Here are my stylish folks preparing for the opening of our store in 1968.

Maybe it's because I grew up in retail, where my parents insisted we treat customers the way Mom and Daddy wanted to be treated when they were shopping, but I've always been focused on working smart for clients and exceeding their expectations. (Of course, the latter isn't always possible, but you can't go wrong trying).

It's a form of business development that I don't think enough business owners focus on. Here's why.

The Golden Rule is good business

1. Giving as good as you'd like to get is good business, of course, because it drives repeat business.

It's the best way I know to ensure that your clients keep coming back for more. Deliver quality on time (or early) and on budget and you've got a client for life. Even better if you can give them more for the same dollar than the other guys.

2. Great product/service delivery drives referrals.

I wish I'd thought to track the revenues generate for The Word Factory by clients who've come from other clients. It'd be a nice number, I assure you. While they might not refer to you the competition, delighted clients are usually happy to refer you (without your having to ask) to their friends and colleagues. That's invaluable. They also are receptive to requests for introductions to prospects you'd like to add to your client roster.

3. Delighted clients are loyal.

One of my favorite benefits from over-delivering is when a client moves to a new division or organization and brings me along. In fact, this is probably my favorite, because the existing relationship enables us to team up blow the new group's mind together. I've got so many clients today who I've worked with at multiple companies, some for 15 or 20 years!

You can save money on business development -- or get more from your biz dev spend -- if you take better care of your current customers. So git to gittin'!


Earlier this year, I posted an archived interview with poet Luis J. Rodríguez. This month, he re-released four titles on the digital platform, including his memoir, Always Running. Check out this cool video of Luis talking about his life.