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“It works if you work it” is something I often heard a wise spiritual teacher…
While looking for something humorous to watch via the internet the other day, I stumbled upon a program where a relationship expert was giving tips on how to get married in a year. One of her suggestions was to create a vision board of all the things you want in a relationship. (Who says this stuff only works for achieving business success?)
But the interesting thing was that this expert had everyone create a list of the top 5 non-negotiables their desired mate must possess. Most of her audience was women, so the responses involved many of the usual suspects: Tall, Marriage Minded, Similar Religious Beliefs, Trust-Worthy, Funny, Successful, etc.
This morning during my quiet time, I thought about that exercise and the thought occurred to me that the emphasis is always placed on what’s desired in the other person. My next thought was about the importance of “Being” the person we want to attract. Basically, if we are so adamant about our non-negotiables in a mate, what are we bringing to the table to make such a fabulous catch want us? I mean really, what would a drop-dead gorgeous guy or gal who is spiritually grounded, fit, successful, funny and generous want with someone who is lazy, insecure, needy, shallow or not concerned with their appearance. A bit of a disconnect – wouldn’t you agree?
What does all this have to do with business? Well this same disconnect can occur with our desire for business success. Just as it’s important to get clear about our top 5 non-negotiables in a mate, we need to set the same standards for our business. What are 5 traits you want your business to be known for by others? Perhaps providing great value, customer service, timely responses and solving problems quickly – it’s different for every business. But just as you must be clear on the characteristics you want in a mate, it’s important to define similar non-negotiables for your business. This process is part of having a compelling vision for your business.
Now let’s flip the script just as we did in the relationship example. If a customer had 5 non-negotiables they were looking for in a firm they were seeking to do business with, what do you think those 5 characteristics would be – and more importantly, does your business offer these wonderful qualities?
For example, let’s say you sell software to help people solve some pressing need. Do you operate that business with at least the five most critical requirements your customers might deem to be important? Does your software address their problem clearly, concisely, at an appropriate price for the value offered and with spectacular customer service? Only you know what these non-negotiables are for your business. If you don’t know your customer’s non-negotiables, it’s not hard to find out – just ask. Do a survey. The mere fact that you are asking the question, alone, put’s you ahead of most in the market, and will help to endear you to your customers even more.
So, just as in relationships, knowing your 5 non-negotiable business characteristics will allow you to have the type of business that will attract the customers you desire. To phrase it slightly differently, you must ask yourself, are you “Being” the type of business your customers would be attracted to? If not, it’s never too let to take the time to identify those traits and make the necessary adjustments. Just pull out that vision board and start identifying the key traits for which you want your business to be known.
What are your top 5 Business Non-Negotiables? Tell us below.
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