I was recently reading an article related to a sports figure and it stated that all he wanted to do was continue his career and end his career playing for the team that he is currently with. He ended up signing a 5 year deal that will pay him in excess of $10mm a year to stay with his team. The contract negotiations took several months to work out but had nothing to do with money; the issue was all about longevity. The player’s agent wanted to make sure that the player and his club would remain inseparable for “life”. To further drive this point home, they had a HUGE buy-out clause should either party wish to breach the loyalty. Thus, the "Loyalty Contract" was agreed to.
This brings me to the question that I present to our readers… How do we get to where we are negotiating Loyalty instead of Dollars? “I will continue to do business with you and I will continue to pay you what you have adequately priced your product/service for but I will only do this under the following conditions:
· You must remain loyal to me
· You must care for my needs as your product/service states it can do
· You must continue to show value in this relationship
· You must put me and your employees first in your decision making process.
If you do this, I will remain loyal to you and welcome the signing of a “Loyalty Contract”.
The benefits to you for signing this Loyalty Contract with me, the customer, are profound:
· I will tell all my friends and colleagues about this
· I will bring you into other areas of my life where you can have an impact
· I will stay with you through the tough times
· I will assist you in evolving your offering by sharing my customer insights
But it should also be known that if you break this loyalty to me in any way, my behaviors will be the polar opposite of those previously stated. Over time, my ability to negatively impact your business will bring you to your knees. All I ask is that you stick to the Loyalty Contract and all will be good.
1. Would your company be better or worse off if your clients were held to a Loyalty Contract?
2. Would your company be better or worse off if you were held to a Loyalty Contract by your clients?
Vice President – Strategic Accounts