This week, I stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit and attended the Fraser Valley Marketing Summit here in Abbotsford. A client requested I attend on her behalf as she was unable to attend, but I have to admit that I probably wouldn’t have gone for myself. The reason for this is that if you have been to one Marketing conference, you’ve been to them all. Marketing tends to be a stagnant beast that nobody likes and the modalities behind it seldom change: engage your customers and get them to BUY your product or service. Give them just a little bit so that they’ll come back and buy the rest. In all honesty, I didn’t take anything away from the conference in terms of marketing methods and how to use them that I didn’t already know, which was disappointing because that was the whole point behind my clients’ request that I attend. That may sound cynical, or arrogant, but bear with me. I assure you, it’s anything but.
I did gain something that is much more valuable than new program skills though. I gained purpose. Allow me to explain.
Going to a conference, regardless of its topic, allows you to interact with other people that share a common goal. Ultimately, we all go to these things to LEARN something new about the subject matter that we didn’t know before going. But sometimes, we learn something new that we didn’t set out to learn.
I went to the Fraser Valley Marketing Summit to learn new tips and tricks for my client. I was listening with her ears through the majority of the guest speakers’ presentations and making notes as to what would benefit her in her business. But one particular speaker caught my attention with one sentence:
“Be authentic and intentional in your business.”
After that one sentence, I started listening with my own ears.
So often in business, we are so caught up in the bottom line that we forget about what gets us there – our customers and clients. They are purchasing a service or product from us. But what makes them do that? Everybody out there is a consumer and is out to buy SOMETHING. But what makes them choose to do so from our business instead of our competitors’ business? If your business produces the identical product as XYZ Inc. and they are sold at the same price, the only difference is YOU. How YOU approach business, and how YOU approach your interactions with your customers.
I have said this before in a previous post, and I have to reiterate it. You can have the BEST product on the planet, but if YOU are a jerk in your business dealings – failing your customers, not following up, not valuing their importance to your business – your product or service won’t sell. Nor will you be able to sell anything if your customers see you as being fake, impersonal, or unethical.
Stop for a minute. Think about WHY you got into business.
What is it that drives you?
What makes you wake up every morning, primed to tackle the challenges your day brings?
What is that you hope to accomplish with your business?
Do you feel good about your business practices?
What can you do better in your business?
Whether you’ve been in business for decades, or just a few days, I would recommend you take a few minutes to really think about how you would answer those questions. If your business isn’t doing as well as you’d like, you’ll know where to re-direct your energies to succeed. Or, you just might find some validation that you are doing business the way you want to be doing it. Or you might get both.
I know I did. The answers I received to those questions have renewed my purpose. And I’ve also realized that my clients use my services because they believe in ME.
So here’s to YOU, my wonderful clients, past, present and future.
for honouring me by allowing me to be your go-to problem solver.
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