22
Mar
10

Encouraging Shoulds

 


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Originally uploaded by MarkLawrenceGallery.com

Take a moment and think about two people you are infatuated with –people you adore and who you also consider to be champions of your highest desires. These are people who wish you well AND don’t let you off the hook when you are being a ninny. These are NOT the people you call when you know what you want to hear. You may enjoy the people who tell you exactly what you want to hear, but you are not infatuated with them –I promise you. You may not even know your champions personally, but when you think about them, or read something about them, “truth” resonates.

My current champions are my Yoga Teacher, Guruatma Khalsa, and Yogi Bhajan. Guruatma, received direct instruction in the Science of Kundalini Yoga from Yogi Bhajan, the modern proponent of this ancient technology.  This yoga gives me what I want by allowing me to feel like I am improving myself physically. The teachings behind the practice frequently shock me with brutal honesty. I can count on Guruatma to deliver the science in a way that supports what I want, while at the same time keeping me on track with what I “should” be doing. This makes her pricelessly infatuating.

Now, consider your two favorite customers (past, current, or future).  Is there something you are offering or could offer that inspires infatuation? You might consider helping customers with their “should’s”?  Several months ago, Made to Stick authors Dan & Chip Heath wrote an interesting article on the subject for Fast Company. Reading it might give you the inspiration for a product or service that links wants (a fix) and shoulds (fulfillment) for your customers: Sell Handcuffs – Why Customers Will Pay You to Restrain Them.

Several years ago I worked with an HR Director that I adored.  I supported her in what she wanted –getting on Forbes Best-Companies-to-Work-for-List (2 years in a row). Her “want” was in the recognition –her company was absolutely a fabulous place to work. The “should” came from me –the company should have some metrics to demonstrate the bottom-line effectiveness of being a great place to work. At the time, an HR Director implementing metrics was not the norm, but we both knew it was a worthwhile endeavor and an edge. It was my job to support not only her need, but the metric design “should” prior to submitting the Best Company Application.

Might the future of business lie in encouraging “shoulds,” things customers know are good for them, rather than indulging “wants,” things craved in the moment? It’s a compelling idea.

Related Post: Infatuate Your Customers

Services: Plan & Let Go

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