Guest post from Coach Kevin, May 7th, 2012
Think of the past week:
- What person or business did you deal with that was really memorable?
- Which category were they from?
- What made them so memorable?
Coach Kevin’s Insight
My observation is that people and companies that have a spirit of generosity have an incredible competitive advantage, not only because they might do something extra for their customers (as they often do) but also because they tend to leave people feeling good after an interaction.
A spirit of generosity can also be explained as a willingness to give, help, support and/or share good wishes with another person. I believe it is less about the actual giving or doing of something and more about your genuine intent.
The best example for me in the past week was at Kal Tire, a tire and auto repair shop close to my home.
Usually when I pull up to the shop, one of the guys comes briskly walking out of the shop asking what he can help me with – a nice and unusual experience and great first impression.
From there, they do everything else as good as anyone else. Surprisingly on a number of occasions, they did not charge me for little things I’ve had done including:
- Fixing a flat tire
- Taking the snow tires off and putting the summer tires on my wife’s SUV
These instances of generosity were not only surprising to me, but also increased the loyalty I feel towards them (evidenced by my repeat visits for other more expensive work).
Even better, by giving something that is a surprise to a person, they enact the principle of reciprocity (see Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, in which the receiver of the generosity feels a debt to the other that they feel obligated to pay back; in my case, by going to them next time I needed something.) I know this is just common sense, but amazingly, it is not a common experience.
Think of all the dealings you have had in the past week – how many met or exceeded your expectations?
The most interesting thing about the Kal Tire example is that I am not saying that their work is any better than their competition, or that their prices are better – but instead that they have a spirit of generosity and a desire to take care of things for me in such a way that I think of going to them first.
Coach Kevin’s Challenge
- In what ways do you have a spirit of generosity already?
- How could you create a further spirit of generosity?
- What could you do that would put you in the “always do something extra” category?