|Spoil Those Bird Dogs In Your Small Business
by Michael Dorausch, DC
Are you spoiling the bird dogs in your small business?
There's nothing like having a loyal dog in your family. Dogs such as Labrador retrievers seem to experience great joy in just bringing you stuff. They don't bring you a dead bird for instance, leaving it on the front porch for your discovery, and expect anything in return. They instinctively practice random acts of kindness (not so kind for the bird or in my neighborhood's case possums) and continue to deliver treasures from around the neighborhood on a regular basis.
(photo: my yellow Labrador even has her own ergonomically correct cervical pillow)
The other day I was speaking to a colleague of mine, Dr. Fred Schofield, who practices in Phoenix, and we were having a discussion about gratitude and gratefulness for the people that have referred others over the years into our chiropractic businesses. Both Dr. Fred and I have had Labrador retrievers in our families for many years so he used the analogy of one of his old "bird dogs" in describing to me how he felt about his patients that refer. I love my dogs, and I would do anything for them, so this analogy stuck, and I wanted to share it with you.
Dr. Schofield talked about recognition, appreciation, and approval. We recognize our dogs are doing what they do based on an innate sense they've developed over generations. We show them appreciation for their acts of kindness, and they continue the behavior, further seeking our approval of their actions. We again show recognition and appreciation, and the cycle continues.
I'm not suggesting you refer to those that send you new business as "bird dogs" but I still like the analogy. For those that are dog lovers, giving that same energy and spirit to the people in your small business community, is quite a compliment. We love when people refer us new business but do we give them the same recognition and appreciation as we would our favorite furry friends? I know I could do a better job of spoiling them with treats (not the dogs but the people), showing gratitude and appreciation, and recognizing that often what they are doing, they are doing out of an innate sense of giving back to those that care for them. People don't make referrals to small businesses and then think... "you owe me now buster", they make referrals out of appreciation for the services you provide.
The next time someone in your small business shows up with a family member or friend, and wants to introduce them to your products or services, don't forget my friend Fred's bird dog principle. Recognize their actions are based upon love and respect, so go that extra mile to show your gratitude and appreciation.