Mr. Coleman Lee Finkel is the perfect example of a relationship builder that knows exactly what his customers want, provides it, and enjoys his life as a business leader. At 72 (in 1992) he started the Coleman Center, a conferencing center in Midtown Manhattan, built on the understanding and research of what makes a perfect environment for meetings.
(Continue ... A Business as the Study of Customer Desires)
In America, too often older executives discount their own ideas and knowledge. I think this happen because of our youth oriented culture. However, I find our senior population has a keen understanding of humanistic details necessary for strong and sustainable business relationships.
I'm involved in various organizations with average age of membership well over 59 years old-- perhaps this is why I respect their knowledge. Many of my mentors have thirty or more years in their field. Unfortunately, I see a constant push for younger members as if what they have isn't valuable enough. Are you pushing the same way in your company?
In most non-European cultures, elders are in a position to offer guidance and development of the younger population. This practice is highly valuable and often overlooked in more "modern" societies. [While socioeconomic and other issues may be the case, my emphasis is the trend to say, "out with the old, in with the new" when it comes to members of an organization.]
Granted people of any classification are at various levels of value, and there are those who haven't learned from their experiences in all age groups-- as far as business relationships are concerned, senior level staff hold a greater chance of already experiencing or knowing what is necessary for your company to win the customers you desire.
Mixed teams of young and old work best-- but before you even think of putting someone out to pasture for their age, consider the experience value you will lose! Invite leaders in your field to consult your organization, even into their 70's and 80's when possible. Respect their inputs while honoring the knowledge they hold and your business will grow.
You'll be surprised in what you find. The mind knows no age, and people have the capacity for knowledge at all ages. Things really haven't changed that much, human nature is consistent over time-- even when technology changes around us. When was the last time you really understand how things used to be?
Albert Camus. "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." [Quotes of the Day]
How much effort does your company put into being like your competitors? It seem so many organizations try to hard to keep up with those around them, and don't actually produce any new innovation of their own. Do you really want to keep up with someone who's likely trying to be like you?
Things you can do to be different so that you attract more profitable customers:
Professional business isn't high school, it's okay to be different. If you're just like everyone else, how can you provide a unique value that customers want? Couldn't you use that "keeping up" energy to provide unique value that customers would buy?