In his new book, Enhanced People Skills, John Terhune tells a great story about bringing his car to his mechanic for servicing (the warranty with his dealership had expired). The particular issue was a part that would have cost him well over $500 to repair.
After doing some research, the mechanic informed John that the part had been recalled by the manufacture and so John should take the car back to the dealership where they’d most likely replace the part at no charge. They did and John saved what would have been an unnecessary expense.
Did the mechanic lose anything?
Well, one might say he lost over $500. But, did he really? I don’t believe so. Not only would John now never even think of taking his car to anyone else; he eagerly and enthusiastically refers everyone to him. And, John is definitely one of those Centers of Influence who business owners and salespeople want as their Personal Walking Ambassador.
The mechanic benefited greatly from his decision to put John’s interests before his own immediate one.
Please don’t think, however, that the mechanic was being selfless (which I define as “incongruent with self”). He was not. First, he was acting congruently with his values — that being honest and placing the interests of the customer first is the right way to live life.
Secondly, he understands that it’s also the best way to conduct business. He knew his own business would be well-taken care of. Not through some magical thinking but rather for very logical reasons. When you place the other person’s interests first, they like you more and they trust you much more than they would otherwise.
Not only does that feel good…it’s very, very profitable!
Perhaps you’ve been in John’s situation, or the mechanic’s. Feel free to share stories of either.
We loving seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/
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Bob…the rest of the story is that I have sent this guy thousands of dollars of business since his gracious act of pointing me in a direction that saved me money and TEMPORARILY cost him money. That act resulted in far more long term business than the short term gain of not telling me about the recall. Plus with many people reading my book in our community, they are asking me who the mechanic is and I gladly tell them about Robert. Thank you Bob for passing this story on to your readers. You are a true walking talking example of what you brilliantly teach and train.
John, thank you so much for sharing that. I can only imagine the type of additional business he is doing and income he is earning based both on your direct referrals and from the mention in your book, which I know is already getting lots of great press. I love your book and wish you fantastic success with it!
I so love this story. It proves 2 things:
Business with integrity works
Integrity ( and asking for) with referrals works
… and you get to feel good by doing the right thing
There are so many good people in business. This is an uplifting story.
Thank you for. Sharing.
Steve, thank you so much. I know that you are an expert in the area of referrals. Honored to know you enjoyed the post!
Hi Bob, I just watched your last video and thought I’d head over here to see what you’ve written lately. I’m glad I stopped by! I have a tile business and we are called on to inspect whether showers are faulty and leaking or not. There are certain symptoms that are evident once you know what to look for, but most customers do not know what to look for. We are a trusted company in the market so it puts even more burden to be honest on these inspections. Our word can be the difference of $2500-$4000 or even more. I’m very grateful for other honest businesses out there that echo that we are doing the right thing. On the other hand, when we first bought our house we were a bit naive and have since learned that we were given advice that benefited the mortgage company and the realtor more than it benefited us the home buyers. We never did business or referred either of them.
Robb, thank you for contributing to the discussion, and for being one of the large number of honest business people that there are. Always a shame to find there are those who aren’t, or those who are “situationally honest” (which really mean not honest). Indeed, being an honest business person always looking out for the best interests of your customers is both a better way to live life, and a much more profitable way, as well.
Thank you Bob
Is always nice when nice people get the business they deserve. It is a great story
Again. Thank you for sharing
Meant to say Bob. I am the one who is honoured! Have followed your writing and other stuff for a while so the honour is definitely mine!
I appreciate that a LOT, Steve. Thank you!
Hey Bob…these stories SO resonate with me. As you know I am (primarily) in the promotional products and apparel business, and it has always been my practice to help customers find the exact laser-targeted item…and there are over 1,000.000 items available in the industry…that will solve their need. BUT, that’s just the starting point. Once we decide on the item, I will survey every top quality supplier I have to see if there is a special “deal” going on that I can pass on to my customer. Sometimes we can save our clients a little, and sometimes a lot…but what remains constant is that they know we always operate from the basis of how to best serve their interests.
Phil: Thank you for sharing that with us. Your final sentence, says it all: they (we) know that you always operate from the basis of how to best serve your customers’ interests. We’re looking forward to getting our speciality items from you.
This mechanic may have lost the one time, $500 sale… But I am sure he secured a long time and loyal client that will be singing his praises to everyone he knows who has a car issue. As well as makes sales after.
It sounds so simple, but yet it’s challenging these days to do the right thing? Glad to know that there are other owners with integrity out there… Thanks for sharing the story Bob and John.
Bill, thank you. Indeed, he’s benefitted many times over already and will continue to do so. Reputation is earned…and he continues to earn his. Regarding your thought about it being “challenging these days to do the right thing” I might respectfully disagree with that. It might not necessarily be the “comfortable” choice but I think that when one’s values are set in stone the decision itself is actually pretty easy. Thank you again for contributing to the discussion!
Yes, Bob you are right… A business owner should “never become weary of doing what is right for his customer”. You made me ponder on how I answered my comment. Thanks for the push!
Thank YOU, Bill. You’re awesome, my friend!