(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

 

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “A major challenge for many family businesses is that the parents can’t teach their kids how to run the business because they (the parents) don’t know how to run it themselves…and, on top of that, they’re usually not good teachers and coaches.” 
    …Donald Cooper.
     
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    2 weeks annual vacation simply doesn’t cut it anymore.   
     
    ‘Vacation time allowed’ is a  major factor in attracting and retaining top performers, but many businesses still stick with the old 2 weeks of annual vacation for the first 5 years of employment…and then 3 week’s vacation for each of the next 5 years. They’re completely out of touch with the reality of employee expectations and lifestyles these days. 
     
    North America is way behind other countries on this. In Australia, employees are entitled to 4 weeks off per year, but it’s common to receive 5-6 weeks of vacation.  In Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, the mandatory minimum is also 4 weeks of paid vacation.
     
    In Sweden and France, employees are entitled to a minimum of 25 days (5 weeks) of paid vacation.
     
    How does your vacation policy need to be changed to make you congruent with the ‘work-life balance’ realities of your target and current employees?
     
  3. The world’s most beautiful countries. According to the online trip-planning company, Rough Guides, New Zealand is the world’s most beautiful country, followed by Italy, Canada, Switzerland and France.   We’ve been to New Zealand a few times and it is magnificent.  It should be on your List.
     
    For the complete List of the top 20 most beautiful countries, Click Here.
     
  4. Are you safe from data breeches and cyber criminals? Home Depot has been hit with 2 cyber attacks.  In the first one the personal data on 50 million customers was exposed and on the 2nd one the names, work emails and user names of 10,000 employees were hacked.
     
    London Drugs, a chain of 80 retail pharmacies in Western Canada, was recently hit by cyber criminals who demanded a $25 million ransom.  The company refused to pay and closed all 80 stores for a week to get their systems under control.
     
    What precautions are you taking to protect your business, your customers and your Team?  
     
  5. Walmart introduces Drone Delivery. Walmart is now offering Drone Delivery to serve 75% of the Dallas-Fort Worth market.  The drones carry up to 10 lbs and there’s a $3.99 charge for drone delivery.

 

The truth about why people buy:

 

You could fill a large room with all the books ever written on the subject of why people buy, why they don’t buy and what they really want when they do buy. Most of these books over-complicate the subject. The simple truth is that people buy ‘stuff’ (including whatever you sell), in every part of their business and their personal lives for one reason only…to make some of their stress go away.

That’s it!  Whatever product, service or experience you sell, people buy your ‘stuff’ to reduce some physical or emotional stress in their lives.  Therefore, our real job and, in fact, our only value is to be a stress remover. People give us money and we make some of their stress go away. That’s the deal.

Here’s a quick reality check from your own life experience. When’s the last time, when you were being a customer, that the business to whom you gave some of your hard-earned money actually gave you more stress than you had before you gave them your money?  Did you think that this was compelling value?  Could you hardly wait to give them more of your money so that they could give you more stress?  No, this is ‘goofy’…and ‘goofy is a technical term for ‘stupid’!

So, what is ‘stress’ anyway?  ‘Stress’ is any physical or emotional factor that causes that causes tension, pressure or pain.  Examples of physical stress are disease, injury, hunger, exhaustion and pain.  Emotional stresses include confusion, fear or anxiety about money, technology, security, status, time, appearance, failure or relationships.  In our western society, generally, people have less physical stress than ever before…but more emotional stress.

When it comes to buying what you sell, stress is a ‘pull – push’ phenomenon. There are stresses in people’s lives or business that pull or attract them to buying what you sell…and then there are also stresses that might prevent them from buying what you sell, or from buying it specifically from you. 

To understand your customers and your business in a whole new way, here’s a valuable little exercise that’s well worth doing.  Sit down for one hour with a small group of your brightest and most caring people. Think and feel like a customer and answer these three questions…

  1. What are the physical and emotional stresses in our target customers’ lives that attract them to buy what we sell?
  2. What physical or emotional stresses might be preventing them from buying what we sell, or from buying it specifically from us?
  3. What stresses do we create for our prospects or customers that could prevent them from doing business with us…or doing business with us again?

Once you understand what stresses are ‘attracting’ or ‘preventing’ your target customers, get creative.  How can you create and deliver more compelling value and reinvent your customer experience to become the clear ‘wise choice’ for your target customers? 

Then, how can you rethink your marketing to creatively emphasize the stresses that attract people to what you sell and how you’ll make that stress go away.  And how can you boldly eliminate the stress ‘preventors’ that could be keeping them from buying what you sell…or buying it specifically from you? 

Here’s a real-life example to show you how powerful this process can be.  One of our clients, a very successful travel agency, addressed the three questions above and came up with hundreds of insights, one of which was that ‘fear of flying’ could be a stress that’s preventing some people from becoming customers of their travel agency. 

One of his staff came up with the idea of offering a Seminar on this subject with the help of a local psychologist.  They promoted the event with the help of local radio, TV and newspapers.  It attracted many new clients; they now offer the course twice each year…and the media coverage has helped make them ‘famous’ in their community!

So, how will you use this simple truth about why people buy to improve your value proposition, your customer experience and your marketing effectiveness to increase sales and profitability in your business?  If you need help with this, I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com

 

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 

 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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