Relationships, Love and Bike Maintenance - The Daviston Group

Relationships, Love and Bike Maintenance

The transaction comes from the relationship. Those sales people who focus on relationships and build strong ones will have more transactions and make more sales over time. Healthy relationships are built on brotherly love. But wait a minute, what does love have to do with business? Let’s define what I mean by “love.”

Love is simply the choice to behave toward others in a certain manner even if the other person has not earned it or does not deserve it. It is an action verb that defines how you will treat and act toward others. I’m not talking about romantic love. This love is selfless and it gives freely while expecting nothing in return, and is the best foundation for relationships, even in business.

At the time of this writing, I live in Manhattan, and if you drive in the city you’ll understand what I mean when I say that there is no love out there. Frequently, drivers make u-turns, block intersections and incessantly honk for no reason. I even had one taxi driver swerve at me in an aggressive manner and I’m still not sure why. I’m sure he perceived himself threatened by my love (tongue-in-cheek).

Have you ever heard this expression: “There is no love in that business?” Sure you have, and I hear it all the time. Where there is no love, there is high turnover. Employees and customers feel used because they are. It’s a culture that communicates to employees and customers that you are here to serve me and you exist only for me to reach my goals. It’s not spoken but it is communicated. It’s a culture where the boss walks in and his attitude speaks “here I am” as opposed to “there you are.” It’s an attitude of “me first” and is the antithesis of serving. It drives people away.

Let me illustrate this point. A few years ago, my wife, Inna, and I planned a vacation and a long business trip. We would be gone for two weeks with one day home in between. I wanted to do some maintenance on my bicycle while I was gone, so I took it to the shop that I do business with.  I told the gentleman that I‘d like to leave my bicycle and get it tuned up and I would be back in two weeks.

He looked at me with contempt.

“You can’t leave this bicycle for two weeks. I don’t have room,” he said.

I answered, “Well, I didn’t think about that. I can be back next Saturday and get it.”

He replied in a rude tone, “No, you’ve already told me you’d be gone for two weeks. Just bring it back in two weeks and we’ll work on it then.”

I felt very offended. He was rude and impatient. Even though he was probably correct about the space (this is Manhattan), he lost my business. He drove me away with his rudeness and impatience about my lack of understanding. The city is a very crowded place and the fact that he didn’t have much space is true. I did not think about that and he was correct. He was right and I was wrong but I was the customer and he didn’t treat me with respect, kindness or patience.

So I got on my bicycle, went up the street about four blocks and gave my business to another store. They tuned it up and I returned the next Saturday after our trip. In the last four years I have spent thousands of dollars at the new store, including a $2,800 carbon bicycle. The other store drove me away for no other reason than the fact that the gentleman I spoke with did not choose to love me when I was wrong. After all, in his opinion I was a stupid jerk who he did not have time to deal with. So he said goodbye to the relationship and goodbye to the money. I was an interruption in his day and he did not treat me with love. If he did he would have received the money that the other store ended up earning.

All the guys at the other store know my name and treat me in a loving manner. They are kind and glad to see me when I arrive. It’s a pleasure to do business with them and they have helped me and served me in love without fail for many years now. I have likewise returned that favor not only by continuing to give them my business, but by also writing them a fantastic review on Yelp, not because I felt obligated, but because I wanted to.