One time, I spent WAY too much on a haircut.
In my defense, I really wanted it. It was at a Curly Hair salon. My hair is naturally wild. And it gets bigger in crazy weather. 0ne day, I came across a salon that SPECIALIZES in curly hair. Wow! And its website perfectly described my problem. It said something like "You never know if it's going to be a good or bad hair day" (insert sympathetic tears here).
Yes. Exactly. They get it, I thought. Sold.
If they understand what my challenge is, they've obviously heard it all before. They KNOW what they're doing. Easy decision.
Point is, they were great at convincing me of their value. And you are always convincing people of your value. We are all selling ourselves. Always. (Scary, I know!). Being good isn't good enough, as my mom, Tsufit of Step into the Spotlight, so astutely points out. Good is a starting point. It's already taken for granted. But you must have an advantage to be relevant. You need to understand your client better than anyone else. So that you're trusted more than anyone else. Because YOU alone "get it."
*Side Note: Haircut was a 7/10. Decent but it didn't exactly turn me into JLO*
I love freedom. It's so important to me. If you're like me and you want freedom, you have to exchange value for money. (Even better if it's on your terms).
I don't care about material things. I had a $40 Huawei phone that was missing the "e" button until the whole thing broke and I traded up. Money isn't what I love. It's cool and all. But more exciting is that money buys choice. And I like having options.
To become super-valuable at work, an organization, in your business, figure out the problem. Work yourself into the solution.
Expertly define the problem. Use stories. Vivid images. Bright colours. Human values. Deep meaning. If you perfectly articulate the challenge to your prospect, they’ll say “Exactly. You understand me. Okay, so what’s the solution?”
Clients will be hungry for what you have. This goes for all forms of work, “selling” an idea, “selling” yourself. Get good at defining the problem so that YOU’RE the one they look to for the solution. This makes you valuable, important, irreplaceable.
How to define the solution? You must KNOW the person, people or company you're serving. You must do empathy research. Ask a bazillion great questions, like you're writing a biography on them. Shut your mouth. Listen. Learn their pain points, struggles, goals, dreams.
Then help them solve their problem. This is the work. Package your solution nicely. Give them advice that changes their outcomes. Information isn't enough, as CEO of Clients on Demand Russ Ruffino points out: "People don't want information; they want transformation." Put yourself in a position of loving authority. Truly care about their outcomes. (If you don't, you're in the wrong industry. Peace out.) As Jay Abraham explains "You must become their most trusted advisor."
Seth Godin reminds us that a successful day is one in which you gained more trust and influence over the people you serve. That means understanding them better, then giving to them better.
Remember This: Ask for something and they'll run. Solve their problems and they'll come in crowds.