If you ask most business owners and managers what the deepest purpose of their business is, they will probably all say it is to make money and profits.
I think this is a huge mistake. Here’s why …
Over the years, I have read the biographies of some of the world’s great Entrepreneurs. People such as Richard Branson, Duncan Bannatyne and the late Anita Roddick. In the books they write a lot about what creates their success. When you do this, something surprising soon becomes apparent: The prime driving force behind their success is not the desire to make money. It is certainly one of the driving forces but it is not the prime driving force.
That might sound surprising – but think of it this way. At the time of writing this, Microsoft has around 57 billion dollars in cash reserves in the bank. 57 BILLION DOLLARS. Cash just sitting there waiting to be spent. Do you honestly think that the prime motivating factor that gets Bill Gates out of bed in the morning is the desire to make some more money? Of course not.
Here’s what really drives all these people. At some level, it is a deep desire to make a real difference in the lives of the people they reach. To impact them in some way. To make a real difference. Don’t get me wrong, Gates and Branson and co love money. They love profits, but they’re also smart enough to know that it was their passion for making a difference that brought in those profits in the first place.
What’s this got to do with your business success? Everything. Let me explain by using my experience as an example. When I discovered what I’ve just been discussing, it literally changed my business life. Here’s how:
I’m well known for showing fitness club owners how to substantially increase their profits using a combination of Advanced sales and marketing strategies. But I used to have a bizarre problem in promoting my own services. The problem was that people simply did not believe it was possible for them to increase profits by 50% or 100% or more. I had spent many years and thousands of pounds learning the most powerful marketing and sales success strategies in the world for fitness businesses. I was able to work with owners and managers and achieve ‘remarkable’ results.
Still something was not right. Then, one day, it finally clicked.
I decided, literally overnight to shift my emphasis totally. I decided to stop selling and start giving. If you can understand this paradox, then this is your lucky day.
I made the prime purpose of my business to give, give, give.
To add incredible value to the lives of people that I came into contact with. I gave everyone who was interested tons of great information on how to grow their business. I sent them information in the post. I emailed them. I chatted to them on the phone. Some became clients, some didn’t. It really didn’t matter because I knew I was making a difference. I stopped forever the “I can grow your business and solve your marketing problems – Why don’t you become my client” pitch. Within a few days people started contacting me asking me to work with them.
What had changed? Instead of trying to convince people that I could give them the knowledge that could solve their marketing problems – I just started giving them the knowledge anyway and let them decide for themselves. I switched my focus from what I wanted to what they wanted.
I learnt some profound lessons. The first is that in business, as in life, giving is a great experience. The second was that most businesses wait until a client or customer gives them money before they start adding value to that customer’s life. Now I say ‘Why wait’ Start adding value now and believe me, the customers will come to you.
So here’s my very strong suggestion to you. Take this concept and try it out in your business for ten days and see what happens. It’s the most powerful business growth concept on earth – and yet it will cost you absolutely nothing. Decide for the next ten days that the prime purpose of your business is to add incredible value to the lives of your customers. For a few days, forget about the struggle for money and profits. Forget about you and just focus on them. Step into their shoes and do whatever you can to enhance the quality of their lives.
- Surprise them.
- Shock them.
- Make them laugh.
- Give them something they weren’t expecting for free.
- Brighten up their day.
- Send them a gift.
Anything that lets them know that their well-being is your top priority.
The result is that you will differentiate yourself so massively from the mass of mediocrity out there, I think you may be surprised and quite possibly stunned at the results.
The phrase ‘win-win’ is very over used these days, but if you are willing to give it a go, this strategy is true win-win. Your customers get an amazing and unprecedented experience from being in your presence and your working day becomes a blast because everyone who interacts with you enjoys your company.
My basic message here is that maybe we’ve got it all wrong. We’re so immersed in working out how to increase sales and grow our businesses, in how to improve our own lives – we’re missing the obvious way to do it – and it’s right in front of you. The irony is that if there is a secret to your success it is to stop worrying about your success and start thinking about the success of your customers and potential customers. Pay attention to their problems, their needs. Go out of your way to make their lives easier, to put a bit of joy into their lives. Will the occasional one still treat you badly? Sure but who cares. The majority will be simply stunned by the way you are so different from the masses.
Think of it in terms of this email. Around a thousand people will receive this message today. 50% wont have read this far because they’d sooner go and have a cigarette. Of the 50% who’ve read this far, probably 8 out of 10 will go off and think about it and may make a small change to their business as a result. I may never hear from them in my life .but that’s great. 400 people who we may have impacted with one simple email.
The 100 people remaining will be really struck by the thinking behind all this. They’ll hit reply and send me a nice message. How cool is that. 100 messages from people who think I’m a genius!!
Of those hundred, a handful will have reached the point in their business where they realise it’s finally time to solve that big marketing problem or take their business to the next level.
All from just giving. It’s a great way of doing business. Actually it’s a wonderful way of doing business. Have you any idea what it’s like to wake up in the morning and know that you’re going to make a difference to people’s lives? – and there’s no getting out of this if you’ve got a ‘boring’ job. I’ve seen train guards brighten up people’s day, widget sellers who take such an interest in their customers’ lives that their monthly sales soar. Because guess what, this philosophy doesn’t just make you more successful – it can totally transform the quality of your working life.Because even if you regard your job as mundane or boring, the purpose of you going to work has now shifted from ‘paying the mortgage’ or whatever, to enhancing the lives of the people around you. So if this message has meant anything to you, please take action now.