Monday, 9 February 2009

Learning from "Daisy": What a Cow Can Teach You About Relationships

I read an interesting article on Discovery News the other day titled "Cows with Names Make More Milk".

According to this research cows with names produce up to 5% more milk. This equates to about an extra litre of milk per day.

You see even cows don't like to be treated like individuals and as though they have a bar-code tattooed to their udders. However, it's not so much the naming of a cow that leads to an increase in milk production but the fact that cows with names tend to be cows that farmers talk to. When farmers talk to cows it tends to calm them and this makes them more productive.

One of the drawbacks of farm automation is that, while it may make a farm more efficient, it can result in loss of productivity. And we can learn a lot from this research. Our lives are also becoming increasingly automated. And while we are communicated to on an unprecedented level, we often fail at developing meaningful connections. This is part of the allure of social media networks and those who are most successful at networking are those who have fine-tuned the art of connecting.

For instance, did you know that one of the greatest compliments you can pay another individual is to simply refer to them by name. Yet so many people fail to do this very simple thing in their day-to-day interactions with other individuals.

I saw "The Devil Wears Prada" for the first time last night (I know, I'm way behind the times). In this movie, the ruthless and brilliant Miranda Priestly, beautifully played by Meryl Streep, calls all of her junior assistants "Emily" thereby effectively robbing them of their identity. In fact, when Miranda Priestly calls an assistant by their real name it's a sign that they are performing well in their duties - not an easy feat as the boss is so demanding.

However, one does wonder at what a difference it would have made to the morale and performance of her team if the powerful Miranda Priestly relented somewhat, called her assistants by name and even spent a little time interacting with them. Those able to endure her tough command were certainly loyal but indications were that she went through quite a few assistants. They turned out to be "disappointing".

So do you know your clients and customers by name? Do you address your clients and customers by name when you talk to them? You'd be amazed at what a difference this can make. The more you're able to develop the connection between you and your clients the more likely they are to stay with you. Simply knowing and using your customers name can make a difference to your bottom line. And it's such an easy thing to do.


No comments:

Post a Comment