By David Lyons, Marketing Planning and Pricing Manager, Xerox Enterprise Business Group

The key to business and life is creating value for your business partners, family and friends. Trust me, your thought process changes from an inward focus to a creative opportunity and problem-solving focus, which leads to a more rewarding relationship. You start to think, “How can I create happiness for others?”  However, the slam dunk of value creation is creating emotional value.

Emotional value begins with a special personal connection. If you can create emotional value in your business and personal relationships through storytelling and delivering on your promise, your business and personal relationships will grow exponentially. It’s something I believe in and it works for me.Winning shot in the basketball hoop

Let’s study an amazing story about growing value exponentially. Jeremy Lin is a recent example of someone who created emotional value, in his case, for the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its fans. The NBA could not have asked for a better feel-good story after the strike-shortened season.  Consider his journey:

  • A humble Harvard graduate whose lifetime ambition is to become a minister.
  • He’s the 15th man on the New York Knicks, and they are thinking about cutting him.
  • He is sleeping on his brothers couch at night because he doesn’t have job security.  (He was recently cut by two other teams).
  • The Knicks are having a losing season and several top players are injured.
  • The coach is in the hot seat.  He decides to play Jeremy, who finally gets his chance.
  • Jeremy delivers beyond anyone’s expectations, making NBA history.
  • Jeremy breaks the NBA record for the most points scored in their first six starts.  (More than Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James!)
  • Linsanity” erupts around the world.
  • The fans  are waving handmade signs and cheering his every point like it is the winning shot.   They feel the emotion of the underdog.
  • A triumph of the heart, body and soul.  It makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck, and gives you chills just thinking about it.

A Lesson For Business

As a basketball fan, I can’t wait to see Jeremy Lin play again.  This is the way you want your customers to feel about your encounters with them and your business offerings.  You want them to feel like they can’t wait to see you again. Set a vision and inspire them to improve their business.  Make their lives simpler and secure.  Help them increase their cash flow by improving revenue cycle time.  You are a trusted advisor; a warm blanket in the world of business filled with gimmicks looking for a quick buck.  If you create emotional value for your customers, they will be jumping out of their skin to see you, just like a fan watching Jeremy Lin play. Why?

If you know your customers’ pains, challenges and aspirations, you can step up and enable them to deliver the winning three point shot. You help solve their problems  by listening and innovating, which creates a value gain based on your unique perspective and offering.  They are emotionally attached and they will pay more for your business.  They know you will deliver a “Lin.”  As a result of being customer focused, your business will grow exponentially.

Take the first step by creating happiness for a customer, family member or friend.  Give someone confidence, hope and courage to improve their life today. Tell them a true story that touches the mind, body and soul as motivation to create a positive change.  In the end, that will create emotional value. Today, turn a loss into a “LIN.”