Patience, simplicity, compassion and the Tao of branding and sales
Rules for life. Guidelines for leadership. And, yes, business lessons.
All this and more is what you can find in the 2,500(ish)-year-old Tao Te Ching, written by the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu (or, as some scholars believe, a group of Taoist philosophers).
Reading the Tao is part of my morning ritual, as it helps remind me of my place in the universe and keep me centered.
One of the key passages in the Tao is this:
“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
Perhaps it’s obvious how to apply those three treasures to your self-care and interpersonal relationships.
But how can you apply them to your branding and sales efforts?
That’s what we explore in today’s episode of The Authority Brand Podcast:
We humans like to complicate everything, and our branding and sales efforts are no exception.
My clients are often surprised to learn the process I teach through my consulting, which is based on very simple, timeless principles, rather than tools and technology.
The very theme of my podcast — Right message. Right clients. Right revenue. — reflects this simplicity.
It’s easy to get distracted with thoughts of which social media network we should be on; ten tips to produce better videos; how to game the LinkedIn algorithm to get more engagement; how to build complicated funnels with five steps of engagement; and on and on and on and on.
In the end, we forget about this simple notion: How can we deliver the right message to the right clients so we can generate more revenue.
Recently I had a potential client ask me if my process takes 4-5 hours a day, because he simply doesn’t have that much time in his day to focus on branding and sales.
To give you a little idea — I often spend my afternoons at the beach or on hikes with my family because I usually get my branding and sales process completed before 9 a.m. so I can serve my existing clients and then spend the rest of the day LIVING.
Earlier this week, I actually sent a message to some of my existing clients with this thought exercise: If you only had one hour per day to serve your existing clients and reach out to potential new clients, how would you spend that hour?
How would you strip away all the B.S. and excess to-dos and tasks to SIMPLIFY your efforts.
How would you focus your efforts on having more conversations with potential clients?
How would you streamline your branding and sales efforts to deliver the right message to your right ideal clients?
Take some advice from Bruce Lee, who said:
“It is not daily increase but daily decrease, hack away the unessential. The closer to the source, the less wastage there is."
How can you hack away at the unessential and simplify your branding and sales efforts?
An impatient salesperson is a desperate salesperson.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and being motivated to grow your business and sell more.
But cultivating patience by having a certain level of emotional detachment from our sales efforts isn’t only healthy for our individual mindsets, it can help us be more effective.
When we become so impatient that we start becoming desperate, your potential customers can feel it. They can read it in your content. They can hear it in your voice.
When we become impatient and desperate, we begin to push and even perhaps bring in non-ideal clients or remorse buyers who will have a negative impact on our businesses.
Some of our impatience can stem from a mindset of fear; fear that we won’t hit our monthly goals; fear that we’ll never make our next sales; fear that the numbers in our bank account will drop below a certain level.
As the great Bob Burg writes in his book, Adversaries into Allies: Master the Art of Ultimate Influence, "attachment is always accompanied by fear” and suggests “emotional posture” to cultivate some healthy detachment and to be more effective as salespeople:
“Emotional “posture” is that great “state” where, while you might prefer a certain result, you are not “emotionally attached” to it. You care…but not that much. Sure, you’d prefer your desired result to take place and — if it does — that’s terrific! However, your personal happiness, joy and peace of mind is in no way dependent upon it.
“What’s awesome is that — when this is the case — not only are you less bothered when you don’t get what you want…the chances are better that you will get what you want. No, not due to some far out, mystical or magical reasons, but for very practical reasons.
“Without the “attachment” you are able to focus more clearly on your goal without the distraction of fear getting in the way (attachment is always accompanied by fear). Others, seeing your calm and confident manner, are more attracted to you and to your desired outcome, as well.”
Patience can help your mindset. It can also help you be more calm and confident and that will improve your branding and sales efforts.
The purpose of a business is (or should be) to make a positive impact on the lives of other people.
That may sound altruistic, and it is.
But’s it’s also a profitable mindset.
So often, business owners and salespeople are so focused on their product, their features, their bells, their whistles, their experience, their resume, and their wonderfulness that they forget that their potential clients want you to answer one, simple question:
“What’s in it for me?”
Your potential clients want to know the positive impact they get when they give you their hard-earned money and buy your product or service.
So when we ignore that and instead “verbally vomit” our awesomeness all over these people, it’s no surprise that they look elsewhere to spend their hard-earned money.
Branding is about helping people. Sales is about helping people.
If you sell golf balls, you’re improving the life of golfers. Imagine a golfer living in a state that heavily locked-down, and golf is the only outdoor activity and “outlet” for that person to relieve stress. Think about the massive positive impact your making on that person’s life.
This is true whether you sell a product or a service.
It’s not about you. It’s about your customer.
Leading with a sense of compassion enables you to walk in that person’s shoes to understand what it is he or she wants. What’s the positive impact they desire?
This isn’t just about profits. It’s about mindset.
Imagine waking up excited about going out and helping other people, instead of waking up and thinking about how you have to convince people (some of whom may not even want your product) to buy your stuff.
It takes empathy. Yes, it takes compassion.
Simplicity. Patience. Compassion.
Lao-Tau was absolutely correct that these are the three great treasures.
And I hope I’ve been able to give some helpful, though small, examples of how you can use these treasures to help you more effectively deliver the right message to the right clients to generate more revenue for your business.