There are really only two ways to pursue your business goals, and only one is characterized by caring.

No caring. The “no caring” business strategy makes everything transactional. This strategy is built on the idea of driving down costs as much as possible and charging the lowest possible price. Eventually everything must be sacrificed on the altar of lowest price. Every transaction, every interaction, needs to be done at an ever-lower cost. Even the customer experience must be sacrificed, because an excellent customer experience necessarily increases costs. And if you know you can’t — or won’t — capture a higher price, then you are prohibited from increasing your costs.

When you hear people complain that no one does good work anymore, that customer service is dead and that no one really cares, what you’re hearing is an observation about many companies’ choice of business strategy. When customers demand products and services that are cheaper and cheaper, they also demand a no-caring strategy.

Many companies have unwittingly chosen this business strategy by choosing to sell on price. By driving toward lowest price, you and your customer are turning the exchange into a transactional one. And transactional exchanges prohibit caring.

Caring. The “caring” business strategy is completely different. This strategy is built on the idea of delighting customers and building fruitful, lasting relationships. It is built on trust. Customers who choose the “caring” strategy gain the promise of receiving something that is worth paying more to obtain. And caring is how that promise is communicated.

It’s caring about manufacture and design. It’s caring about user experience. It’s caring about customer experience. It’s caring about execution. And it’s caring about results. The caring strategy is anything but the lowest-price strategy. Caring takes resources, including time and money. It requires that you hire people who care and build a culture that supports — even insists on — caring. Nothing you do within this model can be transactional.

When you hear people rave about an experience, a product, a service or a sales organization, what they are raving about is this elevated level of caring.

Understand that there is no middle ground between these two poles. Either you are driving toward caring or you will be driven toward not caring.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/