For something to be remarkable -- a favorite expression of marketers these days -- that something needs to touch us in some way. There is a connection that takes place between us and the object (it could be a product), idea (it could be a service) or person (they could be a customer service rep).
Preference and disposition in the buying cycle play a role. As well, business design can be a very powerful ally in staging the right experience.
Beyond the conversation around all those things, lays a very powerful incentive to gel that connection -- gratitude. About a product and service that solves a problem (real or perceived), a person that makes our day and someone who made a difference specifically for us, when we needed it. Yesterday we talked about value. Today we talk about the secret ingredient: love.
The very first email I opened this morning was from Geoff Livingston with a link to his story of gratitude. It was very touching to read about how Victor, his mentor, helped him turn his career around. I have a similar story. My mentor, who at one point was my CEO, has also remained a beacon of sanity and an honest (and for that reason) powerful ally. Someone who's always walked the talk.
Jim taught me everything I know about business, and something else: trust. When we first worked together he told me our "contract" was going to be a simple one. He was going to show me that he cared, and that I could trust him. He did.
Some people seem to have a sacred pact with you -- no matter how you show up, their first response is always acceptance. Seek those people out and thank them often. They help you be a better person. I am a better person thanks to Jim. There's something else I noticed about those kinds of people -- they tend to join you. What an honor and high compliment.
Thank you, Geoff for being an influential member of this community. And for your spirited way of doing business.
Jason Falls sent me a message a little later with his thanks for the influence. I'm glad he's used this term as it changes its meaning depending on the person being affected -- it's very personal. It usually is of the things that touch us in how they do so. My mother was my first and probably remains the strongest influence, in business and in life.
Mother taught me to always tell the truth and to respect first and foremost myself. Once I caught her wiping off around the sink in a public rest room. She looked at me with a big smile and said: leave a place in a better condition than you found it. She welcomes you as you are, as you go, you already feel the difference.
A teacher is often someone who affects our thinking and feeling profoundly. A self taught person has a drive that few can match -- the will and determination to learn because they want to. Their passion and curiosity are highly contagious. They help you be a more complete person. Stopping to pet a puppy or to smell the scent of a flower is not a waste of time. It's an investment in beauty, yours.
Thank you, Jason for being an interested member of this community. And for your great sense of humor.
During this past year I've met many people. Becky Carroll has been by far one of the most interested in affecting a positive outcome in experiences. After all, we're all customers at one point or another. Becky gives thanks to customers, employees and business networks. When giving thanks, it helps to say for what.
Thank you, Becky for being a positive voice in the conversation around customer relationships. Your enthusiasm and attitude are contagious, keep them up.
For something to become a lovemark, that something needs to touch us in a deep way. We cannot touch someone without in turn being touched by them. The connection that forms in the space between me and you is the killer app. Thank you for reading, for your comments, and for being there for me. It's my habit to show appreciation for what you all teach me by giving back in service. Remember that it helps also when you ask. Now go ahead, all of you, and spread this meme... only do it as a habit -- all the time.
[and yes, I do love red wine ]