“It is enjoyable to make things visible which are invisible.”
– Eric Cantona
A couple of years ago I was doing some work for a company that didn’t fully understand their own business.
Sure, things were rolling along and the day to day operations were functioning. But they weren’t leveraging their strengths. They didn’t really know what their strength was.
After some time I’d come to understand that while they were in the business of selling products they didn’t have a specific “style” or “message” to project.
I had to start looking at their past. Delving into the history of the company and trying to see what they could use or if a theme would pop up. Nothing much jumped out at me. There was an old, retired slogan that could prove useful but that was about it.
Finally I took a look at their customers trying to suss out why people were even bothering coming in. All of a sudden a theme emerged.
They were always praising the company for going the extra mile when it came to educating them about not only the products but also the content. Explaining why there were things that were there and why certain things weren’t.
Also, they were very open and said things like, “You shouldn’t buy this or that because…”
When you’re truly listening and are willing to discourage people from buying things when you know it’s not in their best interest, there’s a tremendous amount of trust being built.
You’re treating them as an individual and taking their needs into consideration. People felt like they were being seen and heard. As an added bonus they got the products they needed, not just getting sold to.
Once this became clear I explained to them, “Your strength isn’t selling products. Your strength is selling knowledge.”
I went on to tell them what their customers had said and explain ways in which they could leverage that in their marketing and educating new recruits on their values and practices.
A while back I happened to meet one of their newer employees. After chatting a while he told me, “You know, our strength isn’t selling products. It’s selling knowledge.”
I couldn’t help but smile.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!