Business Is – Should Be – Personal

Ryan KoltiskaBy Ryan Koltiska
Director of Marketing and Communications
Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

 [This article originally appeared as a “Community Perspectives” article in The Sheridan Press, February 28, 2015.]

What’s wrong with being personal? Business is, should be, personal!

“It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Michael Corleone from The Godfather said it, and it has been repeated so many times it has become truth to many people. However, in my experience, albeit limited, I would be more apt to agree with Meg Ryan (yes, I am quoting Meg Ryan … don’t judge me) when she said in the movie You’ve Got Mail to Tom Hanks, “What’s so wrong with being personal, anyway. Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

I spend more awake time per day with my coworkers than I do with my family. I will spend roughly 100,000 hours of my life working. I’m significantly connected to my work if I only count the time, not to mention the physical and emotional energy spent during the day. For those of us who actually like what we do, we are even more connected to our work. Business is personal, and if you haven’t caught on to that, it’s time to turn off The Godfather.

Think about some of the ways you do business: who do you recommend to people for doctors, for plumbers, for child care, for a good haircut? I know I recommend people who I know and trust and have built a relationship with over years of doing business with them. I do business with those I have built relationships with, and that is personal.

Just this week I had a Chamber board member tell me about a great story about how important relationship is in business. He told me about a shoe salesman that he got to know quite well over the years. This salesman was the type of guy that knew your name, your family, your shoe size and he knew everything there was to know about shoes and how they were supposed to fit. This board member bought shoes from the salesman for years and learned to trust him and knew that he would always be treated right and be given an honest deal and a good product. One day he came home with a new pair of shoes and his wife asked him how much the shoes cost. He said he didn’t know. He just paid for them and didn’t ask how much because he trusted and had built a relationship with the salesman. He knew he would be treated fairly. Relationship trumped price.

I guess business doesn’t have to be personal, but GOOD business does.

I know several people who I can call right now and know that if I asked for their product or service I wouldn’t have to even worry about price. I bet you do, too.

What does this mean for you? Well, for the consumer, promote those businesses and their employees who have gained your trust and do good business. They deserve it. For the business and the employee, stop worrying about the competition and their pricing, offer value in how you do business. Make it personal and you’ll gain a customer for life.

Tom Reilly, in his seminars on value-added selling, expands on this topic and has helped salesmen and businesses for over 30 years trump price with value. He teaches about adding value to your relationship, your business and your product, and then price no longer becomes the issue. The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturing-Works are bringing Tom Reilly here April 22 for an all-day seminar on value-added selling. Want a customer that just pays without asking the price? Come hear what Tom has to share. Find out more here.

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