Recently I was leading a workshop on Customer/Employee Loyalty which I entitled ‘Dancing With The Stars’. Many of us have watched that TV show or a similar one called, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Some of us have even tried some partner dancing, taken lessons, or danced at weddings.
One person told a story about what they witnessed on a cruise, There was some dancing going on in the lounge. Joe was sitting at the bar. Susan, his wife was sitting there, too. She’s getting motivated by the music. She’s watching the other couples having fun, getting close, interacting with each other. Joe is focused on his drink. So she pulls Joe off the bar stool and says “Come on, let’s dance.” What is Susan seeking? An emotionally positive experience that’s hassle free, where she is individually recognized and respected. She wants to feel a connection. She wants to have fun. Joe has a choice. He could get up and do the minimum, go through the motions without really connecting. He could ignore her and continue to nurse his drink. Or he could get up and interact with her, respect her desire to connect, look at it as an opportunity to co-create something between them.
You are given an invitation everyday to interact with customers and employees. The choices you make will dictate your success. When you join the ‘dance’ or interact in a focused caring way, you create a point of connection. Just like dancers have points where they touch so they can respond to one another’s movements and feel bonded to one another, your customer and employee points of connection are very important. Research shows that emotional points of connection create customer and employee loyalty.
So what else can we take from the dance metaphor?
Partners must trust each other. It’s certainly not a good experience if Joe is stepping on Susan’s toes or makes her bump into other couples. The leader needs to be trustworthy. Are you developing long lasting trust relationships with your customers and your employees?
Dancers make each other shine. Give and take happens as the leader and follower roles switch back and forth. Followers add flourishes and kicks to augment the move the leader leads. Sometimes there is ‘playing’ done by both to interpret the music. In the world of sales, being effective means being an assistant buyer and helping the buyer discover what he needs, then offering several solutions from which the buyer chooses and modifies the one that he likes best. There is give and take. Empowered employees think up great solutions to problems that the boss might never have thought of. Achieving an outcome is about us, not about me. 1+1=3.
Each dancer maintains his or her own balance. It’s no fun dancing with someone who is falling all over the place. Employees need balance. Are their personal goals working in concert with the organizations goals? Are your personal goals and professional goals dovetailed? Do you seek quality customers that seem to be have balance, can pay their bills, realize you have a life also, and maintain an emotional even keel?
A good dancer has firm arms, strong abs and sturdy legs and ankles. Each partner supports herself/himself and maintains a connection and a strong frame. Strength in the business world is identified by core values such as integrity, respect, customer service and providing value, Vision of where you’re going and where you’ll be in the future is also a source of strength. Probably the biggest source of strength is self-esteem. Do you foster the core values, vision and self-esteem of each of your customers and employees so they can be better partners in the dance of business?
If you’d like to watch a real dance (not show stuff) with great connection, please click this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TyqjMp2HNI