We're just past Valentine's Day so the question seems appropriate: What has love got to do with business? In this context, "love" refers to "an intense feeling of connection". How is love expressed in the business world?
- Advocates. Those that love your product or service so much that they join consumer/owner groups, tell others about your product, take photos of it to share on instagram, etc.
- Highly Engaged Employees. Those coveted employees that love their job, tell others they love their company or boss, those that make best friends at work. These are employees who care about the culture and future of the company and consistently do the right thing for each other and the customer.
- Loyal Customers. Those who are loyal to your product or your brand. These early adopters will buy the newest version of a product, even before they know details. They trust your product or service solely on the strength of their experience with your brand. Think: Apple, Nike, Starbucks.
- The Power of Recognition. We've often heard the expression, "it's not personal...it's just business". If you've ever been laid off, fired, admonished or embarrassed in front of co-workers or clients, you know that it's ALL personal. At least for the moment, we work with human beings. Humans react favorably to being recognized and appreciated for their efforts. Seeking out the unique talents of employees and helping them to grow into the best they can be is a form of love.
Business is all about relationships. When we approach our employees and clients with their best interests at heart, it's a form of love. Employees who are treated with respect tend to extend that respect and consideration to customers. When customers feel appreciated and receive the promised value for their investment, they come back and help grow the business.
As we close out February, don't lose that Valentine's Day feeling: show a little love to your employees, your clients and yourself! Embrace "love" as a valid business strategy!