These tips are based on what I’ve observed working with business owners for 25 years and the importance of clients looking for an experience in today’s economy, especially when the products you sell don’t vary significantly from your competition’s. I’ve applied the best things I’ve learned about them to my own business.
1. There are no shortcuts. Financial advisors tend to get obsessed with the idea of needing to find 10, 50 or 100 more clients to be successful. I tell them, “No, you don’t. You need to find one.” Find one single client and create something absolutely remarkable for them.
Creating something remarkable is really, really hard. It’s very easy to create something average. There are no shortcuts. It’s about working hard, being focused and creating something that is worth noticing. In the experience economy , the most dangerous thing you can do is remain invisible. You want to lean forward and ensure absolutely that what you’re creating is something worth noticing and something worth sharing.
2. Know thyself. At the heart of the experience economy are two things. The first is authenticity. And what is authenticity? It’s factored two ways: The first is to be true to yourself, and the second part is how you represent yourself to others. This is a little rule of knowing and being yourself: You cannot have people who love you without having people who hate you. This is fantastic because it means you’re doing something right. If you play it right up the middle, then you’re not creating something remarkable. Instead, you’re creating something safe.
What do you do best? Where are you most lethal? Know yourself and play to your strengths.
3. Never join the race to the bottom. You will always find somebody, somewhere who’s willing to do less. They discount. They cut the price and they confuse us. They think making something cheaper by 25% creates value. That is not so — it just makes it cheaper and easier to buy.
The race to the bottom works for discount airlines and fast food. At the end of the day, though, it’s not meaningful enough.
Conversely, you can’t find too many people willing to join the race to the top. Who are you helping your clients become? People come to you with a pile of assets and insurance needs and questions, and you take it all in. You interpret and organize it, and you give them a plan. You say, “There you go. You’re fixed. You don’t have to worry about this. Just follow the plan and check in regularly.”
People come to you with problems that are the distractions that prevent them from seeing what’s really bothering them and where they really need to go. Never lose sight of the fact that through your work, you can lead people to guided transformations.
Dennis Moseley-Williams is founder of Dennis Moseley-Williams Strategic Consulting, a practice management company that helps organizations secure and build sustainable relationships by creating experience-driven solutions that deliver results, increase revenues and build enthusiastic referral-generating communities. This was excerpted from the 2019 MDRT EDGE presentation, “7 secrets of business owners.” [MDRT members only]
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