I like sports. I have five sons, so I got to watch a lot of hockey and baseball as they grew up. I also have a daughter, and she plays hockey too, as well as softball and volleyball.
When kids start playing volleyball, they have a singular goal: hit the ball over the net. They’re not skilled enough to do much else, so they focus on doing anything they can to simply return the ball. A successful strategy for 12-year-old volleyball players is to simply make fewer mistakes than the other team.
Then an interesting thing happens: whether through coaching or practice, they learn to pass the ball. You get three hits per side in volleyball, and here is one of the great truths of the sport: return the ball on the first hit, and you will inevitably hit a lob – exactly what your opponent is hoping for; return the ball on the second hit, and you have a chance of placing it where you want it, but it almost never has the velocity to get past the other team; pass the ball twice and set it up for a third hit to take place in a strategically advantageous position (usually a spike), and you increase your odds of scoring exponentially.
To make a long story short, volleyball teams that excel at passing win more games than those that don’t.
It’s also true in hockey and basketball, and believe it or not, the business world works in exactly the same way. The more you set up your customers for success, the more successful you will become in turn. I’ve touched on a book called The Go-Giver recently, and in it the Law of Compensation goes something like this: Your success is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
We’ve all heard of word-of-mouth advertising, right? How it’s the best, most sought-after marketing in the world? Want to know a secret? You control word-of-mouth advertising. Every time you give a customer outstanding service, you improve your odds of their friends hearing about it.
Positive word-of-mouth advertising is a natural occurrence that starts with positive customer service from you and your team. Help your customer save money by suggesting an efficient new product. Clean up the worksite even if some of the mess isn’t yours. The more you give to your customers, the more you get in return – whether it be repeat customers, new leads or bigger jobs.
Givers are winners, and I’ve seen it firsthand. Focus on giving and find out for yourself.