You Can Afford To Be Generous
advice from Derek Sivers
The #1 most important mindset to start with, underlying everything, before engaging in communication with a customer or client, is that your business is secure.
Even if it’s not, you have to feel that it is. Money is coming your way. You are doing well. You are one of the lucky ones. Most are not so fortunate. You can afford to be generous.
All great service comes from this feeling of generosity and abundance.
Think of all the examples of great service you’ve encountered. Free refills of coffee. Letting you use the toilets even if you’re not a customer. Extra milk and sugar if you need it. An employee that spends a whole hour with you to help answer all your naive questions.
Contrast it with all of the bad experiences you’ve had. Not letting you use the toilets without making a purchase. Charging an additional 50 cents for extra sauce. Salespeople who don’t give you a minute of their time because you don’t look like big money yet.
All bad service comes from a mindset of scarcity, feeling like they’ll go out of business if they don’t fiercely guard their bottom line.
They say the reason those in poverty so often stay in poverty is that short-term thinking of desperate survival doesn’t leave room to think of long-term solutions.
If you really feel secure, abundant, that you have plenty to share, then this feeling of generosity will flow down into all of your interactions with customers. Share. Be nice. Give refunds. Take a little loss. You can afford it.
Of course, it’s also just smart business. Losing 10 cents on extra sauce can mean winning the loyalty of a customer who will spend $1000 with you over the next 10 years, and tell 20 friends that you’re awesome.