I first noticed it in my dad’s tire store. I worked there during summer vacations from high school, changing tires and doing oil changes. There were some guys in the shop who worked hard and got a lot done, and then there were others who smoked cigarettes more than they worked on cars.
Because the hard workers were almost always prompt in the mornings and worked hard throughout the day, my dad gave them the most slack on the days they were late or the times they wanted to take their kids to the doctor’s office. The guys who didn’t work as hard got sent home or were trouble if they were just a couple minutes late one morning.
I took this lesson to heart and applied it to all of my work. In my first professional job, I quickly decided I’d do the work of three or four people. I didn’t mind. I figured the more jobs I did, the harder it would be to replace me. By doing those jobs, I learned a lot I never would have known otherwise, and soon I was efficient enough to get it all done.
So many in the info-marketing world have the wrong attitude. They want to slap an ebook on the Web, record a quick interview or throw together a seminar to generate cash for themselves without considering how to become useful to their customers.
For a long time, I took this “being useful to customers” thing too far. Not only did I over deliver, but I swamped them. I gave my customers too much to consume. So I had to learn that rather than giving more content, more calls and more words. It’s often more valuable to condense volumes of information down into just what someone must know.
The key in any relationship is to become indispensable. Whether you are working a job, nurturing a marriage or retaining customers, your goal should always be to become indispensable.
Consider the electric company. It provides a product to customers. These customers have made hundreds of decisions in their lives based on the electricity in their homes. Every month they buy something new that has to plug in. The electric company has become indispensable.
As an info-marketer, you want to build products and systems your customers incorporate into their lives in the same way they do electricity. When your product or service becomes an integral part of their lives, it becomes a big hassle for them if they choose to “unplug.”
Here are a few examples of becoming indispensible you can read about in the Info-Marketing Library at www.MyInfoMarketingForum.com.
Rory Fatt created a rewards program for restaurants and retailers called Royalty Rewards. Once a business owner adopts the program, enters his customers’ names into the system and promises them rewards for purchases, it’s extremely difficult for that owner to tell all his customers he isn’t going to honor the rewards he has promised. Plus, the system actually increases customer purchase frequency so the business owner becomes dependent on the additional revenue.
Jason Silverman created Powerful Words for martial arts schools. It’s a monthly curriculum the schools can promote to children and parents as life skills training they learn while receiving their martial arts instruction. Once a school begins “matt chats” and promotes them to parents, it’s really difficult for that school to tell all its customers it is going to stop offering this valuable service.
Donna Maria Coles Johnson found an insurance company that would offer policies to individuals who manufactured and sold their cosmetics from their homes. Today, she is one of the only providers of this coverage, giving her an opportunity to serve almost the entire community of these small business owners.
How can you become indispensable to your customers? Are there new services you could offer that would relieve your customers of a lot of the work they are doing? Are there products you could offer that could get your customers a lot more of what they want? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave me a comment. I read every comment and reply when appropriate.