“Vision is the thing that makes my heart sing. It puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face.”
I said those words to an audience that had come to hear me talk about small business marketing. They sure didn’t expect me to pivot off into an esoteric topic like ‘vision’ .
But my contention was that unless they expanded their vision for their business how could they grow it?
So the ‘vision thing’ as some call it, should be embraced and here is why……
If you use it properly in your business you will take people on a journey that will result in better outcomes for you and them.
If you employ people you will attract better people. Enthuse them with your vision and if they buy into it they’ll get excited, and will almost beg to work with you.
But more than this: your vision will attract better customers. Articulate it on your website, your blog and even in your advertising . This is on the proviso that you use it in a commercially oriented way.
Having a vision will make you more enthusiastic which may give you a vital edge. Use it to attract joint venture partners and other multipliers so you can take your business to the next level.
What Is Vision?
Whatever the correct meaning is, we do know that vision has the power to motivate, direct, and inspire people to do things that they ordinarily (probably) would not do.
So there you have it:
Vision excites, inspires and transports people to a higher place.
Visionary Statements to Remember
‘I have a dream’
Are you familiar with the powerful speech given by Martin Luther King in 1963? Talk about vision! That speech was so powerful that it inspired millions of people to advance the cause of black people, and not just in the USA but all over the world.
The power of vision.
Here is an extract from his famous speech:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!”
Powerful stuff! Even today when i read those words it sends shivers down my spine. Such is the power of a well articulated vision.
He concluded his speech with these words:
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
What do you think? Awesome, right?
(Watch it HERE)
Not only was this speech brilliantly written but it was delivered by perhaps the greatest orator of the 20th century.
Talk about life and vision enhancing!
So what has this to do with your business? Well nothing and everything. Apart from the fact that it helps to build my case for the ability of a potent vision to inspire, it hopefully will act as an introduction to the topic of vision in a business context.
How to Expand Your Vision
Years ago I was watching motivational speaker, Bob Proctor. During his talk he built a case for people to stretch themselves so they could achieve whatever they wanted in life. He capped off the point with this statement:
‘Focus on a higher vision more than a lower concern’
Kinda neat, eh?
Too often people wallow in self pity, doubt, and even self loathing. But if they move beyond their current travails and focus on a better tomorrow things will not seem so bad after all.
How to expand your vision? You do it with ideas. I’ve found that ideas can inspire and move people to higher ground. So immerse yourself in self study if that is your thing. Watch some videos, listen to some instructional audios and read a new book. If you plug into the right material soon you’ll feel the creative juices flowing, the ideas will be flowing, and your vision will expand.
On the other hand you may find it more productive to connect face to face with people in your business, and brainstorm ideas with them. You do it on the basis that you want everyone to give of their best. From there will come inspiration and ultimately, clarity.
Vision Extension Idea – Plug Into Your Customer’s Vision
It’s one thing to expand your own vision for your business but it’s another thing entirely to tap into your customer’s vision. This is where magic can happen.
Customers often will spend more money with you if you expand their vision. Do it by showing them how your ‘big solution’ will help them solve a big problem and/or open the door to a better tomorrow.
If you don’t yet have a big solution you can offer your customers, maybe that is one thing you can work on, when you do your own vision brainstorming.
What Business Are You Really In?
Mack Hanan wrote the book Sales Shock in 1996. Although the book has been around for a long time it is quite extraordinary how prescient he was.
Essentially what he was saying was that simply being a commodity supplier of products was no longer good enough. All that will happen is that you will be competing with an army of price obsessed sellers promoting to buyers who don’t know any better.
Here is what Mack Hanan did: he showed sales people how to move beyond a volume driven sales approach and embrace the partnership model instead. The partnership model works on the basis that you create ‘in-depth ongoing partnerships in highly lucrative niche markets’.
So what does this have to do with the topic of vision? Simple. Hanan teaches that by expanding a customer’s vision regarding the relationship between sellers and themselves, they will be far less focused on price.
Rather than seeing sellers as merely suppliers of a product Hanan showed that by taking a vision led, lateral thinking approach sellers could powerfully add value by becoming like a virtual partner in the customer’s business. Result? More sales and income for hard pressed salespeople.
The point of this story is to demonstrate that by thinking creatively you can come up with at least one big idea for your customers, no matter what industry you’re in.
The other point is that you have to be very clear on what business you’re in. For instance if you sell software products to business owners you are not really selling software – instead you are selling cost and time saving solutions that will help customers improve their bottom line.
Once you’re clear on that, you can then move to the next level and develop value added packages that not only deliver the software but remove all the hassles associated with installation, maintenance etc. A smart operator will extend the idea much further, perhaps even taking on the role of ‘software partner’ in the customer’s business. And this is where the big money is often made – at the back end.
And here is the good news: your big idea will have a higher price tag. And you may be surprised to know that often the big idea/high margin option is easier to sell then your every day day low margin products and services.
4 Examples: How Vision Can Make You More Money
Here are four of my own personal examples:
Recently I had a phone interview with a marketing consultant who really did know how to expand my vision. Unlike a previous discussion with another consultant a few weeks prior, the new guy got me excited about spending more than $20k for his services. The previous guy had me agonizing about spending a mere $3k. See how customer focused vision can make such a huge difference to your bottom line?
Early in my sales career I met a guy called Michael. He was a sales trainer with a life insurance company. A very charismatic guy, Michael soon had me eating out of the palm of his hand. He explained that the reason I was only having mediocre results (as a salesman) was because I was ‘just another order taker’.
He then said that if I wanted to explode my income I had to become a Sales Maker. And then he said something profound (at least it was to me as a wet around the ears 24 year old):
“If you want to become a sales maker you do it by expanding people’s vision of what is possible”
I took on board what he said but more importantly I asked him to help me make it happen. So he went out with me on sales calls and showed me to do it. I trebled my income within 60 days.
A couple of months ago I attended a high end mastermind in Malaysia. Towards the end of the 5 day event the host gave a talk about another even more expensive Mastermind he was promoting. The cost? A mere $30k!
But here is where it gets interesting. His presentation was structured in such a way that many of the attendees were jumping out of their skins with excitement for no other reason than the presenter expanded their vision as to what this new product could do for them. Because of the high cost many could not buy it, but on that day 10 people stepped up to the plate – $300,000 in sales from one 90 minute presentation.
Recently one of my clients was agonizing about spending $2,500 with me for marketing tools and support services. Yet I knew he could spend more. So I told him some stories about how others had spent a much larger amount for a more advanced package, and got a huge increase in income for their business.
The stories made the difference here and soon after our phone conversation ended he emailed me and said he was moving forward on the higher priced option at $12,500.
How to Tap Into Your Customer’s Vision and Explode Your Sales
Here is where it gets really exciting. If you turn the tables and work with customers more closely you can expand THEIR vision as to what is possible. So if you have a big ticket product or service to promote, the way to do it is to expand your customers vision.
If you don’t have a ‘big solution’ product or service to offer, perhaps you should think about that right now.
So to summarize, the formula is this:
- Create a big vision for your business
- Tap into your customers vision and promote big idea/big ticket solutions to selected customers
- The increase in revenue will help ensure your vision is realized.
My next post on this topic will go deeper and will detail to you how to sell big solutions by expanding your customer’s vision. (I’ve sold millions of dollars worth of products and services using these techniques.) I know you’ll love it.
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