Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ten Suits

I bought a suit the other day. Then I bought another. And shirts, ties, and shoes.

I worked with a wonderful man named Singh. He gave me great advice. He told me what he thought would work for me, and he told me what did not. He found things at reasonable prices, but also showed me things that he thought were a good value, even if the price was high.

He took care of me. I will be back.

Singh told me his secret. He said "I do not want to sell you a suit. I want to sell you ten suits. I want to take care of all your needs. If you are not happy with me the first time, you will not come back."

This is advice that I could apply every day.

How often are we tempted to go for the short term result at the expense of the long term? When we are in a corporate environment, the pressure to manage to the quarterly earnings result can be tremendous. We can be tempted to cut costs instead of invest for growth. We can be tempted to go for the quick sale instead of building a longer term relationship.

We can make a big profit on one suit and never see the customer again.

This sounds like a complicated rule--like it requires some kind of magical balance between short and long term results. But I don't think so. I think it comes down to doing something pretty simple.

Act from your heart, in the best interests of your client. If you do that, the rest will follow. And you will maximize the results that count--the long term ones.

Here's to Singh's rule.


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