How many businesses have vanished over the past 50 years? Some of our favorites have ceased to exist because leaders continued to ask the same question about each product: “Does it make money?” As long as that answer is yes, any business should thrive, right? Well, not necessarily. Products can offer healthy profits on paper, but not appeal to customers. Shifting needs in the marketplace have caused the demise of businesses in every industry. Money drains away when customers no longer perceive value.
“Money is the echo of value”
“Money is the thunder to value’s lightning”
— from – Go Givers Sell More
One of the best illustrations of these thoughts was depicted in an old movie called “Miracle on 34th Street!” In the story, Macy and Gimble are in the throes of the gift-buying season. Macy’s Santa Claus begins to send parents to any store, in the city, that has the child’s desired toy. At first, the department store managers are appalled to think of giving away valuable customers. On the other hand, customers are amazed to find that people are more important than money.
How Does This Apply?
In our business, we have the same opportunity to make sure that people who ask questions are able to find the answer that is best for them. We might not make any money when we refer people to another marketer with the perfect product to fill the customer’s need. I see this often when I know that someone has created an excellent training module, or product, that will improve the chances of success.
I do not have to keep track of the number of times that people ask me for an idea. Most of the time, I can find an innovative answer to the question. Those referrals to other marketers have become the basis of interaction for me. I love to talk with people who need ideas and answers. Keeping score does not cross my mind because the objective is to add value.
The False Dilemma
Some people will tell you that you had better look out for number one. What does that really mean? What would happen to all of us if we helped ourselves instead of considering the needs of others? You might be wondering if it’s possible to balance your own needs against the needs of countless other people. Helping others and helping yourself comprise two sides of the same coin. Just because you reach out to others does not mean that you are hurting your own business.
Perspective Guides Decisions
Instead of attempting to add value from my perspective, I listen to what other people are telling me. Where are the questions and gaps in knowledge? Like a metal detector, people will guide you to the treasure. The challenge is to find what other people value and provide those features in your products. You might discover the key to failure in many businesses. What if you could provide the solution that prevents failure? Would you do it?
People listen to the person who has their best interests at heart. For some reason, everyone knows when you are pretending to be interested. I do not know exactly what gives that tendency away, but almost everyone knows a fraud. Your genuine interest in others will be noticeable. You will receive remarkable benefits that you cannot name when you take interest in other people.
Once I figured out that value attracts money, my business became a lot more fun. I wanted to learn the finer points of adding value to every aspect of my business. Time is an excellent teacher when you want to develop each facet of your business for the benefit of your customers. No one can provide the answers to you because your business is unique. Your products and services will meet needs when you are more concerned about your customers than your bank account.
You might ask, “does it make money?” but the more important question is, “does it add value?”
Master those questions and watch your business soar!