People can be strange creatures, at times. We prefer to buy from those we know, like and trust for example. Sometimes we are happy to pay more than their competition charges, just to keep buying from our favorite place.
And that’s good news if you are in business. Here’s why.
If you get to know your customers and they get to know, like and trust you then those dynamics are working for you, not against you.
Being friendly and likeable is a good start when you are dealing with your market, and behaving in ways that deserves their trust.
So how do you let them know who you are and what your core values are? Let them know about your social responsibility program. Be a visible part of your community.
Before we go further – you can’t just do this as a means of promotion, and maybe feature it in your advertising! The public would figure that out and they’d stay away in droves. There has to be a genuine, compelling reason for you to be helping those you help, and once you “allow the public” to find out that will give you the presence you are looking for.
As an example: If you read the first post in this series you will know why I am writing these posts. You have been lied to. I don’t like it when people lie. (Telling your significant other that you forgot their birthday and didn’t get a chance to go shopping so you can surprise them on the day with a great present doesn’t count!) I am also a co-founder of a charity that helps to feed children. Yes, there are lots of those, but we have connected to a UN program, and we believe that feeding them is just the beginning. Now that they are being fed they can also be educated. That might only mean a basic education, or it might mean a University degree. Once someone is educated to their satisfaction they need an outlet for their new knowledge: a job, a research idea, a business of their own, or any of a number of possibilities that you may have thought of. If they choose to start a business them some seed funding and mentoring would be of assistance to them and we don’t ask for a share of the outcome in any way.
That resonates with me because history is full of people who nearly didn’t survive and then went on to achieve greatness – maybe the child that is about to succumb to starvation is the one we need to cure cancer (my father died of cancer and several friends as well).Or maybe they will be the one to enlighten the population of the planet so we achieve real and lasting peace. Or maybe they will invent a faster internet, a cheaper computer, a sustainable vehicle, or reduce world temperature change. OK, world peace might be a stretch since so many make a profit out of the current situation, but you get the point!
Imagine one day being able to say that you helped give that child their start in life. That’s a legacy I’d like to leave. Don’t misunderstand – I doubt that more than a half dozen people will ever know, should that ever come to pass. It would be enough that I know. In the meantime I’ll just keep on walking down that road.
What can you do that would make a difference? What can you do that tells your market something about you, your values and what you stand for? Share your social vision and get them on board, and they will step up to support you in that aim if it resonates with them.