Building and retaining a strong client or customer base is imperative to any business whether it is big or small, corporate or retail, new or old. Your clients are the life blood of your business success. Without clients no business will survive.
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We are working through the anagram GLUE for making sure that your clients and customers stick with you through thick and thin. Over these four episodes I will be sharing with you how you can ensure that your message sticks with your new client, that they stick with you because you are the kind of person people want to stick with.
The last episode I discussed like-ability and how you can increase your like-ability with people that you meet in business and socially.
You can listen to this podcast by clicking here and listening in iTunes or read the general transcript below.
Now we’re moving on to the letter U. The letter U and not you the person. Come to think of it, through all of this is it IS all about you the person. In this instance we are working through the anagram of GLUE and ensuring that your clients stick with you through thick and thin, the U has a totally different meaning here.
The U that I am talking about is related to uniformity. Uniformity in your message, uniformity of your brand, uniformly with your values and above all uniformity of consistency. No point and in no way am I referring to a very bland outfit that everybody else is wearing.
As I was working out this anagram it was the letter U that came last. I knew the genetics were important because we like people who look like us. I knew the experience was important because we relate to people who do the same things as we do. And while education may seem unrelated, traditional schooling and cultural affiliations are also very important. And you see I love working with anagrams. I love making patterns with words and especially patterns that relate to what information I’m trying to share or convey. So you see initially the anagram for this program was glee or leg. So you’re either going to expect me to burst into song at any given moment or to start telling people that this will give them a leg up. And I could see it then very quickly turning into giving a leg over you get the picture, it wasn’t right. So anyway I had settled on the word GLEE and was developing the program when, shall we say, a blinding flash of realisation made me aware of the importance of consistency in your brand and in your message. So the C of consistency in itself caused all sorts of problems finding a new word, yet when I turned it into the U of Uniformity- 2 options presented themselves. The words gulee and glue. phonetically the word GULEE sounds like gully and a gully is a lovely part of the landscape. Rivers run through a gully. Trees grow along the edges of gulleys. It is quite beautiful. But when we’re talking about attracting people, going for your best, reaching your pinnacle success, then you do not want to get stuck between 2 mountains. You want to be up in the peaks. You want to be flying above which led to another anagram NET. if you fly with a net you will always be safe. that is doing something that people need, that is essential and that people trust. And that is a whole new program and not one we are going into now.
So I think you will agree that having your clients stick to you like glue is a positive affirmation of all that you want to achieve. So with this in mind let’s get on to talking about the letter U.
U stands for uniform. As I mentioned before, being consistent, being uniform in your message, Uniform with your values and the values of your clients in uniform and how you look.
Larger businesses do uniformity very well. airlines, hotels and most major banks will have their staff in a uniform. The value of wearing a physical uniform whether it is matching clothing to everyone else, branded clothing or just the same clothing or style of clothing every day as in Steve jobs with his trademark turtleneck or Anna Wintour with her trademark bob and large sunglasses. The value is that you become recognisable. People are never surprised. More often than not people do not want to be surprised, unless of course you’re a comedian in nearly every other case. People like conventionality or should I say that which they expect. Just as if you are an unconventional person they will expect you to be looking unconventional or to act in an unconventional manner. It is about being consistent. You can’t afford to only have one or 2 good looks or should I say one or 2 professional outfits and the rest be a total mismatch. The minute you start dropping in people’s expectations of you the minute you professionality will suffer. This does not mean you must wear the same clothing everyday, unless of course you are wearing a uniform. What it does mean is that once you set a standard you must maintain that standard everyday. It is when you maintain your standard that your brand will begin to develop. As I mentioned before uniformity is not just wearing uniform. Look further than the clothes you are wearing. And this is where your brand comes into play.
As you develop your brand would hope you have been considering both when you value and your clients value. If you decide to go for a traditional business card, a bold and dramatic website and you present yourself in a whimsical esoteric style there is absolutely no uniformity there.
if you work for large corporation then the brand will be established. It may be that the logo will get changed yet intrinsically the brand will remain as it is. You will find that there is consistency in design of the business cards, the sales material, the website and the message is communicated out to the public. whether you work for a large corporation or a smaller boutique business this is an element of the overall business development, growth and success that must be considered by all employees. From the janitor to the CEO the greater the commitment to maintaining and presenting the company brand the greater success that the business will know.
So if you are starting out in your own business take the time to map out exactly what you want your brand to say and how you want it said. By taking the time to do this you will leave less chance to error or maybe should I say less chance of a mismatch in your message and your branded products.
Now if you are working for an established business or company and you wish to go up the ladder of success I would strongly recommend you map out for yourself what the image and message of their brand is and align the way you present yourself accordingly. Years ago I was doing some work with the real estate firm and they had a new member of the sales team was not quite toeing the company line when it came to how it presented himself. He was selling a mix a of corporate and residential properties and their brand was a mixture of trustworthy, reliability and I suppose dependability. Basically suits, collared shirts and ties. he certainly was not working in the Surf Coast area yet refuse to see that the wooden surfing beads he wore as a bracelet were undermining his professionalism. I did bring this to his attention and he was not very agreeable at first that the bracelet had anything to do with hiss success as a real estate agent. Interestingly I discovered later that he took the bracelets off a and his sales improved. A Now whether one had anything to do with the other a or just is confidence improved I’m not sure. But I am sure a that his clients were less conflicted in the message his appearance he was presenting and therefore his message came across clearer.
As I mentioned earlier uniformity is also about consistency. It is not being well presented once, twice or even 3 times. It is now presenting the same reliable image that supports you, your brand, your values and where you are going every single time you go to work. Those who will have attended one of my presentations will know I start with many images of optical illusions to highlight just how differently we all see life. I would highly recommend, if you are running, starting or even established in your own business to ensure that what your values and brand is saying to you. And the image, marketing and branding that you use has the same message to your ideal client base. I know when it came to my first logo the ones I was drawn to fulfilled the feminine side of my personality but did not convey the message that I was hoping for. If I had followed that route I would have drawn a completely different market to me and not necessarily the market I was chasing.
Make sure that people are reading the same message that you are giving. Ask for help from your friends or professional image consultants like myself to make sure that what you are doing is supporting your goals, not hindering them.
Consistency in how you present yourself is the key to success. Especially if you present yourself well, consistently.