Our founder, Denise DeSimone, likes to say that we’re not consultants. We don’t think of ourselves as consultants. We think of ourselves as members of your team and stewards of leadership.
As such, whenever we are developing, launching or growing a company, we keep this one question in our mind, “How can we empower the entrepreneur?” We don’t just think about how well you’ll do while you’re working with us. We want you to succeed even after our engagement is over.
We know that’s not supposed to be good business. Businesses should always try to upsell. We’re not about selling. We’re about bringing value to people.
Shift the Way You Think about Business
When most businesses discuss empowerment, they’re talking about empowering employees (which, of course, we’re all for), but we expand upon that concept by thinking of clients and customers as members of our team. This isn’t a new idea, of course. It is the cornerstone of Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey jumped on this concept when explained on his Tumblr that he doesn’t like the concept of the word user because he felt it was too impersonal.
In a similar vein, terms like “clients” and “customers” commodify people. At the end of the day, your products and services are about people, not abstract users. We realize our work is a bit unique. We get fully engaged in the business lives of our clients (team!) as we develop their business. Here are a few examples of how other industries can shift their perspective:
- Selling retail clothing = empowering people to look their best.
- Selling fitness products = empowering people to get in shape.
- Selling medical services = empowering people to live a healthy life.
- Selling marketing services = empowering people to expand their brand.
Keep Them Hooked.
Amazing things happen when you change “selling” to “empowering.” Subtle shifts like this have a big impact. For one, it puts a positive spin on what you do. Let’s face it, selling gets a bad rap. It’s seen as trying to get and not give. Empowerment flips this around and then you always come from a position of giving, rather than getting.
People get hooked on that feeling of empowerment. They’ll feel positive about their interactions with you and your business. Empowerment builds trust and trust builds brand loyalty. When people need something in your industry, they’ll know that they can count on you to deliver.
Plus, empowerment is viral. When we give a client the tools they need to successfully launch and grow their business, they will touch the lives of others and the implications of that positive impact will continue to multiply and benefit our community.
Learn How to Give, not Get.
We’ve established that empowerment is a state of mind. Attitude doesn’t always bring value to people, however. You need to have actual offerings that empower your base. And yes, some of these suggestions involve giving away things for free.
Share knowledge. This is appropriate for any industry and any business. There are things about what you do that everyone wants to know. Find out what it is and share it. This could be in a white paper, free ebook or webinar. If you’re a restaurant, you could offer a free cooking class.
Start a blog. You don’t have to be an excellent writer to share your knowledge and empower people. You just have to be authentic. If you’re having trouble coming up with blog topic ideas, well we can help you with that.
Get social. If you’re stumped for how to bring value to people then plug into social media. It’s the ideal way to listen to what people want. Social media gives you instant access to the people you want to reach. Find out what they want/need and then help them get it.
Get creative. Empowering people isn’t always an intuitive process. Sometimes it takes a bit of brainstorming. We tell people to cast a wide net. For instance, if you’re a realtor, focus, not only on the sale, but what people do after the sale. Offer insights on home living, not just home buying.
Remember, the key to bringing value to people and building lasting relationships is to shift the way you think. Develop a mindset of empowerment and bring that into your work.
If you need a dose of empowerment to develop, launch or grow your business let us join your team.