I’ve been thinking about what our customers buy from us when they do business with our company. Most of the time we think that what our customers want is a product or service that we provide. If that’s what you think, I would say that you’re partially correct.
You see I think that our customers really want a lot more from us than just the product or service we’re selling. I think they want some magic. That magic is the transformation they get from buying whatever it is that we sell. And, that’s what today’s video is all about. Our video today is about the transformation that happens when someone buys your product.
You know, I’ve been thinkin’ about what our customers buy from us when they do business with our company. Most of the time we think that what our customers want is a product or service that we provide. If that’s what you think, y’know, I’m gonna say that you’re partially correct, but you’re missing a big thing. You see, I think that our customers really want a lot more from us than just a product or a service that we’re selling. I think they want some magic in their life. The magic is a transformation they get from buying whatever it is that we sell. And that’s what today’s video is all about. Our video today is about the transformation that happens when someone buys your product. So let’s jump right in.
- Let’s start off with what I mean by the word transformation.
- Y’know, it’s when someone moves from a state they’re in to a state they would rather be in. I’m here, and I really wanna be over here today, so what’re you gonna do to help me make a transformation in my life that’s gonna make my life better.
- For example, a transformation might be making the changes to have enough cash in your life. And a lot of us are cash starved, we feel like we’re cash starved, but if we can help people make the transformations to do that have cash in their life, that’s a great thing. Mike Michalowicz does a really nice job with that in his book Profit First, and my friend just came out with these blocks that can help you figure out how to create more cash in your life by playing blocks instead of just putting spreadsheets on a piece of paper. Those are transformational sort of things.
- Or how ’bout being burned out, to going to be operationally irrelevant in your business? Well I can just say I’m gonna teach you to be a great delegator, but what I really, what you really wanna do is you really wanna stop doing those tactical things you’ve been doing years after years after years that burn you out, and you wanna start thinking about, how can I become operationally irrelevant in my business? Now that’s the transformation. Operationally irrelevant, not learning to delegate. Although learning to delegate is the thing that you’re learning, the transformation becomes operationally irrelevant.
- Or about, how not having to worry about not having enough money for retirement? Again, what’s the transformation? The transformation is we don’t have enough money, to we do have enough money. But the stuff that we’re gonna be selling along the way is, here is a retirement plan, here’s a 401k, here’s an IRA, here’s an investment strategy you can have, here’s how you create excess cash in your business. Those are all the things that you’re buying, but they’re not transformations by themselves. Getting rid of the worry about not having enough money for retirement? That’s the transformation.
- Or how ’bout knowing when it’s time to move or change what you’re doing? It might be that, y’know, this is, well then I’m talking about changing a job! The transformation isn’t changing the job, the transformation is, what’s gonna happen in my life if I do change the job? How will my life be better? Will it create enough cash to help me get to that retirement that I’m worried about having? Will it create enough cash or create enough, going to a different culture where I’m happier being there? Those are the sort of transformations that were happy people. Changing your job is just a thing. The transformation is what happens to you as a human being after you do.
- Now, it’s our job, number two, is to be the guide. Now, I talk about this using my friend Susan Bradley’s term as being a thinking partner. Y’know, it’s true, even just something like a pair of skis. Now, when I go buy skis, I don’t really know what I’m looking at. I expect the person who I’m speaking with to understand what type of skier I am, and then recommend the right skis. Now, buying the skis is the thing. The transformation is, what happens when I put those skis on and I start going down the hill? Am I skiing better? Am I having a better time? Is it easier for me to ski? Those are all the transformations that we want, and by the way, if I’m a ski salesperson, I don’t wanna be talking about the technical stuff about the skis. I wanna be talking about what’s the transformation that’s gonna happen to you when you get on them? How are you gonna feel? What’s the snow gonna feel like? How are the skis gonna turn? Are they good in moguls, are they not good in moguls? Those are all the kind of things that I wanna be talking about, not the stuff.
- Number three. If we don’t know what our transformation is, we’re just a product pusher. You know what happens when your customers transform their life? They become customers for life, they love you, you are becoming a valued member of their family, not just somebody selling them stuff. Y’know I had a client, when I first started working with him he kept saying to me, I need to get out of my business, I need to get out of my business, I need to get out of my business. And what I did was I helped him realize that what he needed to do was first fix his business before he tried to get out of his business because there were some real issues that needed to be fixed. Now, fixing the business was a stuff. When I went back and I talked to Brian like three or four years later, we were done with all the stuff we needed to do, and I said to him, I said, Brian, it’s time to sell your business. Let’s go find an investment banker. He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, why would I wanna sell my business? I’m having too much fun, I’m not working hard at all, in fact, I’m taking about 35 weeks off a year, and I’m making more money than I ever made before! Now that was transformation. All the fixes we did were just stuff on the way to the transformation. Now, as we were going through, fixing all the stuff, I kept talking to Brian and saying, Brian, this leads to this. The list, the this that leads to this was the transformation, and I kept talking about the transformation during the years we were doing the stuff. So he was focusing on the transformation, I was focusing on the transformation. We were focusing on the right things to do to get him there.
- So when we focus on transactions, we’re just a me-too company. Remember, your customers really want the transformation. Too often it’s a product or a service that doesn’t add nearly enough value to their life, and if that’s true, we need to take a pivot and say, well that one didn’t work very well, let’s try this.
- Y’know, here’s something that’s really true, I want you to remember, ’cause transformations are hard. Transitions are hard. Our customers want it to be easy. Now the way we make it easy is we chunk down the changes that our customers need to make. We show how it’s possible, we go back to the time when you were trying to figure it out, and we let ’em get through that process. Small steps, and small steps, and small steps. You wanna let our customers know what we went through when we were making those sort of transformations, at least that’s how I work.
- So, isn’t transformation a lot more fun to sell than the transaction?
Why don’t you scroll down and let me know what you think about providing a transformation versus a transaction. And while you’re at it, Get our Free eBook on Strategic Marketing and how you can learn to sell to only customers you love, and customers who love you as well, or as Steve Farber says, “Be in service of people who love what you do.”
This is Josh Patrick, you’re at The Sustainable Business, thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.