This one is going to be short, sweet and to the point. Kindness is a powerful competitive advantage. You don’t have to be a saint, Mother Teresa or bend over backward for anyone in order to be kind. By no means, I’m telling you to get pushed over either. But, being kind is a smart thing to do; the more you give, the more you can receive in the most expected, and unexpected ways.
Kindness build an emotional connection
You can be kind to everyone who comes across your business and brand, even if they aren’t a good fit as a client. Sadly, being kind is seen as a weakness and a waste of time. By being kind, by giving, you’re growing your reputation. And that’s why I believe in the powerful competitive advantage of kindness.
You really never know where people will end up and how they can help you down the road. Just because someone cannot afford your services today, doesn’t mean they can’t advocate for your brand to their friends today. It also doesn’t mean that they can’t think of you down the road, say a year from now, when they can finally afford your product or service. Loyal brand advocates aren’t just formed from past clients, it can be anyone who respects your company whether they’ve done business with you or not.
So give, and be kind. It doesn’t take away much time, and it could build a lasting and posturing relationship. And when you make enough of those, you will create a reputable brand that people cannot stop praising, sharing or just plainly talking about.
Kindness builds employee respect
The other kind of relationship that kindness builds is within the people you hire to help you. Whether this is a freelance VA or full-time staff, being kind to them will make them want to help you and work for you. It will open a path for them to go the extra mile not only for you but also for your clients.
It’s not just your clients you should be kind and giving to but the people within your organization that are helping to make your dream a reality. I assume that one of the reasons you started your own company is because something about the corporate word rubbed you the wrong way and I assume it has something to do with its culture. Corporate America can be cold, impersonal, and even mean. There are countless stories of people fending for themselves and their numbers, what kind of legacy is that?!
By being kind, you’re setting an example and creating a warmer, more productive and responsive culture within your company. Your freelancers and contractors will love working with you and so will your employees. And when they enjoy spending their time working for you, they will also make your clients or partners enjoy interacting with them.
Again, you never know what opportunities being kind may lead to!
Kindness sets you apart (which is the powerful competitive advantage)
Think about your own interactions and experiences for a moment. We tend to go back to cafes, shops or restaurants where people are friendly, kind and pleasant. But, we tend to forget about places that don’t stand out and avoid businesses where the cashiers or staff was rude, mean or somehow unpleasant. The same goes for your own clients. As the business owner, you set the tone for your customer experience. By giving, by being kind you’re creating a pleasant experience that people will remember and praise.
They will remember you for taking the time to talk to them, for listening to their problem and directing them in the right direction when your services aren’t the right solution. People remember those that are kind to them; those that give. And that can truly set you apart.
I’ve mentioned this many times before, but going the extra mile in business is rare. I know you don’t want to create a negative experience for your clients, no one does. But most customer experiences are forgettable. They’re not extraordinary, so they’re not memorable. Being kind and giving is an often overlooked way to create a pleasant and memorable experience that can lead to many opportunities.
Gary Vaynerchuk is open about how he makes time to interview for unknown podcasters, and people often criticize him for wasting his time. Yet, Gary doesn’t care because he knows that he’s doing the right thing and is investing in connection instead. That’s one of the reasons he’s so loved, adored and respected among the entrepreneur community because he doesn’t treat anyone like they’re unworthy of his time just because their podcast isn’t in the top 10 today.
In order for kindness to be your powerful competitive advantage, you must embrace it. Don’t fear it. Incorporate it in your day to day interaction instead. You’ll build a loyal army of fans, followers, advocates, and customers very quickly!
Take a few minutes right now to look back on how you could have made your client interactions over the last week significantly more pleasant and memorable by being kinder, by giving more and going that extra mile.
From now on, choose to just do it for all of your client interaction and watch how you’ll start building more and move emotional capital with people over time. I promise it’s worth so much in the long run because you’re investing in your powerful competitive advantage!