The Golden Rule and affluent success? Who would have the temerity to utter those two phrases in the same breath? Sorry. But hear me out.
Our research clearly states that success with affluent clients depends on your ability to serve them. This is where both the “Golden Rule” enters the picture. Throughout history various versions of what has become known as “The Golden Rule” have been recorded. The first written record is attributed to Confucius (551-479 B.C.): “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others,” from The Chinese Classics (1861-1886), volume 1, The Confucian Analects, translated by James Legge.
Treat other people how you would like to be treated. At some level, this is just common sense, and so you might assume you don't have to give it much thought. On the other hand, social scientists repeatedly tell us that common courtesy, or good manners, is becoming a lost art.
But let's focus on the affluent. Think of how you like to be treated as an affluent consumer when you are on vacation, at the dentist's office, or shopping for clothes. How often are you treated the way you really want to be treated? I don't know about you, but whenever someone goes out of his way to serve me better, not only do I remember it in great detail, I spread the word.
I am not alone. In 2004, The Oechsli Institute completed a comprehensive study on how the affluent make major purchase decisions. We uncovered that affluent consumers base many of their decisions on the opinions and suggestions of their immediate family and trusted friends before even beginning an in-depth evaluation or comparison of rival products and services. So, affluent referrals should follow naturally if you are committed to the Golden Rule.
Step by Step
Is it really this simple? Yes and no. We should always treat people the way we want to be treated, but will our affluent clients always reciprocate? Some will need to be nudged along to help you, but for the majority of them, it will come naturally.
For instance, answer the following business questions from two perspectives:
Are you serving your clients properly?
Do you follow-through on all promises made to clients and support staff?
Do you treat your support staff well?
Are you consistently delivering value beyond your client's expectations?
Hopefully you answered a resounding “YES” to all of the above. It's much like life — simple, but not easy.