as well. Team A always seeks the long term, best interest of Team B.
When we put the long term, best interests of others first, it changes everything. The great products, the best contract, the most enduring and successful companies, that innovative team, those awesome customer service reps, they all depend on whether we're chasing the cheap, quick hit, or the long term, best of whoever we are serving.
I didn't invent this, and neither did Zig Ziglar, the great salesman and motivational speaker, but he said it best, "You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want."
The quick hit or that shortcut might serve us in the short term, but not others in either the short or long term. And companies that make decisions based on the short term almost always get hurt in the long term - Enron, Lehman Brothers, United Airlines, General Motors, Chrysler, most banks, et al. Where are you taking short cuts right now, or making desperate decisions that will only get you through the short term?
Ziglar had it right. Ask yourself what is in the long term, best interest of the one being served, and do that. You'll get all you want in life. And in business.