Life as a salesperson can be a roller coaster.
The despondency of rejection. The excitement of new engagements. And of course the ecstasy of winning the deal and making customers happy.
Yet perhaps the toughest part of all is something that hurts the most.
Something that often happens unexpectedly.
The heartbreak of breaking up:
When customers decide to shop somewhere else.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the reasons can be genuine. You can’t blame customers for making the switch if you’re service is not up to scratch, you’re unable to meet their requirements or you’ve let them down previously.
However in this age of endless choice and ease of buying, often there are no reasons at all. Buyers can be less committed to building long term relationships and can make decisions sporadically – or often with no genuine reasons at all.
Technology and increasing connectivity are great things. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to write this post today. Yet one of the potential drawbacks is that it provides us all with endless choice. Meaning we often spend little time building loyalty and building on exisiting relationships.
The next new prospect or employee is just another click away. For many of us, we become addicted to exploring new possibilities rather than foster the existing connections we have.
But great leaders are different. In ten years as a recruiter working with some highly successful people, I can say with confidence that the best performers are those who look to build on the relationships they’ve already invested in. Who reward and invest in those who’ve already helped them be successful. Those who stay loyal.
Here are some reasons why great leaders stay loyal.
It saves time and effort
Nowadays it’s easy to find someone new.
A new supplier, a new job and even a new date is only a google search away.
And as the curious creatures we are, it’s easy to go searching for the oasis of perfection. The 250K-a-year job that involves working from home. The perfect woman whose going to fall for you just from your Facebook pic. The perfect employee who is going to tick every box and be prepared to work on the cheap.
Unfortunately if only life was that easy.
Great leaders understand that choice and inefficiency are usually closely linked. Sure, its great to always have more options, but sometimes that can create less focus and commitment. Rather than simply trying to find quick and easy options endlessly, great leaders understand that the best relationships require time to build. A two-way commitment that’s based on common understanding and values.
Rather than continuously searching, great leaders identify trustworthy partners and then invest time and effort to improve efficiency.
Great leaders maximise efficiency.
It creates excellence
Excellence never happens overnight.
In fact usually it’s a very slow process.
Whether its working with your golf coach to create the perfect swing, or continuosly coaching your children to be the best they can be, the best results are usually the end product of many years of hard work. Loyalty and commitment that eventually pays off.
The same is very true in business. After a decade of recruiting, I can say with confidence that the strongest and best relationships I have ever developed were built on loyalty. Things have not always been easy at the start. Sometimes, they’ve even been bigger and better competitors out there. But ten years on, the common thread in all our biggest customers is the desire to build loyalty and relationships that grow and get better with time.
Great leaders realise that by building loyalty it allows people to understand each other better. To become more accustomed with expectations. To get better at solving problems. And to iteratively get better and better so that performance is continuously improving.
Something that can’t be done by continuously chopping and changing.
Great leaders stay loyal to create excellence.
It creates power
We’ve all been in relationships.
Some of them good. Some of them bad.
Yet isn’t it funny that those we consider the closest, are often also those who we have commonly fallen out with?
The endless arguments with our parents in out teens. The punch ups with our siblings as children. The strict teacher who pushed us for years, but who we are thankful for today.
The reason is simple.
You see relationships are hard work. Most of us have a hard time being able to keep ourselves happy, let alone another person. So when the going gets tough, the easiest thing to do is just walk away.
Great leaders understand that loyalty is a two way street. As social creatures, all of us crave to form bonds and be in secure relationships. By staying loyal to others, they build a platform of commitment that destroys doubt and focusses everyone in the same direction.
Commitment that creates power.
Great leaders build power.
Loyalty doesn’t mean looking after “friends” that offer no value value to the overall organisation.
No, proper loyalty means identifying the best possible partners and developing a committed approach that results in increased understanding and excellence.
Great leaders understand that staying loyal to the right people is the basis of any great leaders power.
Is your leader loyal?
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