Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Can You Make Your Business And You Stand Out, and Stand Apart?

If your business is one where attracting talented people to join your team to succeed, how do you make it stand out and stand apart from the crowd?

Business owners see their companies, their offices, and their opportunities through their own eyes. How do those who already work with you see them? What’s more, how do those who you would like to join your firm see them?

Today, let’s explore together our own visions of what makes a great opportunity, and let’s look at what we believe our current team, and future team members want to see. Then let’s look at what makes something stand out, or stand apart from our competitors. Let’s look for, and discuss, just what is that magic bullet that everyone is always looking for might be.

Let's play in my world in Real Estate, how would you describe the ideal Real Estate Office? When you are reading this, just change out what better fits your own industry for these questions.

What would it have? What would it look like? How would it work? What would the personality be? What would the culture be?

If you could wave a magic wand and have anything you would love to have at your office, in your business, what would it be? Why? What would that mean to you? To your agents? To your recruiting?

• Describe your ideal Real Estate office.
• Where would it be?
• How would it look?
• What would it be like?
• What would the corporate culture be?
• What would it look like?
• What features would it have?
• How would these features benefit your agents?
• How would they entice other agents to want to join you?
• What do you like best about your current office? Why?
• What do you like least? Why?
• What would be the first thing you would change if you could? Why?
• How would your agents answer these questions? Why?
• Have you ever asked them?

Now, looking at all of the things about your ideal office, how do you stack up? How does your competition?

What separates you? What is special about your office, your business that makes you stand out over your competition? Why? Can you agents pick this out? Can your potential recruits see it, or feel it? Does the market place know it? If not, is it really there?

What is that magic bullet? If you can do this change, or add that feature, or make this available, will that magically make your company stand apart, and stand out?

Too often we find ourselves treating the symptoms, and not the cause. Let’s look at what actually brings magic into the office. It isn’t any one feature or benefit; in fact no feature has a benefit if there is not first a diagnosed need that it fills.

The magic is found in this question, “Are you working your business, or chasing your dream?” If you are only working your business, there is no passion in it, just the daily grind, and the daily rut, focused on the problems that pop up daily. There is no inspiration, no passion, and no burning desire, without that; there is nothing to draw the right people to you and your company.

People follow passion; they see your dream and just want to be part of it. They may not articulate it, but they simply feel something is happening and don’t want to miss out. You become a magnet for others who want to be excited about chasing their own dreams. When you create that atmosphere of success, that air of expectancy, it creates a buzz; it creates a culture where people want to be a part of it. It is easier to find 100 people who want to run with you toward a dream than it is to drag one who doesn’t want to go.

When it comes to not reaching your goals the problem is not the problem, never has been, and never will be.

What do I mean? What I mean is that we like to find something, or someone, to blame when we miss our goals. Often we choose not to set goals because too often we have been disappointed by not reaching them in past attempts. So, those "obstacles" we want to believe are our "problems" that keep us from reaching our objectives. Are they really the problem or are they excuses? Or is there something else that is the true "problem" that we have never before identified, to they seem to be the problem?

The truth is that those things can't possibly be the true problem. If they were there would never be anyone who has accomplished similar goals with similar situations. We may say "I'm too young, or too old, too educated, or not educated enough, too this or too that." It might be "If I had more money, more supportive parents, a better spouse, better health", you name it there are at least as many excuses as there are people. So if others have accomplished such goals and dreams with such obstacles, how can those obstacles actually be "the problem?"

It was explained to me in this way, let's say we're sitting at a diner and we take a salt shaker and a sugar dispenser and separate them with a napkin holder, (think old school stuff.) Now say you are the salt shaker and your dream or goal is the sugar dispenser but you are too short to see it over the napkin holder, if you can't see it, how can you focus on it?

What I am saying is that your dream isn't big enough to keep you focused on it. You need to find something that moves you, something that excites you, and makes your passion come alive. What you need is a big enough dream or goal to be able to "see" it over the obstacles. Your focus needs to be on that dream, and not on the obstacles or problems. They are always going to be there, but what you focus on, you will get more of. If the dream is big enough, the facts simply don't matter.

Consider this, if you are standing at one end of an auditorium full of tables, chairs, and other obstacles, and your goal was a flag at the other end, and all the lights are out, but there is a spot shining on the flag. If you just keep focused on that flag and walk toward it you will run into tables, and chairs, step on conference attendees, maybe even fall down. However, if you never take your eyes off that flag you know that you will reach it. How many times have you heard of stories of people climbing mountains who came just short of the peak, or swimmers swimming the English Channel, because they "couldn't go on" when fog set in? They lost sight of their goal or dream and couldn't go further.

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways," and what does that mean? "You can't hold two diverse and opposing thoughts on any subject at the same time." In other words, you can't as a sales person talk to your clients about how this is the greatest product, home, neighborhood, widget, whatever in the world, and then talk to your co-workers, spouse, friends, and bartender, whoever what a dog it is. You can't hold two opinions at the same time. If you try, and many do, then you are double minded, and unstable, and your clients will instinctively know it. They feel it at a subconscious level; it is if they smell it on you.

My belief has long been that sales is nothing but the transference of emotions. I believe a sale is made in every meeting; either they are sold to believe about your product, or business, just as you do, or you were sold to believe their reason for not buying, or joining just as they do.

Do you want your prospect to believe the same way about your product or business as you do? Do you? I hope so, if not maybe the next sale you need to make is to you, or find something else to do. Unless you have the emotional disconnect of a con-man, which I hope you don't, what you really believe is what will be the guiding force in each transaction.

Let’s look at your Dream Office, your Dream Business once again. What would your Dream office or business look like? What would make you excited again, what would make your juices flow, your passions burn, where you find it hard to sleep and not by worry, but by excitement? What is it that truly excites you, how would you dream your business to be? Keep in mind, spiritually the Bible says we were created in God's own image. Those are powerful words, if we were formed in God's image, who is God? He is a Creator, so wouldn't that make us creators? How did God Create? He spoke the world into existence, so will you.

People will follow you, when you are following your passion. There is no practice that is a magic bullet; no one is going to get fired up over a new feature that you are offering in your office, if you are not passionate about it. You have to be the thermostat for your business, not a thermometer; you need to set the temperature not just report it.

The movie Field of Dreams said “If you build it they will come.” I believe that if you Believe it, and are sold yourself, and are chasing your dream passionately, they will come.

Remember, The Problem isn't the Problem. The Problem is that you are focusing on the obstacles not the dream. Focus on your Dreams!

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