There’s a lot of love in the month of December. We spend time with our loved ones during holiday dinners and extended breaks from work and school. We exchange gifts with those we love. And then there’s the underlying theme of the Christmas holiday. But have you ever stopped to think about the role of love in business?

Admittedly, it wasn’t a subject I had given much thought, until I heard the keynote speech by Steve Farber at Trimble Dimensions ( in Las Vegas. Farber, president of Extreme Leadership Inc. and founder of the Extreme Leadership Institute (, believes love is an essential part of a successful business. “There is no correlation between customer satisfaction and repeat business because satisfaction is baseline,” he said. “When they love us, that’s when all the good stuff happens.”

According to Farber, having clients who love what you do for them gives you a competitive advantage. He said business leaders should strive to create an environment that fosters a love for people and creates a personal connection to the work that is done every day. His formula for success is simple: “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”

He challenged those in the audience to ask themselves a key question: “Why do I love this business, idea, client, etc., and how do I show it?”

Recent discussions I’ve had with surveying professionals support this notion. At Trimble Dimensions, one surveyor commented that his firm had been buying equipment from one manufacturer for the past decade, but when he asked his managers why, they couldn’t say. The surveyor was at Trimble Dimensions to investigate alternatives.

Conversely, another surveyor I spoke to recently was passionate about his firm’s choice of equipment. The instruments are dependable and have always performed well, he said. But more than that is the level of service they’ve received over the years from the manufacturer’s representative--one person who, essentially, does what he loves for people who value his service.

Although both of these discussions focused on products, the principle applies equally to professional services. If we’re honest, most of us aim for client satisfaction. Perhaps some of us seek to exceed our clients’ expectations on every project. But when was the last time we framed our client interactions in the context of love?

Why do you love your clients, and how do you show it? Do they love you in return? These are powerful questions that could change the course of your business.

Wishing you a holiday season filled with love.

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