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Giving is one of the secrets of success

Source: Alan Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip

I'm convinced that the most successful people in business ... and the happiest people in life ... are givers. Instead of focusing on what's in it for them, they focus on how they can make a difference in the lives of their coworkers, customers, friends and family members.

1. Givers give attention.
It's the first thing they give. And it may be the most important. They notice others. They acknowledge them. And they listen to them.

If you're ever confronted by an upset customer, the very first thing you've got to do is pay close attention to what the customer is saying and not saying. It's the best chance you'll ever have of turning an upset customer into a loyal customer ... because you're saying ... loud and clear ... that you are important to me.

2. Givers give a chance.
Ernest Hemingway talked about that in his short story, "The Capital of the World." In the story, a father and son relationship had gone awry, and the son left home. But after some time of grief and remorse, the father decided he wanted to heal the relationship. He went searching for his son Paco, looking everywhere in the city of Madrid, but couldn't find him. He put an ad in the newspaper, "Dear Paco, I love you. All is forgiven. Let's start over. Meet in front of the newspaper office tomorrow at noon. Signed, Your father."

As Hemingway writes, the next day more than 800 Paco's showed up ... all of them wanting a second chance, a new start, forgiveness and acceptance. You may have some Paco's in your life. Are you known as someone who gives people a second chance? Or are you known as someone who holds a grudge?

3. Givers give lasting care.
There's a bottom-line benefit to this "caring" stuff. Research has shown that when you care ... you truly care about your customers ... two things happen: they buy more and they tell more people about you. The reverse is also true. The number one reason a customer stops doing business with an organization is a perceived lack of caring. In fact, this perceived lack of caring accounts for 68 percent of lost business.

Caring can't be temporary and intermittent. It's got to be continual and lasting. Martin Broken Leg, a professor at Augustana College, has found that a kid will stay in school if there is at least one adult in that school who shows a lasting sense of care ... and that adult could be a teacher, cook or bus driver.

4. Givers give help.
It's the ultimate win-win. You can't help somebody else without also helping yourself. As an old Chinese proverb states, "When I dig another out of trouble, the hole from which I lift him is the place where I bury my own." Or as I have often counseled others, the best way to get your mind off your loneliness is to reach out to others.

Givers give help, but you've got to make sure it's help that's really wanted. And if it is, the benefits go both ways.

If you asked the 10 people who know you best,
would they say you're more of a giver or more of a taker?

Condensed and reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's 'Tuesday Tip.' As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker, Zimmerman has worked with more than a million people, helping them become more effective communicators on and off the job. To receive a FREE, subscription to his 'Tuesday Tip' articles, go to http://www.DrZimmerman.com. Or contact him at 20550 Lake Ridge Drive, Prior Lake, MN 55372.

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