Among leaders and employees alike I speak with every week, loyalty isn’t a buzzword in the office. In fact, for just about everyone I talk with, it’s a non-negotiable.

Especially in today’s work climate, where the average time spent at a job is lower than ever, loyalty matters. And it’s rewarded. So why would your customers want anything different?

Loyalty is part of the foundation of trust, and trust plays a huge role in making sales. Your job, whether you’re coaching or selling directly, is to improve the lives of your customers, but you won’t sell anything until you prove your loyalty to them first.

Every great empire has a code, and every great leader has virtues that helped them grow their empire. This code will help you take your home building company and turn it into a time-honored empire.

Just a few decades after Japan’s warrior class was abolished, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt raved about a newly released book entitled Bushido: The Soul of Japan. Author Nitobe Inazo interprets the samurai code of behavior: how chivalrous people should act in their personal and professional lives.

Within this code, there are seven virtues that people followed in order to level-up their lives. And I know that these virtues will change your life. They will allow you to unleash a better version of yourself, both professionally and personally. The virtue that I’m going to tell you about today is loyalty, one of the most important virtues of bushido.

Loyalty is one of the traits that people say is important to them in relationships, be it romantic, friendship, business, or otherwise. Yet some of us don’t make it a priority or give that quality enough credit. Research shows that loyalty leads to feelings of security, which leads to better communication and deeper bonds.

You can be great at your job, but if you aren’t loyal to your customer or have a reputation of the stereotypical “shady salesperson”, it is much harder to grow and profit for the work you do.

When you work to find the best solutions for your customer, your shared vision propels you towards a single goal, but loyalty is the glue that keeps everyone together when things get tough. Uncertainty exists all around us every day, but especially in the homebuilding business. No matter what curveballs are thrown, your loyalty needs to remain with your customer so they can trust that you will guide them to what will give them their best life.

Here are two ways to prove your loyalty and integrity to your customer. These may connect with you right away, or they may connect more over time, but both will help build your reputation as a leader who inspires respect and loyalty.

1. Be honest with your opinions

As your customer’s guide, you have a responsibility to tell the truth that needs to be told – when it needs to be told. In sales, honesty isn’t just necessary - it’s urgent. You have a responsibility not to avoid truth or postpone it just because you’re uncomfortable. Your goal is to improve the life of your customer, and you can’t do that without honesty.

2. Listen before you sell.

Now we know that the strongest loyalty is when your customer sees you as their guide, not their salesperson. Take the time to listen to their concerns, and work with them to find the best possible solutions. The best way to build customer loyalty is to give them a shared purpose. If you can do that, you’ll drive profitability like crazy.

The decisions your customers are making are constantly being controlled by the emotional processor in their brain, not the analytical one. It’s being controlled by feelings of loyalty, trust and dialogue. It’s not being controlled by your features, or your company history.

Loyalty is more than just telling people why your company was formed, or about why people love your best features. It’s about giving them certainty that you’ll be there when they need something done. It’s about keeping the sale sold by providing them so much value that they’re ruined for anyone else. They can only choose you going forward.

So be the emotional need your customer’s missing, and you’ll have their loyalty for life. The key is to find it.