I’ve asked many people to tell me the most important letter for a business person. Most people answer “My invoice” when talking about letters they send, or the confirmation of an order for letters they receive. While those letters ARE important, that’s not the letter I’m talking about. The letter that is most important in business is the letter ‘P’. Let me explain why.
First of all, the word ‘profit’ starts with that letter, and this really is the most important factor in any business. There are other factors, of course, the number of customers, your turnover, how many sales calls you make each day and the other Key Performance Indicators you track and all important. It’s just that profit is fundamental to your business. Without a profit, your business cannot last very long. How long it can last depends upon how much money you started with.
And there are other words that start with ‘p’ to help you generate the best profit, in the least time, with the least effort. The first one to talk about is People. People are important to your business, for two important reasons. The first is that some people will be on your team. You may call them staff, employees, partners, JV partners or simply by their name, but they are on your team. That means it is important to make sure they are the best team you can have.
So how do you select the right partners? There only three things to consider. The first is if they share the same passion for the task at hand as you do. If they too are passionate they will not need you to inspire and motivate them. That will mean that they will perform better, and that will lead to improved profits.
They also must have a skill or talent that the business requires. This just means that you must make sure that you form your partnership for the right reasons. Your business deserves the best people doing their best. A skilled person who is passionate about what your business stands for will help you take your profits to new heights.
Finally, everyone is born with certain innate abilities. We recognise them easily in most team sports – people play one sport over another because they are quite simply far better at it. Think of Michael Jordan. He was perhaps the best basketball player of all time. Even with his obvious passion and competitiveness he did not rise to the same heights in baseball. He was born with the ability to play basketball, better than anyone else.
The same is true for business. What that means is: business is a team sport. Different people have different abilities, and are able to make different contributions to the business. Let me give you some examples.
Oprah built her own business empire, based on sitting on a sofa talking to people. Donald trump made several fortunes introducing people to one another, and taking a percentage of the business that resulted from the new partnership. George Soros bought low and sold high, and Warren Buffet bought and didn’t sell. All very different ways of making a lot of money. The point is that they were each born with innate abilities that allowed them to deliver value and to leverage that value into large fortunes. You are the same. You were born with a set of abilities and your task is to identify what they are and maximise the return you get from them.
The value in knowing this is to discover the abilities people were born with and assign roles within your business based on those abilities. For example, someone like Oprah might be very effective at sales or customer service, and a person that shares Donald Trump’s abilities most likely would be good at negotiation.
There are many ways to discover your innate ability, and those of your potential partners. Select one or more ‘profiling’ systems, from Myers-Briggs to Enneagram, DISC, Wealth Dynamics or perhaps best of all Visual Profiling. Some may provide a more accurate assessment than others, some may relate better to certain industries, but the point is that using any one is better than not using any. You can research these and many more via the internet.
A team member who shares your passion for the business, and is skilled at the kinds of thing they were born to do, that feels they are fulfilling their destiny doing them will provide your customers with such great service, and that will sky-rocket your profits.
So what about customers? They are people too! And they can be selected and assisted by having a good connection with them. They are the subject of the next article in this series. Be sure to read it to find out how to identify them and communicate what they want to hear.