Ikea’s Basement and Your Attitude of Service

Reading business books or getting a business education can seem a bit like browsing through the downstairs part of Ikea.

Your senses are overloaded by all that interesting stuff. So you end up filling your cart with rugs and glasses and can openers – when all you came in for was a Poang chair.
Big shock at the checkout.

In the same way, there are lots of ways to grow your business. But if you fill your cart with all the Twitters and referral strategies and online advertising programs on offer, you’re likely to get confused, choke on the variety and end up doing nothing.

So that’s why it’s important to think about your ‘Why’. If you didn’t read my previous article – What is your ‘why’ – then go back now and do the exercise at the end. It’s super-valuable (I got some great “whys” from some people who took the time to do their homework. These people felt newly energized and excited about their businesses.)

When you know your “why” – the reason you are in business in the first place – it’s much easier to focus on what you need to do to grow your business. You don’t end up with a cartful of junk.

Imagine, for example, that you are a real estate agent. After figuring out your “whys” you came to the conclusion that you believe that home ownership is one of the joys and rights of life today, and that it is your duty as a real estate agent to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy owning a home, without the stress that can accompany the purchase process.

In this example, the real estate agent has figured out that she is there to serve people (rather than serve herself). She then will work out ways in which she can serve. Which might be:

  • Providing educational material on buying a home.
  • Making sure that her focus is on the client relationship – removing the stress and uncertainties of the home purchase.
  • Finding ways to open up home ownership to as many people as possible by working with financing experts and by finding ways to reach people who are renting a home but could benefit from owning a home.

So, to accomplish all that, she might:

  • Fill her website with useful articles that educate her clients.
  • Send out her newsletter on a regular basis. The newsletter would contain articles that educate her clients and assure them of her attention to their needs.
  • Consider where the main “stress points” are for her clients in a real estate transaction and work out ways to minimize them, either by the retooling her work processes and/or by finding partners who can help. Then she would make sure she communicates all this to her clients – perhaps by providing a “stress-proof guarantee” that shows all the ways she will make her clients’ lives easier.
  • Finding financing experts and asking them to provide articles for her newsletter and website that educate clients about financing options.
  • Using newsletters and social media to reach out to renters and other people who might benefit from owning a home.

You see how she has moved from a self-centered way of marketing herself to one that focuses on the needs of her clients?

And can you see how much more attractive she becomes to her clients now that she has positioned herself like this.

So here’s an exercise for you: How can you better serve people to bring your “why” to life?