The One Thing Your Business Must Have To Be Successful
When’s the last time you had a major breakthrough in your business?
Are your sales in the dumps?
Does it feel like pulling teeth to attract new customers? Even worse, are customers not paying attention to what you have to say?
The shame is you have a great product. Once you get your product into your customer’s hands they fall in love with it. Your product makes their lives better and it’s just not right that you can’t get it to them!
Perhaps your problem isn’t attracting new customers. Your sales are growing steadily and your customers love your product but your organization is a mess. Your team is stumbling over each other. Competition and infighting have risen to an unbearable level. It feels your team is going to implode at any moment.
Or maybe your team is simply unclear of what each person should be doing in their role. They are completely lost.
Unsure if your employees are clear about their responsibilities? Ask yourself this, do you ever get upset when your employees spend hours and costly resources working on the wrong things?
If any of these scenarios ring true, then confusion has run rampant in your organization. It may seem like a vast oversimplification, but confusion is at the root of all problems.
When confusion is rampant, the effects are deadly. Customers don’t listen, prospective buyers go to your competition, teams do duplicative work, and employees do the wrong work.
The answer to all your problems is clarity.
If you had a clear message, customers would listen and pay attention. With a clear message, customers come calling.
If you had a clear and purposeful mission for your team, your employees would be working together, not against each other.
If you had clear expectations for each person on your team, your employees would thrive rather than flounder in their roles.
The Antidote To All Your Problems: Clarity.
There are all sorts of different types of leaders but the best share one common trait: they are great at creating clarity in all aspects of their organization.
Great leaders are masters of simplicity. They have a magical way of making everyone’s lives easier, but it’s not magic, it’s clarity.
More is easy, more is lazy, more is destructive in a company. Doing less is the hardest, yet most impactful thing you could start doing right now in your company.
The more you try to do or focus on, the more confusion foments. The few, truly important items for your company become shrouded in obscurity.
As the old saying goes, a friend to all is a friend to none.
The same logic applies to your business. The more you try to do, the less important it all is.
If you are fed up with the deadly effects of confusion on your company then you need to create clarity now.
Here are 3 simple ways to create clarity in your company so that your organization can thrive:
Lack of clarity and confusion when it comes to marketing equates to the slow death of your business.
If your customers can’t understand what you are selling and how their lives will be better because of your product or service, they will never listen to you.
Here’s the truth about your customers, this is not a disparaging remark, when they are most likely to come in contact with your business via advertisements, Facebook, or Instagram, they are half awake. They are mindlessly scrolling through their phones and browsers paying partial attention to what is in front of them.
The decision to scroll on or to stop takes a fraction of a second. If you confuse them in that fraction of a second, you lose them.
Here are 3 common mistakes people make when it comes to marketing and talking about their business.
They talk too much.
- When it comes to the messaging of your business, follow the K.I.S.S formula: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
- Short and sweet wins the game.
They focus on features, not benefits.
- Features don’t matter, it’s what the product features do to make the customer’s life better that matters. Focus on the benefits they will enjoy because of your product, not some bulleted list of product specs that they must interpret. People need to know how a product will improve their life.
They use insider language or corporate jargon.
- You are the expert in your field, your customer most likely is not. They don’t know all the lingo used in your field so if you are speaking to them in technical jargon, you might as well be speaking a foreign language.
- For example, do you ever feel confused when an auto-mechanic is talking to you about your car’s drive-train, gaskets, headers, or timing belt? I’m willing to bet when the mechanic starts talking, you start to tune out. That’s how your customer feels when you use insider language they are unfamiliar with. Opportunity lost.
When speaking to your customers, make it simple and be crystal clear. Let them know how their lives will be better because of your product in the simplest way possible.
Great leaders are unifiers. They know how to bring their teams together to fight for one common cause. The only way to do this is by creating clarity.
They do this by creating one common mission that is centered around improving their customer's lives. All aspects of the company from sales, to finance, to accounting, to R&D are all working towards a single common mission.
What most companies do is spend hours coming up with some vanilla statement that is devoid of all emotion like “to grow xx% year over year” or “to provide best in class service”. What does that even mean?!?
That doesn’t inspire anybody. People need to know what they are working on has a lasting impact in the lives of the customers they serve. They want to know that what they are doing is helping people.
Let’s use a seemingly boring product like CPAP breathing machines as an example. If you sell CPAP machines your mission isn’t to create the most sophisticated machine on the market. Your mission is to help people get the best sleep ever because brilliant things happen when you are well rested. Great sleep changes lives! You are giving people their lives back!
If you make pacemakers, you don’t develop a medical device, your mission is to save lives.
If you sell insurance, you aren’t selling policies, you are selling people the peace of mind and security in case something horrific happens. You are their last line of defense.
People will never follow someone into confusion, but with the right mission, a simple and clear mission that has a purpose, they will go over and through walls.
Here is a simple formula to create a vision that inspires and motivates your team:
Co-create your mission with your team.
- People don’t want to feel like this is a dictatorship. Telling people what to do will only get them to go so far.
- When your team creates the mission with you, they have buy-in. They are now committed to living up to the standards of the mission and fulfilling it because they had a part in creating it. It’s now part of them.
Share the mission with your team.
- Talk about the mission, discuss it, let the team ask questions.
Continuously adapt and refine the mission as circumstances change.
- What you first come up will certainly not be perfect. Continuously refine and adapt and update as new situations arise.
Repeat the mission over and over.
- Make it impossible for your team to not know what they are fighting for.
- Be the grantor of good fortune — once you clarify your mission with the team, go around and ask employees what the company’s mission is, if they answer right, peel off a $20 bill as a reward. Word will get around fast that if they know the mission, they will be rewarded.
- Why is this important? Because your employees are the best form of word-of-mouth marketing. When someone asks them what they do, they will respond with a mission that is meaningful and more importantly, rememberable.
Make it bigger than you.
- Focus on how your company and your team have the ability to change the lives of your customers for the better.
When you create a clear mission for your team they stop fighting against each. They put personal glory aside for the glory of the team. They focus on their customers and not on themselves. When your customer becomes the most important thing to your team, that is when your company takes off.
3. Team Roles and Responsibilities
You can tell a great leader by asking their employees two questions: What is the purpose of your company and how do you help the company achieve this goal?
A leader that hasn’t been clear about their company’s mission and the role in which employees help to fulfill the mission will get confusing and conflicting answers to the two questions above.
The answers will contradict one another and nobody will have the same mission. The answers will be long-winded and vague.
A great leader that has created clarity in their organization will hear the same mission and will be told by their employees clearly and succinctly how their job helps achieve this mission.
We’ve been led to believe that more is better. More ideas, more product, more priorities, more, more, more. In business, there is an endless opportunity of things to do, but a leader’s job isn’t to pursue everything the company could do, it’s to determine what are the few vital things the company must do to be successful. Less is more.
A common mistake leaders make in companies and organizations is the pursuit of multiple priorities. It becomes a contest to see who can set out to do the most. The more you set out to do, the more you will do. The more you say you will do equates to how committed you are to greatness. This is a lie.
When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
As Greg McKeown explains in Essentialism, “The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years.”
It wasn’t until the 1900s that the word priority became plural, priorities.
We’ve all experienced this at least once in our working careers. At the beginning of each year, teams get together to make their priorities list for the year. With great intentions and incredible enthusiasm, the team writes down 30 things they want to accomplish in the year ahead.
How often do any of these get done? Rarely and infrequently.
Much time will be wasted on very insignificant and shallow work across many different things. Much will be worked on, little will be accomplished.
Rather than spending time working on the few most important things for your company, the team will spend precious time trying to figure out what they should be doing.
A great leader makes it abundantly clear for every single employee in a company what the 3 things are they must do to be successful. No more, no less.
If your sales are slumping, your team is fighting, and your employees feel lost, then you need to step back and simplify. What your team needs is clarity. Clarity in marketing, your mission, and your responsibilities.
Do this and your company will grow, fast.
Ready to grow your business?
Download the Essential Marketing Makeover Checklist. This checklist will help you clarify your message, connect with your customers, and grow your business.