Commerce is about meeting needs. According to some experts, the number one need people have is the need for significance. People are desperate to feel they are significant, that they matter, that their lives count for something.
Did you know that the Ten Commandments actually guard and protect 10 legitimate motivational needs people have?
When you understand what motivates people, you can direct your attention to meeting their motivational needs and secure their cooperation in the process. When you ignore those needs, you can quite unintentionally create resistance to your ideas, product or service.
Because man’s basic motivational needs are protected by his adherence to the Ten Commandments, we can easily identify which ones are unmet and/or important to others and seek to meet them within the parameters of our legitimate sphere of influence.
Take for example, the first commandment…
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” It actually protects man’s legitimate need for significance, because true significance can only come from knowing God. No substitutes, or other gods, will work!
We tend to derive our significance or lack thereof from where we get our identity. If we understand that God created us in His own image, that we are His workmanship, purchased with His blood and that we were created for His pleasure, THAT secures our identity. We are not some random slime ball that evolved out of the muck, despite how some people seem to act like it.
In the marketplace, I look for ways that God, through me, in whatever business transaction I am involved in, can make that person feel significant. When a person feels they are significant to you, they are more likely to do business with you.
Have you ever gone into a store and felt ignored or like you were a bother to the clerk? Compare how that feels to the person who welcomes you to the store and engages you with a warmth that lets you know they value your presence. One makes you feel significant. The other makes you feel invisible.
So how do you genuinely make someone feel significant in business?
For starters, you can look them in the eye, answer all questions honestly, practice full disclosure, go the extra mile, be on time, return all calls promptly and deliver more than you promise. In short, love them as you love yourself.
Do unto them as you would have done unto you. One of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Nashville always remembered my name, got me a table quickly and treated me like I was the only customer in their otherwise crowded restaurant. Although the food was delicious and the service impeccable, part of the attraction was how significant they made me feel.
When we feel significant, we are more likely to give someone repeat business. When you understand this and the other motivational needs protected by the Ten Commandments, you can allow the Lord to meet their needs through your acts of insightful service as you fulfill your side of the business transaction and in the process, let them sense how significant they are to the Lord.