There Is More Ahead of You Than Behind You
Quit being afraid of the future. That’s where all the good stuff lies. The road to failure is littered by organizations that feared and tried to hold back the future. Just look at Lotus 1-2-3, which owned the database and software business powering PCs in the days before Windows. Or look at Kodak, the company that invented digital photography and tried to keep us all addicted to film.
Be ready to totally embrace what your customers want and where they are going. This means watch them, listen to them and respond to them. Instead of lamenting that they look up prices online, figure out how you can be their problem solver and provide them with relevant, helpful content online.
Provide your customers with the one necessary ingredient for every profitable relationship. That ingredient is trust. Trust is the beginning of a brand. Make sure your brand is about openness, authenticity and creating solutions to your customers’ problems.
Study the future. Artificial intelligence is poised to make online shopping even more prevalent and more relevant to the needs of your clients. Focus on your core human values that no machine can duplicate, copy, clone or warehouse. You have five values that create value. Practice them:
1. Immediacy: Be original faster. People pay extra and stand in line to be first.
2. Personalization: Provide the user experience that your clients want. Reverse the golden rule and treat others the way they want to be treated.
3. Interpretation: There’s the old joke about the guy who was asked for an itemized invoice for charging $10,000 for hitting a machine with a hammer to get it re-started. His invoice read, "Hammer: $20. Knowing where to hit the machine: $9,980." Your clients can get any product. You can interpret for them how to use the tools to reach their objectives. Therein lies your value.
4. Authenticity: Celebrate your inner artist. If you have the courage, you can deliver unique, artistic approaches like no one else. Folks pay more for an original than they do for a print. A reproduction of "Mona Lisa" is less than $10. The original is priceless.
5. Accessibility: People pay for convenient, easy access. Work on delivering solutions that make it easy and convenient for your clients. How do you do this? By watching, listening and asking.
Have an abundance-focused mindset, go after the opportunities that lie ahead of you and let go of the things that have stopped working no matter how good they used to be. Don’t let the future be your Kodak moment.