Values, you know that little gremlin who sits on your shoulder, gnawing away at your conscience and telling you that it’s not right. It could be that you value trust, truth, family, honesty. Any of these things. But when they get out of whack with your behaviours, watch out! And business values are no different.
When I am coaching or teaching businesses on improving their online relationships I start with values. They are at the core of our behaviours. It’s very hard for us to behave outside of them. But I have and I am stopping.
You see, I was always led to believe that I should send a weekly newsletter. It’s one of those things we should do, meant to do, to be a proper and serious online business. Thing is, one of my core values is ‘not to make anyone’s life harder than it has to be’. Of late, I have been going through and deleting and unsubscribing to emails. I know I’m not alone in this either. In fact, I am wondering about the efficacy of email lists for regular emails.
So back to values… If I do something that doesn’t sit well with my values I feel uneasy, psychologists call it dissonance, it chews away at my thoughts. A constant niggle. So what about your clients?
If you try to make them do something that doesn’t align with their values
If you have kids or work with kids, you will know what it’s like to try and get a toddler to do anything it doesn’t want to do. Think tidy toys, have a bath, eat vegetables. They dig their heels in and generally go kicking and screaming to the bitter end.
That’s what psychologist call compliance.
That’s not what you aim for with a client. You do not want to drag them kicking and screaming into a business relationship with you. It’s not going to be built on the right foundation, it’s not likely to be lasting, and they are definitely unlikely to recommend you.
If your values don’t align but you’re not asking the client to do anything
Well a few things can happen here.
They will just ignore you and what you are saying and go on their merry way. Case closed, conversation ended, crickets. Hmm crickets, sound like the response you get to your social media posts?
You will get questions and this can go either way. In this scenario, a client is trying to learn more about your values and the more questions they ask, the more they want to see if you are aligned. So you can either convince them of your stand point and have them change their values (not likely and takes time), you will get compliance (as described above), or they will walk away (potentially with a bad feeling or ‘taste in their mouth’). I don’t know about you but to me that sounds like a lose/lose/lose rather than a win/win/win scenario.
When your values align with your clients
Ok, so the angels don’t descend and start singing, but something magical does happen. You see, and I talk about it in the video, I used this precise tool to motivate staff to move mountains. They were disenchanted and we had a 2 year backlog when I started and before I aligned their values. Fast forward just 3 months and the backlog was gone, my staff were happy, and they were asking for work. Just because I was able to demonstrate how their values aligned with those of the workplace.
So imagine what could happen if you showed a client how their values aligned with your own or those of your business? It works for a number of different reasons:
- the client feels understood
- the client feels a sense of kinship or belonging
- the client trusts you and your business
- the client likes you and your business.
Yes it’s incredibly touchy feely, but that’s what relationships are, good strong, longstanding relationships are like this. We feel understood, like we belong, and we trust.
So back to the email…
I don’t enjoy email for the sake of email or information. And let’s face it, that’s what my weekly emails were. I don’t want to make your life harder than what it already is, that’s one of my core values. I know it’s just an email, but I know people have anxiety over unopened emails (not me though) and I don’t want to contribute to this.
So I will no longer send my blog by email. I already publish it on my Facebook page, Instagram, & Twitter. You can find it there. I will though add it to my free business group, so you will have it personally delivered and where you can read it at your leisure of a weekend and you will be invited to share your own blog post or one you found interesting.
So when I do email you, it will be important. Most likely to let you know that I am about to do something big, different, or new. I do have some of these things in the pipeline. So you will want to be on the list, but don’t worry we can chat elsewhere. x