I Love You Man!

At work this week, we had a few customers that were frustrated by/didn’t completely get how to setup our products. They expressed that frustration over the Web. I was able to respond to their concerns in a quick manner, solve their problems, and show them how much we appreciate them as customers.

The whole experience reminded me of a talk that I had heard many many years ago.  I was at a Promise Keepers event and the group’s founder Bill McCartney was speaking about his experiences when he was head football coach at the then national champion University of Colorado Buffalos.

He talked about how when he was head coach that he would take each player aside and show the player that he loved him.   I can’t imagine that he went up to each of them and was like “I love you man!”  People experience love in different ways, whether it’s taking someone out for a beer or writing them a quick e-mail telling them how much you appreciate them.

I think if you’re running a company and responsible for managing your employees or you’re a community manager like me and responsible for managing/growing your customer base, the number one thing that you have to do is learn to show love to every single member of your community.

By showing your community your appreciation… by doing what my friend Mike McDerment says “execute on extraordinary experiences everyday”, you’ll not only win yourself customers & users.  You’ll win yourself people that are passionate about your cause and who’ll help you get where you want to go.

Over Easter break, I was in Indianapolis to visit my sister and brother-in-law.  During my few days there, we went and hung out with a friend of theirs that runs a welding company where he makes these really rad custom handmade belt buckles.  Now I had heard about him before but  it didn’t make a big impression with me.  By him taking time to hang out and show us more about what he does, it allowed me to make more of personal connection with him and thus more willing/excited to talk about him with others.

Another prime example of this happened to me in February when I was at the after party for the Future of Web Apps conference in Miami’s South Beach.  Internet celebrity and host of Wine Library TV Gary Vaynerchuk was there.  Now him and I had met on numerous occasions but he meets hundreds of people a day so I didn’t expect him to remember me at all.

Well, I was talking with some others around a table and all of a sudden I feel someone rubbing my shoulders.  I turn around and it was Gary Vaynerchuk.    Now the interaction was maybe all of 30 seconds but it was meaningful.  He could have spent the entire time at the party with the throngs of folks that would have happily kissed his ass all night but he went out of his way to come over and say hi.    It meant a lot.

Wanna have a strong community of people that stand behind you,  your company or your product?  I firmly believe that to do that you have to do exactly what Bill McCartney said.  You have to tell each and every person in their own little way, “I love you man.”

Have you had this experience?  What’s the last time someone went out of their way in a way that you didn’t expect to show you how much they appreciate and love you?  When’s the last time that you did it for someone else?

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