Any entrepreneur, in any room, would be the first to stand up and proclaim to you the importance of solid business relationships. The foundation of all startups and corporations alike is the trust built between businesses and its consumers.
James Altucher, entrepreneur and bestselling author, breaks down this functioning relationship into many elements, but the three that resonate with me the most are: Over Deliver, Under Price and Be The Source.
Or, in other words… Surpass expectations for less.
“Sales” has always been such an ugly word to me as it jams the thought of that bottom-line and diminishes the empathy and elegance of providing value to another. It stamps a big red mark filled with numbers on top of a relationship, limiting the benefits to a certain dollar amount. Those that play within the boundaries of that number will never unfold the potential of their relationships or business solution.
In order to thrive in the world of technology and data, it’s crucial to go above and beyond for your customers. Not only in that final report, but in the process and intricacies of a functioning business relationship. It’s not enough to simply provide the numbers and answers expected, it’s demanded of today’s innovators to continually take solutions to that next level. Beyond proprietary technology, algorithms and data, there is a service and a relationship that needs to be worth more.
The truth to a successful business is providing more than expected for less than demanded. It could be that new platform, insight, tool or report that hasn’t been released yet. It could be a quick survey to provide more satisfactory instructions, results, or insights. It could be the bitter honesty to a customer about necessary changes now or anticipated for their future.
Not only that, but these expectations shouldn’t be confined to just their product offerings. You, as a businessperson, can become the source of information, even when that tangible offering is not your own. The honesty of providing real value to a client lies within your network to connect people with answers. Whether it is an introduction to an innovative technology, a unique way of thinking or a new friend; you, as an origin of information, will keep people coming back. When the right opportunity eventually does present itself your solution will be a no-brainer to this person, as you’ve developed a trusting relationship based on more than making a quick sale.
This offering of intelligence and network should not be for a new fee, but for the fundamentals of operating a successful business. As information, competition and technology are everlasting and more accessible than ever, it’s the service of providing more than is expected that propels a company forward.