There are two types of businesses in this world – the givers and the takers.
Like humans, givers consider the needs of others first and foremost, while takers plot over how they can maximise their gain.
Givers make giving a mantra. They seek first to understand, and then to be understood. They give first without thinking of getting.
Givers find ways to meet their customers needs in the best way possible for their customers. They are customer-oriented and other-centred. They find joy and happiness in delighting others through their actions.
On the other hand, takers are focused on receiving. Obsessed with the transaction, they do not care if their customers need, want or desire their products or services.
In the world of takers, it is all about you buying and me profiting. Every action is targeted at getting you to open your wallet. And then some.
Often, the line between the two is unclear.
Is offering a two-for-one deal an act of generosity or selfishness? What about providing a lifelong warranty on all parts? Or a 20% discount if you recommend two other friends to buy?
The thing is this. Are you offering real value to your customers? Would they be tempted to purchase because of your dangling carrots but regret their decision later?
More importantly, are your customers going to be so happy after using your product or service that they will spread the word?
Naturally, there is a limit to how generous you can be. After all, we cannot survive on love and fresh air.
However, if our motive in business is to sell Sell SELL without providing real utility, the truth will eventually set your customers free. And they will fly faster than a speeding bullet away from your selfish enterprise.
How then can we offer real value? Especially when we need to account for the costs of whatever we are giving away.
For a start, be obsessed about what your customer needs.
Meticulously study and examine what their motivations, behaviours, and thoughts are. Probe deeply into their psyche. Participate in their social circles. Eat, sleep and breathe like them.
Next, shape and develop your products and services to suit that niche. Begin by giving away valuable information, tips and insights for free. Offer value way before you ever make the first sale.
When you do so, be razor sharp in finessing every detail. Make sure that your products or services are speaking directly to their needs, wants or desires.
In a hyper-competitive world of multiple substitute products, you can’t afford to be slipshod and lazy.
Thereafter, develop a story for your brands – one that is truthful, authentic, relevant and fascinating. Ensure that your narrative can resonate with your audiences. Even better if you can make it theirs. Think of it less as selling something and more of getting new members to join your community.
Cocoon your products and services in your brand story, through artful packaging, compelling communications, and delightful designs.
Finally, offer your products and services not as “stuff” but as “experiences”. By this stage, you would been so spot-on in developing them to suit your customer’s needs that they would be pleased to help themselves with nary a hard selling promotional pitch.
Oh yes, before I forget. The sale doesn’t end at the cash register. In fact, you may want to adore and pamper your customers who actually paid you with more good gifts.
Giving is an art and a science. Taking is pure animal instinct.
To offer gifts that your customers will cherish and relish, devote special care and attention to creating remarkable products and services that can sell themselves.
True gifts are not sold at a huge discount for one day only. Rather, they are born out of a commitment to invent and shape great products and services that meet customers needs in a near fanatic fashion.