How we are perceived as human beings is becoming increasingly important in business. And like you know, business is a means of touching lives in a way that tells your customers that you understand their needs, and are willing and able to meet those needs like no other.
‘All of us’, Malcolm Gladwell once taught, ‘gravitate towards things that mean something to us and for most of us that is people’. It’s no secret that business success today revolves largely around people, whichever way you look at it. Everything about your business and mine can be reduced to three Ps: people, products, and profits. People come first; except you have them, the other two are nothing.
All business is people business. People are everything! If you ask me, business is 80 percent people and 20 percent product (or service). People do business with you for reasons other than just your business offerings.
Being superior in product knowledge but inferior regarding people knowledge will produce minimal results. In other words, if you understand the product before you understand people, you’re literarily putting the cart in front of the horse. Just the billionaire entrepreneur, Grant Cardone once remarked ‘You have to know the benefits of the product and how it compares to others, but first and foremost you need to understand people and what they want before you can sell the product or show someone the benefits of it.’
There is an old saying that, ‘I may not be the most interesting person, but I am the one I’m most interested in.’ Customers think about themselves more than they think about your business. To get their interest, you must learn to think the way they think. Take interest in the client instead of interest in selling your product or service to him or her.
When a customer or buyer goes out looking for a product, he doesn’t care how much you know about the product, he only cares about himself – his time, his feelings, and his money.
He cares most about himself all the time; you and your product (service) are way down on his list of concerns. The customer doesn’t care how good you are but what’s in it for him or her.
Always take the time to listen to both your customers and prospective customers to find out what they actually care about. Get interested in what interests them. Imagine yourself on the receiving end.
Deal with them individually as if you are dealing with the most important person in your life. When you show a genuine interest, they will show interest in you and in what you are offering too. It’s business law.
The moment people know that you care about them, the way they feel and act about you changes. Customers are made to be taken care of, and those who look after them the most win and keep them for life.
You and I are in the people business, not the product or service business. People are senior to products and services any day. No product or service will ever be successful if it doesn’t make people the number one! To the degree that your product or service becomes more important than your customers, that product will fail.
You are in people business, no matter what you do and where you do it. ‘Success in any business is based on effective interdependence.’ So, said Michael LeBoeuf, an American business author. So, quit the business you think you’re in right now (whatever it is), and get into the people business! That’s where the real game is in the new economy.
To be continued…
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.