(Time to read this insightful Blog article is about 2.5 minutes)
‘All businesses sell stuff…great businesses are on a mission to improve the human condition in some significant way!’
Two questions that I’m constantly asked by coaching clients and folks attending my management Keynotes and Workshops are:
- ‘How do I generate more customer loyalty?’
- ‘How do I attract, engage and motivate a top-performing team?’
Committing to a clear and significant purpose for your business that grabs your target customers, turns them into fans and attracts and engages a top-performing team is a great place to start. A significant purpose will attract and inspire customers, staff and key influencers.
So, looking at question #1 above, how can you make a difference in your customers’ lives in a way that increases customer loyalty and profitability? How can you deliver more functional, emotional and financial value? How can you coach them to wisely choose and effectively use the products and services you sell? Everyone is looking for a ‘Caring Coach’ in every part of their business and personal lives.
How could you brighten each customer’s day with simple acts of kindness, joy and gratitude? It may sound corny, but that alone could be significant in many people’s day. Whatever you sell, people come to you for that, plus joy! Never underestimate the power of joy.
There’s a simple 3-step process for creating a clear and compelling customer purpose.
- First, define yourself by how you help your target customers. Most businesses make the mistake of defining themselves by what they sell…and their focus is on their need to sell more. I remember years ago being at a big Gift Show Trade Fair and complimenting the CEO of one of the industry’s largest suppliers on how beautifully laid out and inspiring his Booth was. His reply was, “I just hope the s_ _t sells and people pay their bills.” Wow, bitterness and cynicism are not a significant purpose.
When you define yourself by how you help your target customers, your focus is on helping more. Ultimately, you’ll sell more by helping more. People are tired of being sold. They want to be helped. And they want to be uplifted and appreciated.
To define yourself by how you help, complete this simple template below:
“We’re in the business of helping…
a) Whom (describe your target customers),
b) Located where (the geographic area you choose to serve),
c) To do what (what are they really trying to do when they buy and use what you sell)?
- Next, make a list of all the help your target customers need in any way related to having an extraordinary, stress-free and uplifting experience while wisely choosing, understanding, effectively using, maintaining, transporting, storing or disposing of what you sell. Your customers need a lot of help so the list will be lengthy. Keep adding to it as you develop new customer insights.
For more insight into what kind of help your target customers need, ask this question: When folks are choosing, understanding, using, maintaining, transporting, storing or disposing of what we sell…
a) What are they really trying to do?
b) What do they need or want to know about us and what we sell?
c) How do they want to feel?
d) About how much do they expect to pay?
- Finally, Step #3, get creative and determine how you’ll deliver some of that help so wonderfully that you become the ‘wise choice’ for your target customers. And don’t try to be the ‘wise choice’ for everyone. It’s not possible. It will drive you nuts and you’ll go broke.
Next, how can creating your significant purpose help attract, engage and motivate your staff? Well, first off, people don’t have to be motivated to do something they believe in and are passionate about! Look at all the things your staff accomplish on the weekend…for no money!
They coach soccer, baseball or hockey, run 15 kilometers to raise money for some charity, serve as president of their local Garden Club, organize a neighbourhood fireworks display or spend 3 years building a model train set in their basement. When people are truly inspired, they don’t have to be motivated.
Do your people see only a job with a company that ‘flogs’ stuff, or do they see a company on an important mission that they’re inspired by and proud to be part of? Does everyone on your team know how what your business does, when you do it wonderfully, makes a real difference in people’s lives?
And, do they understand the financial and personal cost to customers and the stress you cause in people’s lives or customers businesses when you screw up? Does everyone on your team know why their specific job matters in the overall delivery of your significant purpose? Do they get thanked on a regular basis for making a difference? Surveys show that the #1 reason employees stop trying is that they believe they don’t make a difference.
Another significant purpose would be to encourage and help everyone on your team become the best they can be. This might start by sitting down with each employee and asking them what they’d like to be doing in their career and their lives in 3 to 5 years and how can the company help them accomplish this? You want their help in getting the sales, customer retention and bottom line that you want. Wouldn’t it be fair to help them get some of what they want?
Every business should also be committed to a significant purpose for their community and for the environment. These, properly done and effectively communicated, will also improve customer engagement and staff commitment. What might that look like in your business?
So, how can these insights inspire and guide you to create a clear and significant purpose for your business? There’s a growing global movement of businesses that are committed to ‘doing well by doing good’.
For more info about booking Donald to deliver his bottom-line management and marketing insights at a Management Conference or Corporate Event…or to discus our how he can help you create a clear and compelling purpose for your business, contact us at 1-416-252-3703 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org in Toronto, Canada.