Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
March 26th, 2014

Build a Business that Lasts

Those who know me understand that I truly believe that any success in business ultimately lies in one’s ability to build real, trust-based relationships with clients, vendors, employees, etc. To me, it’s all about the quality of the relationships. More specifically, I begin all relationships with an attitude of wanting to help the other party succeed and reach their goals FIRST. I have found that if I focus on helping other people achieve their goals my goals have a way of taking care of themselves.

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”—Napoleon Hill

You may say, “Okay, I can see that, but what does that have to do with my business today?” My answer would be that how you approach this has everything to do with your success in 2014 and into the future. Are you taking steps every day to build this kind of foundation for long lasting success? Building your business this way takes time and effort and is often overlooked in an effort to find some “silver bullet” strategy that will change your business overnight. We want results today, this week and this quarter. While recognizing the demands that we all have to run profitable businesses today, I still contend that you need to think long term in this short term environment if you want to build something that lasts.

So, what does this look like in real life? How does this principle play out as that next customer drives up or I walk into that next quote? The first thing I would suggest with any customer is asking in the very beginning what issues they are trying to resolve or what they are trying to achieve. Then listen! I mean really listen to what they are saying. We often go into a situation with our minds pre-determined on what the customer needs. We just need to convince them that is what they need. My suggestion would be to approach these situations by listening intently to what they want to achieve, how to help them be successful, and then see if anything you offer can help them achieve the result they are looking for.

Sometimes, this may mean letting the customer know that nothing you offer will deliver their desired result. Other times this may entail not selling the customer on a higher priced product or additional work that they do not really need. Your goal, after listening to their objective, is to deliver the best solution available. By doing this consistently you are building trust. Your mindset starts with helping them achieve their goals. People pick up on this quickly and this will be exactly what earns you their business and their referral of you to their friends.

Sure, you may succeed for a short time by selling people products or services that they do not really need. You may be able to get that order by fluffing the details or over-promising what the product can do for them or what will occur post sale. However, these tactics eventually will catch up and your true motives will be exposed. The customer will realize that you “sold” them and they will be less than 100 percent satisfied with the transaction. This will ruin your relationship with them, and any trust you may have built during the sale process. They likely will not do business with you in the future and they definitely won’t be referring you to any friends or colleagues.

I would encourage you to approach the remainder of 2014 and beyond by spending more time building true and sincere relationships with all people associated with your business. Begin by asking what you can be doing to help them successfully accomplish their objective. By doing this, you will ensure the long term success of your business and your relationships. Most importantly, you will achieve this while keeping your integrity intact.

I thought some of you might enjoy these principles by Jeremie Kubicek, Founder of the GiANT Companies and the author of Making Your Leadership Come Alive, as they discuss ways to begin thinking this way.

Skillful leaders are rare because the principles of leadership are frequently counter-intuitive.

Four Counter-Intuitive Leadership Principles:

  1. Talk to them about them.
  2. Gain power by empowering.
  3. Join their team before they join your team.
  4. Talk less, listen more, and others will listen to you.

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