Recently I wrote a blog post about building a conscious small business. That post really struck a cord with my readers. In fact it resulted in more comments than most of my previous posts. So I decided to write this follow up article, since this topic comes up often with my clients.
How do you justify marketing and selling with your values? Many business owners, women particularly, want to build a soulful business; one that empowers and uplifts others. We want to share our breakthroughs with our clients and make a difference in their lives in some way. We also want to weave our values and integrity into the way we do business. This means:
• Providing the value we promise
• Being honest with clients, colleagues, joint venture partners and our team, even when its difficult
• Never convincing someone to purchase something that not’s right for them
• Letting compassion and caring shine through our work
• Setting expectations and meeting them
• Being aware of our own shortcomings and working on overcoming them, especially when they affect our relationships
Where you may sometimes run into a “disconnect” is when you get down to the brass tacks of running a successful business–strategy, marketing and sales. Some people have told me they feel uncomfortable promoting themselves or asking someone to commit to buying because they feel it doesn’t align with the values above. Perhaps you’re carrying an old belief that marketing, sales and money are evil necessities, or at the very least uncomfortable realities. It’s time to break that belief.
Just as you try to bring consciousness into your business you can bring consciousness into your sales and marketing. Without them you don’t have a business. And that means that you won’t have the opportunity to serve more people, to share you talents and to make a difference—simply because you’ve bought into a false belief.
Conscious sales and marketing mean you are clear and honest in your marketing messages and your sales conversations. You never promise what you can’t deliver. But the clearer and more specific you are about all of the benefits and deliverables you provide with each product and service the better the results you’ll get. So being shy or hesitant doesn’t serve anyone well. And it means you charge what you’re worth. Your clients will truly value you more if they are paying a fair price for the results you help them achieve. In my experience the people who are more than willing to pay to get the help they need to reach their goals or solve a problem are always the ones who succeed. These are the people you want to work with.
Finally you need to be realistic about what people are willing to pay you for. For example, I’ve mentored many life coaches who were talented and well meaning. But when I asked them what specific results they could get their clients that would make them willing to pay for coaching, the response was often “they’ll be happier”, “they’ll be more peaceful”, “they’ll feel less pain”. These are wonderful goals but much too vague and broad. If someone wants more peace, what is the underlying reason they don’t have it? How can a life coach help them with that specific problem? When we dig deeper, become more realistic and start to identify a profitable niche with more specific, focused results and we change their approach accordingly, the result is a business that makes more money and serves more people. This is where strategy connects with your passion.
Building a conscious business is not about what you sell. It’s about what you promise and the results you get. It’s about how you treat people each and every day. It’s about reconnecting with your spirituality and letting it guide you to create a business where, even though your actions are strategic, they are always grounded in love.© Copyright 2010 Janis Pettit