So today's blog post is about Quid Pro Quo. What does this mean? According to the dictionary, Quid pro quo (this for that in Latin) most often means a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. Another term I often hear in business, is win-win scenario. What does this really mean, and I never thought of it this way until reading the Go-Giver. It really is another way of keeping score in many instances. I have a friend that we usually have lunch once a week together, and we alternate who pays for lunch. Would I or he keep coming to lunch if only one of us paid every time. Maybe, but probably not. In business, I see people set up a referral arrangement between each other. What they are really doing is testing the relationship. They will give a referral to see if they get one in return. And, after several referrals if they have not received a reciprocal referral, then they usually stop giving referrals, and they will look for a new relationship with someone in the same profession to test. How do I know this? Because I've done it, and been on the other side of the equation of it.
I want to propose a new strategy. Instead of thinking about whether you will receive referrals from a potential relationship, put your client first. In other words seek out the best professionals and providers of service for your clients without thinking of your business. Your focus is on who can provide the best products and services to your clients. Then approach the business owner, and explain to them that you would like to provide referrals to them because your research says that they provide the best at what they do. Then freely refer your clients to them. I know some of you may think this sounds crazy, but think about it for a minute. How would your clients feel about you if you always referred them the very best of everything? Would they be happy? Would they trust you? How would the other business owners feel about you? This strategy can explode your business in so many ways because you are doing business for the right reasons - to serve your clients!
This is just one example of how you can apply this powerful principle. So what is this principle - give to others without the expectation of return. On a personal front, focus on giving for the sake of giving, not giving to receive. Give to your spouse to give her/him joy, a break, love, a laugh, etc. Don't cook dinner to receive a massage. If the massage comes then great, but if it doesn't you still gave your spouse a break and hopefully a smile from a wonderful meal (unless you can't cook). I can't tell you how many times I have heard and maybe even said, if I do this for you, you will owe me. No, they don't owe you.
One last example, find a way this week to give to someone that can't possibly pay you back. Give to a stranger, a child, a single parent, or the elderly. Recently a friend of mine met a single mom that was struggling to make ends even come close to meeting. He quietly talked to several of his friends that were successful in their own businesses. After talking, they decided to go shopping for her, and they bought her about $500 worth of groceries and household needs. When they gave it to her and her 3 teenage daughters, they just broke down crying (all of them). The first thing out of the mom's mouth was "but I can't repay you." The husband and wife said "we know, and we don't want you to." The families that contributed to her family were so moved by it, they decided to give this to her every month because $150 a month wasn't a challenge for them to commit to. This is giving freely, and you know what no one even knows that they are helping.
Let's abolish the principle of "Quid pro quo."