Last week I spoke with a peer about his business and he shared with me that in some cases he never speaks or meets his clients. They give some vague direction and he is supposed to interpret that and create graphics and websites based on this.
There is a trend happening - okay, not a trend anymore - in which people are talking less and using technology to "communicate" more. I use the term communicate very loosely.
What happens when we stop talking to each other?
Humans are by nature social creatures. We crave connection and contact. You may or may not remember the Romanian orphanages in which babies never held or touched, died. People need to know they are loved and to feel connected to other beings - even if it's a dog or a plant.
Technology has given us the illusion of connection and that has translated into the illusion of creating a business model in which no actual talking or meeting face to face happens. Really?
What is the purpose of life then anyways?
This is meant to be a blog about helping business thrive in a new system - but really it's just going back to a very old system. People used to know who they did business with and you couldn't scam anyone because your customers were your neighbors. Good or bad, news traveled fast.
So here is the radical thought for the day - is life about business and making money at any cost? Or, is life about - LIFE?
Is the reason you wake up each morning to sell someone something they don't need so you can get enough money to buy something you don't need? Really?
If so, why wake up at all?
What is the purpose of business?
I've been trying my self to skirt these issues and follow the direction the trends are going and absolutely hate it. It's all a lie and waste of my time.
So here is the reality from my perspective of why we come to this world - it's not to sell or buy or make money. We are here to learn, to grow, to love, and to lift each other up. And, news flash, you can't do either if you don't actually talk to other humans.
New systems of business and marketing aren't about fancy technology, social media lists, and fake likes. You can use those tools to connect with others, but if you stop there you will gain no lasting business model because you will be chasing trends and not building relationships.
It takes great courage to choose to turn away from trends and then take the time and energy to build something real. And while in the beginning that courage may look like crazy to your peers, over time they will be asking you what your secret was. And you can tell them, we need to talk in person if you really want to know.
Any thoughts? Share your comments below and let's have a real conversation!
I'm actually asking you this question more than I am writing to answer it for you! It is a real question for all of us personally and professionally. In a world where we are really hyper-connected, how connected are we really and how often should we be reaching out?
I had a long conversation with my mom the other day about writing letters. In her generation that's what they did because long distance phone charges were too high for anything but a special occasion. In my generation I've gone from writing letters because I was told to as a child, to emails, and while I refuse, most now resort to texting, facebook, or other social media public posting.
The goal in running a business is to keep in touch so your name and brand stay in front of your customer or client. But there are as many who take this too far with daily emails, hourly twitter posts, and more vs. those who only contact on rare occasion when they want something from me or you. Both drive me crazy.
But here is the real crux to the question - why?
I don't care if you ate a peanut butter sandwich today. I do care if you've had good news, bad news, or just need a friend to talk to.
I do want to hear from a brand or product when they have something of value to share with me. But I don't pretend to think they "care" about me in any way and so more is not really better - though repetition has always been the party line in marketing and advertising.
But in observing what people seem to share in both individuals and businesses - I see more brands pretending to care and individuals sharing little of real value. And so, what is the point to it all?
As a therapist I can tell you people are overwhelmed with information and underwhelmed with quality human or value added type connection. I see a desperate loneliness that I think few understand about themselves and try and substitute more information as communication instead of more quality connection that has actual value.
What is the solution? In my view it is turn the computer, cell phone, tablet, etc "OFF" every day at some point and talk to a real person, play with a live dog, or take a long walk in the woods....electronic free. Yours would be?
I would love to get your feedback on this? What do you think?
What happens when you stop fighting against what you do not want? When the war ends? The detox completed? The divorce final? We think that is when everything gets rosy again. The hard part, the war itself, is over. But for anyone who has come home from a war, entered their recovery, or is moving on from a loss - while the war may be over, the work has only just begun.
The warrior then must become something new. The desire and the hope is now the wisdom of the sage will just happen. But it just doesn't work like that. The sage - in all her or his serenity, clarity, and peace - did not just decide and then arrive. There was a lot of work, even more letting go, and a long path to be traveled on the road leading home.
It is not different for a nation, a community, or a religious institution. The war against what went wrong is only the place you begin. The revolution is one small step in the journey home. We want it to be the solution, but it is only one step that must be taken.
When the fighting ends the focusing must begin on what we want to create. But it is focus that replaces the fighting. If we can remember that, our war will be over. We will be on our way home.
There is a Golden Age dawning as the darkness of our war against it is ending. You have the choice which world you want to be a part of. A world with New Systems in which everyone wins and no one loses - or the old world of domination, subjugation, and a God of War, Greed, and Hate to be Feared in its name. This is your Free Will, choose wisely.
You are a hardworker. You want to make your customer and clients happy. You believe in what you are selling or providing. But is that enough?
Have you ever asked your self "what does my client/customer really want?"
Yes, good for you! No, then please keep reading!
The real question we are all asking
If you ask most people what they want from a product or service they will tell you a fair price and good quality. But that isn't really true. Okay, on the surface it is true, but not deep down inside where real brand loyalty is born and lives.
I heard a story the other day about a woman staying at a hotel. Her morning wake up call included ordering from the kitchen. When asked what she wanted, the woman said a chocolate donut. We don't have those was the reply and after a bit of discussion about what was available, an order was placed.
When the woman got her breakfast, on her plate was a chocolate donut and a note saying something to the effect of here is what you really wanted and have a wonderful day. Now, the moral of the story isn't get your customer what they want.
The moral is, let your customer know that you hear them and are willing to take action to show it. Because it's not the donut or the fact the employee went off hotel property and spent her own money to get the donut. It is the fact that the experience spoke the message - "You are valuable and loved."
Are you brave enough to risk it all for love?
The truth is if we said to strangers, "I love you," police would be called, restraining orders placed...and while a sad reflection of our world today, let's be honest here...
The real truth is we are all deeply and truly hungry for love - though we often will substitute a little chocolate - but it's the love we seek. If there is one emotion that we as humans seek in our experiences, it is love.
How you build that into your marketing, your product, and your service is the real goal in any "plan" you undertake. This is what builds loyalty beyond low prices or fire sale services.
That employee that bought the donut didn't know she became the subject of a seminar in which thousands attended, a story told again and again (just like here), and resulted in more good will and publicity than a 1000 facebook likes or tweets or commercials. Love shares itself - no clicking required.
How can you let your clients know you love and appreciate them in a way that reflects the best of you?
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!