If you are in business and doing the same thing, the same way as everyone else, you are very likely getting the same results. At best, you are doing marginally better than your competition … is that what you really want?
So what does it take to stand out and get better results?
You have essentially 3 options:
- Innovate better and more often
- Be operationally super-efficient
- Care more than anyone else
Although Innovation is exciting and makes good conversation at a cocktail party, it’s got to be the hardest of your 3 choices. Unless you have a brilliant idea already brewing, and an itch you can’t ignore, then move on. There are easier ways to stand out and faster ways to get there.
Efficiency doesn’t have the same glam-factor as Innovation, but it can be extremely effective. Before you fully commit to this strategy, get very clear on your business offer. Identify where Efficiency will have a big impact on your long-term success and results. Efficiency will always improve your margins - that’s just smart business. BUT, if you want to be different and get better results, design your processes to make you and your business stand out from the crowd.
So how can Caring make you different? In short, it can’t. What will make you different is that you care more than your clients. You care more than they do that they are getting results from your work with them. I’m not referring to half-decent results that satisfy, but rather exceptional results that force them to take notice. Most businesses today are on auto-pilot …give your clients what they want and everyone succeeds and is happy. That’s not actually true! If you give your clients what they want, they will only stay with you until they find someone who is willing to give them more than they want. Someone who cares enough to notice their quirky needs (that they often aren’t even aware of) and make them feel like they are the most important client they have.
Ask yourself these questions to gauge how much you care:
- If I were my own client, would I knock my socks off and feel a need to refer everyone I know? (Be brutally honest with yourself!)
- Am I more focused on client value and revenues OR client elation?
- Do I develop my client relationships even when there are no obvious additional revenues?
- Do I continually improve my client experience and find ways to increase client intimacy?
In a world where companies have been “corporate professionals”, the value of honest, human and down-to-earth business has been lost.
Remember, your clients are people. Real people with real emotions and real problems that they want help solving. Real people who want to feel important. Real people who want something to be excited about.
Give it to them …be real. Be vulnerable. Be human…and you will be different.
Sincerity, above all, makes success stick.