When Your Values Are Baked Into Your Value Proposition
At SxSW this year, I enjoyed a deep conversation with Dave Fleet @DaveFleet about the new offer that Terry St. Marie (@Starbucker) and I are launching. I was telling him how we’re applying the SOBCon models and masterminds method to build high-performance leadership influence teams who
- guide their decision making with high loyalty customer values and a high ROI value proposition.
- get to innovative ideas through that balanced customer-company foundation.
- can make that innovation reality through influence — by showing the benefit of doing it to peer employees, senior managers, and customers
Needless to say I was quite passionate. I’ve been working on getting this enterprise offer exactly right for about 3 years.
Then Dave said something like this to me, “So who will be your key market? I would think that with so many companies in Chicago you might never have to leave.”
I said, “My market will be people, like you, who get what I’m saying as quickly as you did.”
Be a Magnet Not a Missionary
What being in an emerging market like social media and building an event like SOBCon has taught me is that I’d rather be a magnet than a missionary.
According to Dictionary.com, a missionary is “a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.” He or she has to educate, evangelize, relay information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs.
A missionary considers every person in a given group or location a possible client and thus, has to turn disinterested folks, nonbelievers, and skeptics into converts. The very nature of disinterested, nonbelieving, and skeptical folks is that they don’t value or trust what the missionary does. They aren’t likely to pay for what they didn’t want, don’t trust, and didn’t value from the start.
The missionary has to offer a new belief system that gives disinterested folks, nonbelievers, and skeptics a reason to want to convert. At the same time that missionary has to establish a relationship of trust and communicate the value of his or her work. If the missionary succeeds, it’s a sale, but that’s only the first battle. Converts don’t always stay converted especially in times of stress. When a crisis occurs or difficult decision crops up, the missionary has to do the conversion work over again.
A magnet has a much easier time. According to the World Dictionary, a magnet is a person or thing that exerts a great attraction. We find people who think in the same ways we do attractive and smart (and those who don’t think as we do are less attractive because they seem to be not so smart or are being difficult.)
When we have an offer we believe in our bones that we can deliver with highest standards to the benefit of the people we serve, the folks who understand their needs and value what we offer will recognize it immediately. No conversion necessary. If you take the magnet metaphor seriously, it’s our unlike poles — our solution to their need — that forms the true bond. However it’s the magnetic field of immediately clear communication, like values, aligned standards and goals that attracts the ones that fit and repels those that don’t.
A magnetic person only shares his or her offer with people he or she respects and trusts. When someone of value joins the conversation it’s easy to mention there’s a new offer and let the other person open the door. Then the conversation isn’t about conversion or education, it’s an invitation. The magnet can learn more about the valued friend’s needs and goals, and the valued friend can learn more about what the offer is. The trust and open communication leads to a variety of connections that might be moving forward on that offer, new introductions and referrals, or entirely new ideas that spark in the moment.
If you have to convince or convert someone to work with you, you’ll be convincing and converting every time you make a decision. If you have to explain why what you do is valuable and worth the price more than once, move on.
It’s easier, faster, more meaningful to be a magnet. And the people attracted to what you do actually value your work. A magnet starts with a bond of trust that a missionary doesn’t. The client who values and trusts you will value your work and trust your decisions. That’s why the client who doesn’t value and trust you is always more work (and never worth the price of admission no matter where you set it.)
Is your business thinking like a magnet or a missionary?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
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