By Terry Orr
Growing up in the Midwest years ago helped me establish a solid foundation as an adult and businessman. In addition of knowing our customers, in most instances they were also our friends. You knew their families, church they attended, what they enjoyed doing and important dates in their lives.
When I started my second career as a consultant after retiring from the Navy, I was very fortunate to meet fellas who own his business in San Jose California – Jerry. He maintained a very nice record of all his business acquaintances that included: name, business and home contact information; birthdays and anniversaries; name of spouse; children and their birthdays; what type of food, wine; drinks, and favorite restaurants; sports and other entertainment information. In addition, he kept track of when the talked, met, corresponded and the jest of those events. He also sent personal greeting cards and notes.
My brother Dwight sends personal notes to his customers on a regular basis – frequently with a copy of a news article that the two had discussed recently. This is an excellent example of knowing your customer and taking the extra step.
From my perspective, both in business and personal, each and every acquaintance I make are considered life-long relationships. Why? The vast majority of these people keep reappearing in my life. So from the get go, I consider each person someone I will know forever.