Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicityby Stacey Hall, Jan Brogniez
Attracting Perfect Customers leads readers through a transformation as they learn that it is no longer productive or profitable to conduct business using warlike marketing techniques such as "targeting" customers and "outmaneuvering" the competition. In fact, these techniques seem both outdated and labor-intensive when compared to the Strategic
Attracting Perfect Customers leads readers through a transformation as they learn that it is no longer productive or profitable to conduct business using warlike marketing techniques such as "targeting" customers and "outmaneuvering" the competition. In fact, these techniques seem both outdated and labor-intensive when compared to the Strategic Synchronicity process, which requires just five minutes of planning each day.
Strategic Synchronicity is based on nine principles that are not new but are often neglected in today's business world. Among them are the ideas that businesses don't need to search for customers if they are "on purpose"; that collaboration, not competition, is required; and that businesses create their own "clients from hell".
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Attracting Perfect CustomersThe Power of Strategic Synchronicity
By Stacey Hall Jan Brogniez
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2001 Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBe on Purpose with Your Mission
Work is evolving from supporting only our survival to nourishing and encouraging our livelihood. Martin Rutte
A FEW years ago, while working at a job that she did not enjoy, Stacey came across the following affirmation: "Do what you love to do and the universe rushes in to support you." She realized as she read the statement that she did not feel supported by the universe in her job. Rather than being easily swept along to her goals, she felt as if she were constantly walking into a windstorm. Each day seemed harder than the day before. Although she originally thought the company's mission and values were aligned with her own, it became apparent that she had been fooling herself. In giving the organization what it needed, she was increasingly surpressing her own needs. Yet she was attached to the job because she wanted the salary, prestige, and connections that came with it.
As a community service, she would periodically conduct free workshops to teach marketing and communications principles to business owners. She truly loved facilitating the workshops, and the people who attended let her know how much they enjoyed her teaching methods. She felt completely alive when she was leading those workshops. Her personal mission—assisting organizations to operate in the best interests of the community—had found a voice. When she read that affirmation, the realization that these workshops were her business mission, her unique service to the world, hit her like a thunderbolt!
She had a choice: continue to fight against the wind until it finally blew her away, or allow herself to be carried along by the wave of certainty and joy that she had a responsibility to share her unique understanding of marketing with the world.
Just one problem stood in the way of making what was otherwise such a clear choice—money. She had to ask herself why she was making her workshops available for free. The answer was that she was not sure anyone would attend if she charged for them. She realized that she would be stuck in an unfulfilling job as long as she lacked trust that she could make money doing what she loved to do. With that realization, she knew that it was time to open her own consulting practice and be "on purpose" with her mission.
Richard Barrett, visionary, consultant, and best-selling author, recently spoke about his work supporting leaders in building values-driven organizations. At the end of the session, when one member of the audience thanked him for his insights, Richard responded, "I am grateful to be a channel for this information—and I thank God that this is the way I get to make my living." In that one sentence, Richard summed up what each of us who is truly living our passion gets to feel about our business.
It is our belief that most successful businesses began with someone's passionate mission: to share new information, produce a better product, provide a new understanding, contribute to the culture. A successful business remains successful because it stays true to its mission. How does a business stay true to its mission?
* By becoming clear about whom it is meant to serve
* By hiring only people who are truly aligned with the mission
* By ensuring its products, its management practices, and its organizational structures are all in alignment with the mission
* By measuring how well the organization has achieved its mission each and every day
* By trusting that money is a natural by-product of staying true to the mission
A business that stays true to its mission is an "attractive" business. An attractive business is one that is standing still and solid, emanating the light of its mission, so that its most perfect customers can easily find their way to the company.
Is the Customer Always Right?
Businesses with an overactive appetite for short-run results—created from a desire to grab the greatest number of customers in order to make the most money in the least amount of time—are much like the frantic lighthouse described above. Running up and down the beach, these businesses soon get winded and deplete their energy.
Their attractiveness quickly fades because this least-common-denominator approach lacks the depth of a more sophisticated strategic understanding of how to build longer and more satisfying relationships. A slower, surer reliance on the process of attraction allows a business to expand from its capacity to serve appropriate, appreciative customers who respond to the company's intent and mission without having to be "sold," "baited," or "snatched away" from the competition.
While nothing is inherently wrong with the old approach, it does require a business to expend a great deal of time, energy, and money on developing tools to predict every possible customer need and desire. It also has to prepare for "damage control," to handle the many complaints that come when its predictions are inaccurate.
Conversely, when the owner, managers, and employees design the business out of their mutual goals and shared values, they know exactly which types of customers the business is suited to serve. They know exactly which services and products they desire to provide to these customers. They know the business's hours of operation, they know the size of the staff, and they know what to charge for the products and services.
This information comes directly from asking themselves, "How would I want to be served by this business?" They trust that their mission is to serve others in just the way they would want to be treated. This means standing absolutely secure in the knowledge that many others need to receive their services or products. The energy that emanates from such confidence is like the light that shines from a lighthouse.
As the sky becomes dark, the light in the lighthouse automatically turns on. That is its mission. It does not wait for a boat to arrive before shining its light. It never waivers from its function of being a lighthouse, even if no boats are in the harbor on a particular night.
A perfect example of the concept of designing and maintaining a business committed to its mission is shown in The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company, written by Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy. Nordstrom's mission— "Not service like it used to be, but service that never was. A place where service is an act of faith"—encourages entrepreneurial, motivated men and women to operate from their own personal missions in making an extra effort to provide customer service that is unequaled in American retailing. If revenue is an indicator of how true a company stays to its mission, then Nordstrom, with sales in excess of $4 billion, is solidly secure and a very "attractive" company.
What Are You Bringing to the World?
The key to staying fully passionate about your business and fully empowered is to ensure that your personal mission and your business mission are completely aligned. Whether you own, manage, or work for your company, you as an individual have a personal mission. Are you clear about what it is? Do you know what you want to bring into the world each day?
We had the pleasure of working with Bambi McCullough, senior vice president of the Houston-based Sterling Bank, and her fellow executives in aligning their personal missions with the organization's business mission—"Exceptional People Providing Unexpected Personal Service." With the vision of becoming the number one bank in the country for owner-operated businesses, they are delivering on their mission through these six service standards, which define what customers can expect from each and every employee:
1. To make every day our grand opening.
2. To Listen, Listen, Listen.
3. To serve others the way we want to be served.
4. To fulfill the customers' needs and exceed their expectations.
5. To be appreciative and respectful.
6. To be confident, knowledgeable, and continue to learn.
Each time Ed Young, owner of Edwin G. Young II Insurance Agency, serves his most perfect customers, he has a clear sense of how closely his personal and business missions are aligned. He proudly displays his unique mission in his e-mail signature line "Your Friendly Farmers Agent and Reconstructionist: When tragedy strikes, we help you reconstruct your life with dignity."
To know if your business is aligned with your personal mission, you must first be aware of your personal mission. One way to construct a personal mission statement is to start by distinguishing the values that you hold closest to your heart. Your core values are those qualities and principles by which you measure your integrity. They give you a foundation to stand upon.
Rick Sidorowicz, editor of The CEO Refresher, referencing the work of James Collins and Jerry Porras in "Building Your Company's Vision," gives a concise and complete overview of the nature of these core values, whether they are held by a person or an organization:
Core values are the organization's sense of character or integrity. Core values define what an organization stands for. Values are "core" if they are so fundamental and deeply held that they will change seldom, if ever. On the other hand it is more likely that the organization will change markets if necessary to remain true to its core values.
Perhaps the key to "greatness" in the sense of viability, adaptability, longevity, and relevance for organizations is this sense of character, identity, unwavering purpose, integrity and the core values that you truly stand for. You discover core ideology by looking inside. It has to be authentic. You can't fake it. It's meaningful only to people inside your organization and it need not be exciting to others outside.
How do you get people to share your core values? You don't. You can't. Just find people that are "predisposed" to share your values and purpose, attract and retain those people, and let those who don't share your values go elsewhere.
Take a moment now to write down in the space below the values that are at your core. Feel free to create your list with a partner with whom you can bounce ideas back and forth.
To get you started, you might want to consider the following core values—integrity, joyfulness, confidence, dedication, a sense of humor, commitment, spirituality, honesty, service, leadership—and add some of them to your list. Next, consider what other values are important to you, and add them to the list below.
My Core Values
From this list of core values, select the three or four that are the most important to you.
Next, arrange these values into a mission statement. For example, if you selected joyfulness, honesty, dedication, and service, your sentence might be "My personal mission is to ensure that I bring honesty, dedication, and service joyfully into everything I do for others."
You may feel that one value is more important to you than all the rest. For example, you may believe that the most important value is justice—that without justice, nothing else matters. If that is the case, then your mission statement might be "My personal mission is to ensure that everyone is treated with justice."
Now you have a basis from which to determine if your business is also operating from this mission. Are the core values of the business you own, you manage, or that employs you in alignment with your core values?
If your answer is yes, you have a solid foundation on which to create your Strategic Attraction Plan for more perfect customers.
If not, we encourage you to use the Strategic Attraction Planning Process provided in part II to attract a more perfect job for you, one that is aligned with your core values and your mission.
Vibrant Businesses Are More Attractive
Why is it so important for your personal and business missions to be fully aligned? With this alignment, you stand taller, your light shines farther, and you are more vibrant, more clearly visible, and much more attractive to the customers who are most perfect for you to serve. This is what it means to be on purpose with your mission. Now let's explore in detail whom and what you want to attract.
Chapter TwoYou Have the Power to Attract Whatever You Desire
Manifesting—the business of doing nothing more than bringing into form a new aspect of yourself. Wayne W. Dyer
IF YOU can envision it, you can manifest it. It's that simple.
Recent studies in the area of quantum physics have resulted in a growing understanding and acceptance of the concept of "mind over matter," that we can control the outcome of events by concentrating on changing our current thought patterns and envisioning the outcome that we prefer. Numerous consultants, behavior therapists, and authors have expounded on the practice and process of manifestation. Two such proponents are Wayne Dyer and Eileen Caddy.
In his book Manifest Your Destiny, Dyer shares his experience that "the process of creation begins first with a desire. Your desires, cultivated as seeds of potential on the path of spiritual awareness, can blossom in the form of freedom to have these desires in peace and harmony with your world. Giving yourself permission to explore this path is allowing yourself the freedom to use your mind to create the precise material world that matches your inner world." Dyer is reminding us that what we sow with our thoughts, we reap in the physical world.
Eileen Caddy's Findhorn Community on the northernmost coast of Scotland is internationally known for growing an abundance of plants, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, even in the worst possible conditions. Caddy attributes her green thumb to her philosophy of expectations: "Expect your every need to be met, expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level, expect to grow spiritually. You are not living by human laws. Expect miracles and see them take place. Hold ever before you the thought of prosperity and abundance, and know that your doing so sets in motion forces that will bring it into being."
You have undoubtedly heard stories of people training their minds to overcome personal and physical obstacles, healing themselves of life-threatening illnesses, for example. These breakthroughs have opened the door for us to use this process in healing our businesses as well. First of all, it is time to recognize that marketing is, and was always intended to be, about envisioning and then attracting to us those customers who are perfect for our business to serve.
It's time to shift our thinking about our businesses from a "scarcity" model—where there are not enough customers to go around—to a model of abundance. We must turn our attention away from the schools of thought that have taught us that good customers are difficult to find, that we have to steal them from our competitors, and that we have to keep meeting our customers' ever-increasing and outrageous demands in order to keep them as our customers. As long as this is what we believe business to be, this is the kind of business we will create. In fact, this idea has become a self-fulfilling prophecy for most businesses.
"Synchronicity Strategists," practitioners of the Strategic Synchronicity marketing model, know that their business magnetism (and profit) grows when they simply focus their attention on envisioning perfect customers flocking to their doors on a regular basis.
"How could it possibly be that easy?" you may ask. Consider this: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then one's vision speaks volumes in attracting those qualities and attributes that one desires to have in a perfect customer, coworker, employee—even a spouse.
Excerpted from Attracting Perfect Customers by Stacey Hall Jan Brogniez Copyright © 2001 by Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Hall is a marketing executive and entepreneur who advises company owners on staying connected to the passion for their business. Hall is cofounder of Perfect Customer Inc. and lives in Houston.
Brogniez is an executive coach and business consultant. She is cofounder of Perfect Customer Inc.
Brogniez is an executive coach and business consultant. She is cofounder of Perfect Customer Inc.
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