When I was a kid, my dad taught me the most important business principle of my life: “Give value: Do more than is expected!” It is the foundation of my success; and in fact, my entire business centers around helping my clients win often by giving value and doing more than they expect.
I really believe that if people would live their lives looking for ways to give others more than they expect, they would attract more, enjoy more, and become more. New opportunities would follow, time and time again. By exceeding expectations, you position in people’s minds that you are a person they want to be around, do business with, and do life with.
We’ve all heard the term “buyer’s remorse.” It is a polite term for the way people feel when they have purchased something or decided on something and the item or the experience perhaps did not meet their felt needs and expectations. The negatives of disappointment are significant, but there is a huge positive impact on results when products or services exceed expectations.
When we buy something that exceeds our expectations, we are often blown away by our good fortune. We can’t believe that we “got all of this” for what we paid. What we got could be a combination of product, quality, customer support, the effect the product had on our lives, or any other thing that makes us happy about the money we spent. When our expectations are exceeded, we become walking advertisements and testimonials for the product or service. Every time we run across a friend with a similar need, we tell them about what we got for what we paid. We are what Ken Blanchard calls “raving fans” at that point, and a raving fan can’t be tempted and lured away by competitors. This is the kind of customer that leads to growth and great results for any business. When you help someone win, you often create a fan for life.
This principle is powerful because it involves a paradigm shift for many. From day one, we encounter competition—on the playground, in the classroom, on the playing field. Later we compete with others for grades, educational benefits, careers, and achievements. It seems we are wired to compete (at some level), and that often leads to a mindset of “one-upping,” outshining, and outperforming others. But truly smart high achievers help others win, which directly impacts the speed of results they experience. This is a principle I live out daily.
Several years ago I realized that helping people win is something I’ve been doing unconsciously for a long time. Now that I’m aware of it, I’m teaching it to others, because it’s such a powerful distinction. Often when I’m making a presentation, I’ll facilitate input. If someone says something that is very valuable, I have two choices. I can “gloss over it” by saying something like “that’s a good idea,” and then continue spouting my great ideas. Or I can have a much greater impact with my audience—and especially with that individual—if I compliment the person on the great idea and encourage him or her to share more. I might say something like, “Wow! That’s really a great idea, Bob! Tell us more!” By doing so, I create a triple win: Bob wins (I let him shine), the other audience members win (they have received valuable input from someone other than me), and I win (I gained trust, respect, and rapport by letting someone else shine). In order to operate at the level of mastery – be the best, have the best, and deliver the best results – you must be completely comfortable and confident that you will win when you help others win. If you want to see truly amazing results, embed this philosophy into your life and your organization.