Yesterday was Election Day and there were many legislators who received their pink slips. There were also legislators that became new employees of the people. What a wonderful country we live in, where each individual citizen can have a voice in determining those who are charged with running our country.
I always wonder if those that receive their walking papers realize that they were fired based upon how the citizens perceived their efforts. They were looked at as being ineffective and not representing the interests of the voters. While those newly hired were done so based upon the promises they made.
Is there a lesson for the business community in our political election process? I think so!
Our prospects are willing to listen to us and some even hire us to execute what we say we can do for them. If we fail to deliver what has been promised, it’s likely that new customer will not use our services again. They will fire us!
This also brings to mind the phrase, “under promise and over deliver”. While that may seem to make sense on the surface, it appears to be a trick we plan to play on the customer. I don’t think our customers want to be the recipient of tricks. All they expect is what we’ve told them we will give.
Business is business and should be conducted in the proper manner, and we should expect our politicians to operate with the same business principles:
• Understand who you represent, or want to represent in the future
• Talk to them to discover what their needs are
• Determine if what you have, or do, will satisfy those needs
• If they do, ask them for their business – or their votes
• Deliver what you promised
After you’ve been in government service for many years, I think it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re there, which is to serve the citizens who elected you. You expect them to re-elect you, year after year – even after you’ve failed to deliver what you promised.
The same can be true for business. Often, our loyal long-time customers are overlooked. We’ve come to expect their business and just assume they will continue to be a loyal long-time customer.
Maybe this election season is a good time for our elected officials to take stock of who they represent and the promises that they have made to those voters. In the same vein, we business people need to remember that we are here to serve our customers and keep the promises that we have made to them.
None of us want to hear those words – you’re fired!