I love the concept of "lagniappe."
I learned the word when I lived in New Orleans. Merchants gladly added a little something extra to what could be viewed as a routine transaction. The little gift could have been a piece of King Cake, a cup of gumbo or a ticket to a Saints game. (Yes, I remember a decade in which we couldn't give away a ticket to see the Aint's!).
The problem with transactional business is that it becomes too routine. "How may I serve you?" morphs into "What do you want?"
Buy stuff. Pay for it in cash. And hurry along.
Transformational business is focused on developing a long-term relationship with every customer. Our instinct in building a relationship is to add more than we gain. We want to do more for others than we expect to receive.
A transformational business markets products to people with a specific (felt) need. We believe we are helping people. We are not in business to be helped. It is not the job of my customers to provide a living to my team. It is our job to meet needs and continue to do so.
People in relationships are intentional about communication. If I care about you, I want to hear from you. If you are helping me in some way, I crave your next email.
If I am developing a relationship with you, I will ask for your email. I will want to know your birthday. I will want to provide support for your purchase.
So why wouldn't every seller of anything, including services, collect email addresses? Shouldn't my hair stylist send me a note a week after service to check on me? Wouldn't it be great if the shop added a little value after the haircut? Banks give children lollipops for a reason! Well, they used to do that!
Collect email addresses! Write to people. Keep sending messages of hope.
Be known for your lagniappe!
Transform. Don't do transactions.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.
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