Does your business sell hope?
What does your business sell? Do you ever look beyond the physical items or the list of services on your menu and think about that? Do you see more than things? In business, it is easy to get focused on the deliverables and overlook one key ingredient you provide a little of in every transaction.
Our family went to a Christmas Concert this past Friday evening. If you ever want to get into the Christmas and Holiday Spirit, I would highly recommend an Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith concert. This show also featured Jordan Smith, last year’s winner of “The Voice”. To top it off, there was a full symphony orchestra of Kansas City’s finest musicians on stage with them. I didn’t find it mentioned anywhere in the program, but they sold a lot of hope Friday night.
“In the factory we make cosmetics, in the store we sell hope.” – Charles Revson, founder of Revlon Cosmetics.
How important is this idea of selling hope? Charles Revson was known to be so difficult to work with several of his vendors fired him, he still had great success. Creating his message of hope through using their products helped build Revlon into a giant in the cosmetic industry. Revson wanted every marketing message designed to sell hope.
Every business has products or services they sell. It doesn’t matter if you’re for profit or nonprofit, at the end of the day you need to have some kind of deliverable to have a business. But intentionally adding hope to your deliverable creates a paradigm shift because it becomes less about the product and more about the possibilities once your customer acquires it. It is hard to create excitement around a product if you don’t include hope. Hope adds possibilities.
Hope helps to bridge the gap between your customer’s challenge and your solution – if you’re not intentionally supplying that hope, then that gap can be difficult to cross.
Can you only sell hope? Maybe…there is a classic skit from Saturday Night Live about a bank that only made change. It was the First CityWide Change Bank (so stupid, it’s funny). Their business model was doomed, but I guess you could say they were selling hope in every transaction! So we would encourage you to make sure you’re providing hope in a sustainable business model. 😉
Adding Hope to what you sell….
A great way to increase the hope component of what you sell is to get beyond the actual product and think about what it is you want your customer to experience and feel once they invest in your product or service. What is it that you are really providing them? That is where the hope is.
For example, a meal with friends at a great restaurant provides all sorts of intangible benefits that have nothing to do with the food and drinks – it’s the experience and outcomes being provided. People will book that restaurant because they’re hoping to connect to someone in a special way…they’re buying hope.
When you get beyond the specifications, the details, the time requirement, and the financial investment and are focusing on what they will really receive as your customer you are able to differentiate your product or service from competitors. The hope will shine through.
What about you? Have you ever thought about your products or services before as opportunities to sell hope? Does it change the way you think about your business?
Finally, as we continue through this Christmas & Holiday Season, we ask you to be generous wherever you can and look for ways to not only sell hope in your business, but deliver it anyway you can.
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach