The 7th Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery.” Like all the other commandments, the surface, intended meaning is obvious. But what is protected by this commandment? Of course, marriage and the family unit are protected and that is crucial. But there is another, more primal need that we all have which is protected…
The need to be preferred.
On the surface that idea may seem strange or even unbiblical, but hear me out. My wife expects me to prefer her above every other person in my life. More than my mother, my children, my siblings or my friends. She has a right to expect that, and I from her.
I very much like the fact that she prefers me above every other interest except the Lord and I do the same for her. We prefer each other. But even Paul in Romans 12:10 admonishes us to “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another”. It is not only okay to show preference, but it is encouraged. But even in that there are legitimate levels of preference.
As a simple guideline, partiality is when you prefer one person or group of people above another without cause. I prefer my wife above all others. I prefer my children above yours. That’s natural and expected.
The point is that we have a built in need or desire to be preferred. Knowing that is the case and because business at its core is about meeting needs, how do you legitimately meet the need for preference that your prospective client or customer has?
It’s done all the time.
Airlines give frequent flyer miles. Anyone can earn them, but only those with them get the free flights and upgrades. Same is true with hotel chains, sandwich shops, etc. When you frequent an establishment to earn points, a bond of loyalty is easily forged and not quickly broken.
In your business, think of ways to legitimately create and demonstrate preference to your prospects and customers. When you do that, it lays the foundation for loyalty and preference in return. And that my friend is a great basis for growing your business.
Until next time, be fruitful and multiply!
Preference, plus loyalty equates to a good reward, in due season, for those who don’t grow weary in their well doing.
Bob Burg, in his classic book and watershed treatise (i.e, The Go-Giver) told in a parable like story, speaks directly to the principle of preferance.
If you’d be so kind Michael, please call me at your most earliest convenience. ☺