I love those commercials, have you seen them, the ones that discuss “my economy”? They are for some financial or insurance company, I don’t even know which, and they feature a customer touting the virtues of how this company helped them fix “their economy,” the one in “their house.”
I love those commercials because I love the phrase fix “my economy.” I think it is brilliant. Because at the end of the day isn’t that what we are worried about, trying to find the best solutions and ideas to get our economy moving again?
So what do you need to do to get your economy moving, to get things back on track and pointing in a positive direction? Well, based on the research and interviews I did for my new book, Winning In The Trust & Value Economy: A Guide To Business and Sales Success, here are the top 5:
Embrace Reality – Face it, it would be great if someone would ride in on a white horse, or wave a magic wand, or click their heels three times and this economy would get back on track. But in reality, let me be the first to say, “That ain’t gonna happen!” No one else is going to fix this economy, because the truth is this economy can’t be fixed. Why? The reality is that it is not broken; it is changing.
Our society, our culture, is literally going through an economic shift — a transition so to speak. A transition that is bringing about extreme change, and a whole new way of doing business. Making this change is, to say the least, difficult. We are creatures of habit, and even if we know that change is good, we still resist it. Even when we know it is inevitable, we still fight it. Even if we know the change would bring about better results, we still struggle with transition.
So if you want to succeed in this economy, your first step is to embrace your new reality. Understand that times are different, things have changed, and you need to learn the new rules. You need to pay attention to what your customers want, what employees expect, and what your customers are up to.
Focus on Values – Welcome to the age of integrity, and the economy where what you do is as important, if not more important, than what you say. As a professional, CEO or business owner, you need to know who you are and what you stand for in order to attract, retain and truly deepen client relationships.
Today’s consumers want and expect more. They only have to Google to find the products or services they want. So consumers need something more compelling to make them buy, something more powerful to make them part with their money, and that something is trust and value.
Today’s consumers are looking for companies and people they can build relationships with; those they can trust. Developing trust is a long process that can only be built through consistent, positive interaction between the customer and the company. So as companies and professionals, the only way to ensure your customer receives positive, consistent interaction is to create a culture steeped in values.
Build Your Image – White noise! If you asked me why most marketing dollars are being wasted and advertising messages are getting lost I would have to say white noise. There is just too much of it out there these days, and consumers are overwhelmed with too much information. Not only can we not hear it, we are definitely not listening. If you want to succeed in today’s Trust & Value Economy, you have to get above the fray, you have to stand out, and you have to be anything but white noise.
Now, before I upset all my marketing and advertising friends, please let me say that marketing and advertising are still important, if not critical, to success. It is just not enough. You have to do more to get above the white noise. The only way to do that is to build your image, establish your reputation, and get people talking about you. You have to stop pushing messages out, and start pulling your customers in.
In the Trust & Value Economy you cannot survive on only those customers you go out and get; you need customers coming to you. By investing in building your image and creating your reputation, you can actually drive customers to you, piquing their interest to come calling on you rather than you always calling on them.
Invest In Relationships – We have all heard it said time and time again: relationships are the new currency. While this has always been true, it has never been truer than in this economy. The more people you know, the more people who know you, and the more people you help, the more successful you are going to be.
Success today takes time. Consumers are tired of getting hit with sales people worried about making goal and pushing to make a sale. They are looking for that professional or business owner who truly wants to invest in helping them become successful. Again, that takes time.
If you want to stand out in the Trust & Value Economy, then invest in building relationships. Get to know your clients; who they are; what is important to them and what both their critical needs and long term goals are. Find ways to help them be successful. Make connections and create opportunities for them and their employees. To stand out in this economy, you need to invest in relationships, and be committed to give with no expectation of return. The professional who invests in relationships is the professional people talk about, and the one who is memorable.