Repetition interests me. If I see or hear something once it may or may not hit my radar. Twice…depends…but by the third or fourth time I typically see some sort of a trend and my curiosity gets the better of me. I start watching and listening to see if the trend continues. I’ll test it if possible.
In more and more business meetings with potential partners I kept hearing things like:
- He brings chocolate by.
- I like the cookies they drop off.
- I got a nice frying pan.
- He remembers my birthday.
In a previous life one of the hats I wore was that of a buyer. That experience helps me recognize these as tricks of the trade…toss little things at buyers and they like it…so they buy. The birthday was a nice personal touch. That salesperson obviously set out to differentiate themselves. But all told, these clients were impressed by a once a month…maybe once a quarter…candy or cookie drop? The birthday card was once a year…but it kept that particular buyer loyal. The economy may be down, but little things are keeping these customers buying. What am I doing…what are you doing…to make this kind of impression on your customers and business partners?
Take this closer to home. If little things add up to a perceived relationship in a professional setting, how much more do little things effect our actual, deep relationships at home? What little things are you doing that make an impression on your spouse, kids, room mate, friends, and neighborhood? Random acts of housework. Spontaneous fun outings with your kids. Cleaning up the dishes for your room mate. Taking a friend out for coffee or lunch for no other reason than to spend some time with them. Giving a neighbor the unused portion of your weed killer so they don’t have to spend the time, energy, and money to go get their own. The “investment” of any of these activities is similar to the “investment” needed for the salespeople to spend on their clients…minimal. But the impact can be tremendous.
In professional settings the little things are helping to win, build, and keep customers and partners. In your home and community the little things can be used to build, strengthen, and solidify your relationships with those you care about the most.
Go do something…little.