Fixing A Sour Stomach
A while ago, I gave up coffee. The reason I gave up coffee is I was drinking a pot of home-ground Starbucks a day and it was starting to bother my stomach. That happens. So I started drinking green tea. Now, green tea has some health benefits to it, but it’s also got a lot of sugar in it so it’s probably not the greatest choice, but it definitely is not bothering my stomach as much.
But that’s not the “TY” want to talk about today. Does your business serve up “TY”? There are three “TY”s that I want to cover. The first one is authenticity. The second one is integrity. The third one is clarity. Now, I’ve been spending the last 15-17 years running this business, and it has become a major focus. Hopefully, you find the same things necessary in your business, is providing your customers with over and above customer service, underpromising, overdelivering, and doing things that get your customers to be your advocates.
Let’s start with authenticity. Authenticity is being authentic. It’s being who you are. It’s being true to who you are. Now, I know a lot of people that can get up on stage and all of a sudden turn into a completely different person when they’re speaking, when they’re playing music, when they’re acting. That’s the whole thing. A good actor can make you feel like they’re being authentic. But in business, being authentic is really being who you are. What’s the core of who you are and what you do?
Authenticity to me is that you are who you are when people see you in your car. If you’re being nice to people all day long, and somebody cuts you off while you’re driving and all of a sudden you’re cursing and flipping the bird, that’s authenticity. We’ve seen movies about this. There’s authenticity in many, many movies where you’ve got this person who seems really, really great but behind the scenes they end up being a complete jerk or jerkette. Right?
The question is, are you living an authentic life? Are you carrying that through to what you’re doing for and with your customers? Being authentic means being true to yourself and really caring about what you deliver, making sure to care as much about the client as you do the income, and sometimes more. There has to be that balance.
This is something I’ve heard, and I talk about this in business a lot. A friend of mine came up to me and he handed me a dollar bill, and he said, “Brian, do you know what this is?” I said, “Yeah, it’s a dollar bill.” He says, “No, it’s a certificate of appreciation.” The more that people appreciate what you do for them, the more they’re going to hand you these certificates, and they’re going to feel good about it. Being authentic means that you really care about the end results and you care that your clients are being successful.
Integrity is actually being true to your own values. There are all kinds of places where I’ve seen people that would talk the talk but would not necessarily walk the walk. In other words, they’ll look you in the eye and tell you, “Hey, you know what? I really care about what’s happening in your life. I want to help you grow. I want to help you be a better person.” Then the next thing you know, they’re talking to somebody else and they’re stabbing you in the back.
Integrity is something that is very hard to maintain. Now I’ve made promises and I’ve failed. I promised people that I’ve never completed. But the biggest thing with integrity that I try to do is deliver on what you promise. Think about that. When you’re promising somebody something, can you honestly deliver exactly what it is that you’re promising?
I tell my clients that my ultimate goal is to get you three times the return on investment. That means that if you spend a dollar, I want you to make $ 3 back for every dollar. $ 1 is because you have to pay me for the service. You are going to have to be an active participant in this, which means you’re going to have to spend some time, so you’re going to have to pay yourself a dollar. Then the third dollar should be your profit.
Now I know a lot of companies that come in and say, “We can make you rank number one on Google. We’re going to grow your business. We’re going to do all these other things.” They’ve got great sales pitches. But the thing that they don’t do is they don’t tell you the truth. They don’t tell you that results may vary. Part of integrity is saying, “Is this client somebody that I believe that my service is going to give them the best possible results, and do I feel like I can give them that three to one ratio?”
If I don’t think it’s going to work, if I don’t think I can give them that three to one return on investment, then I say to them, “You know what? I don’t think this is going to be a good fit. Maybe I can find you somebody else that’s going to help you,” but I certainly am not there to take advantage them. I really search out clients where I know my integrity is going to stand tall, that I can deliver on what I promise and do the best that I possibly can. Does it work out all the time? No, but I would say the vast majority of the time it does.
The last piece of this puzzle is clarity. Are you super clear on what you do and how it differentiates you from your competition? Are you clear on the benefits of what you provide your customers? Can you clearly state to them, “This is what I’m going to do, this is how long it’s going to take, and this is what it’s going to cost you”? That clarity, being able to really understand the depth of what it is that you do and being able to explain it to people, is key.
The way I’ve learned to gain clarity in my life over the years has been through working with coaches, being involved in masterminds, and really understanding how my authenticity and integrity help me to provide clarity to my clients. I make sure that we have one on one conversations, that I’m outlining the specifics of what it is I’m going to do, and make sure that they understand it. There have been people that have come back to me and said, “Well why wasn’t this done?” The reason for that is because I wasn’t clear in explaining to them that they’re buying a service that has this specific scope. I could build a website for somebody, but if they want SEO, if they want search engine marketing, if they want Google AdWords, if they want Google Analytics, and all those other things, those are add-on services. It takes more time. I’ve got to be very, very clear.
The way I do it is I say there’s a phase one, there’s a phase two. Here’s what we’re going to get in phase one. Here’s what we’re going to do in phase two. And make sure that they understand that these are the deliverables, these are the outcomes, so that they totally understand the scope of what they’re getting.
A lot of the time you can speak about that scope and people still hear other things in their heads. You have to constantly remind them that your authenticity and your integrity are going to bring clarity in a way that’s going to get them to understand the specifics of what it is that you’re delivering. Be honest, be forthright, be real.
I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share your experiences and suggestions on how Authenticity, Integrity, and Clarity have helped (or could help) create new business!Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community