Giving Your Way to Business Success.
The idea of giving as a "business strategy" might seem insanely counterintuitive.
And it's certainly a concept that many businesses struggle with.
It might seem like giving is in direct competition to business success.
It feels wrong.
It doesn't take too much experience to quickly run the numbers and notice that every dollar you give away is less revenue and profitability you keep in your pocket.
So usually a discussion around giving-as-a-strategy is shrugged off with the cavalier "we must be in church" aloofness. We chuckle at the naïveté of such thinking.
But giving is one of the most consistently reliable strategies for long term business success.
"If you want to grow, you have to give..."
What makes this discussion all the more conflicting is our confusion around what giving really is.
Is it charity?
Is it investment?
What is giving, and how do we do it right?
There is no secret formula for giving. Essentially, giving just means that you take something that you have and you hand it off -- you give it -- to someone else.
It's that simple.
So maybe our confusion around the topic is in how complex we've made the topic.
Essentially, there are three simple guidelines about giving:
- Giving isn't trading. -- Giving is different that you trading your whitepaper for a lead's name and email address. We call that trading. And while there is nothing wrong with trading, we become ineffective when we confuse the two activities. Giving means that you "gift" that something. There are no strings attached
- Giving expects nothing in return. -- Giving doen't include creating an opportunity in Salesforce. When you pretend to give, but expect your recipient to give you something back (usually greater in value...), you set yourself up for tremendous disappointment. Giving starts with a mindset, an attitude, of doing something for others. Not for yourself
- Giving means it costs you something. -- Giving isn't really giving if there is no value. We call that "throwing things away", right? It's easy to paint over the rust in our transactional business and pretend like what we are offering is "value" when it's not. Take something that really means something to you and give it away.
Giving is your strategy for success.
It's a key way to unseat your biggest competitor, and it's a sure-fire way to build credibility and thought leadership within any industry.
"As buyers face increasing demands for their attention, the one thing that consistently grabs their attention is someone else giving something to them of value."
That's why giving works.
And it's why you should be giving.
But what can you give? Her's a few ideas to get you started.
- A white paper full of tips and tricks you've learned
- Industry insight cleverly designed as an info-graphic
- A limited version of a cool piece of software
- Video tutorials that save customers time
- Time -- your time --in the form of free advice
The question isn't really what you give but why you give.
When you love people, you have the chance to change the world.
But pretending to care and giving away crap you can't figure out how to sell just makes you a selfish idiot.
And no one wants to be that guy.
Let's get your opinion on the subject:
Giving As a Successful Business Strategy