I just got back from an intense speaking schedule. I am not complaining—I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. I did five events in five days and even had to pull a red-eye to add some extra drama. So, I am completely exhausted as I write this blog with my arm plugged into an IV of coffee and my slightly hoarse voice. As a business owner, no matter how tired we get I think we should always pay attention to what our customers are saying. No matter what we have going on, the customer should always be on our minds. We can’t ever lose touch with the pulse of our customers; if we do, we are in trouble. What are the customers saying? What are they thinking? What are they looking to get out of my product or service? The one compliment that warms my heart whenever I get done speaking is, “Walter, you are so real.” I am from the Southside of Chicago. I know no other way. My internal response is, “Isn’t everyone?” I guess the truth of the matter is that while some business leaders are authentic, others are just out to make a buck; customers can spot a phony a mile away.
Here is my advice: the only way we can build rapport with our clients and the industry we serve is to be true, honest and authentic. Why? It is the only way to build trust. Without trust, what do we have in any relationship? Our relationships with our customers are just like our personal relationships. Without trust, we have no relationship. Be authentic and true and it will pay dividends.