There is an immovable truth for getting business if you’re self-employed. Prospects can call you, or they can call someone else. Chances are, every other “someone else” has skills that are equal to yours. So why the heck should they call YOU?
They have to value your expertise, of course. But more importantly, they have to really like working with you!
If I’m nice and likeable, they’ll want to work with me, right?
The initial instinct might be to “play nice.” If I’m nice and likeable, they’ll want to work with me, right? I urge you to dive a little deeper. Have a personal credo that you live by. The credo, if you will, defines the spirit and energy that you bring to your clients. Great companies have their credos. These credos are clearly articulated. They are consciously embodied. Most importantly, when the credos work, they become the energy that we sense the moment we enter that company’s space. It’s quite remarkable.
Here are four credos we live by in my firm, Influens:
- We’re easy to work with.
- We’re fun.
- We drill down.
- We know what we’re talking about.
Sounds like common sense stuff, right? Well, here are some of the thoughts behind these credos that are important to me. I want us to have a strong customer service mindset. “Customer service mindset” sounds cold and cerebral. The phrase “we’re easy to work with” is simple and clear. “We’re fun” and “we drill down” may sound contradictory.
We thrive on this contradiction. Since we’re in the workshop and training business, we want our offerings to be hugely enjoyable and, at the same time, have real substance. We believe that when we’re at our best, we are deep and provocative and irresistibly fun, all at once.
What’s most important about the last credo, “We know what we’re talking about,” is what it leaves unsaid. If we’re asked to deliver a service that falls outside of our areas of expertise, we don’t fake it. We decline. We send the requestor to someone who is a true expert.
Do you have clearly defined personal credos? If not, have some fun creating them. Here are 4 simple tips on how to create credos that will work for you:
- Stick to 4 credos or less.
- Stay away from rambling values and principle statements. Keep your credo phrases short and sweet. The shorter they are, the more they will resonate.
- Pick phrases that “have juice.”
- Display your credos in your office, on your laptop. Everywhere.
Do some creative wordsmithing. Play with language that truly turns you on. This I can state with supreme confidence: Once you settle on credos that are vivid and visceral for you, the phone will start ringing. Get ready.
Achim Nowak is the author of the just published “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within” (Allworth Press, 2013) and “Power Speaking: The Art of the Exceptional Public Speaker” (Allworth Press). An internationally recognized authority on leadership presence, Achim has coached Fortune 500 executives around the globe.