The secret of successful business

Coming from a ‘traditional’ business background, I was taught all the tips and tricks to selling, marketing, beating competitors and selling the benefits of our services/products. 

For example, let’s say a customer calls up to enquire about your services.  In traditional business, you have probably been taught to:

  • a/ tell them all the amazing features and benefits of your service, or 
  • b/ get them to meet you for coffee so you can discuss options – and don’t tell them your prices over the phone, or even 
  • c/ get them talking about themselves for the first ten minutes to ‘build their trust’ so they’ll be more open to your spiel.
This approach to business has been developed by experts over so many years – it’s proven to work – so it must be the right thing to do! Yet if that’s true, then why do I feel so uncomfortable – squeamish – about cold-calling, selling or going head-to-head with another business to compete for a customer?

I attended numerous seminars that espouse these approaches, but for me, something feels wrong! What was it? 
After some thought, I realised that selling features and benefits seems to be ‘all about me’ – not ‘all about the client’. And anything involving hiding prices or requiring ‘approaches to building trust’ feels surreptitious and/or manipulative to me.  It was only after becoming a coach that I realised there was another, better way to be successful in business. 
So what IS that alternative?
The secret is using coaching as your way of doing business. For this approach to be successful, it requires that you, as a person, live and breathe the principles of positivity that are used in coaching – gratitude, authenticity, belief, joy…..
If you are passionate about what you do, you’ll probably do it really well, and with gusto and joy. You will appreciate and understand your clients’ challenges, and relate to them. You will have genuine empathy. You will feel genuine gratitude when your customer is happy. 
If you believe in what you are doing, you’ll be innovative, will lead by example, and will attract the very people who really need your help. 
In other words, it starts with finding your true passion in life.  
Jacob M. Held’s Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! sums it up beautifully:
In many societies, “…One’s essential life activity becomes simply a means for life, a way of earning money so one can buy the necessities and maybe a few toys, not an expression of one’s individuality.” 
However, “…how one lives her life should be consistent with her essence as a free, productive being. Her labour, her productive activity, should be a free expression of her own consciously chosen life.” 
If we had the power to choose our passion, imagine how different we could run our businesses – from the heart.