Marketing Your Dream by Jonathan Robinson
When people come across the word “marketing,” they rarely get excited. Yet, by understanding the principles of what I call “integrity marketing,” you can make your dreams come true—and have a great time doing it. The first principle of marketing with integrity is to market something you truly believe in.
To passionately believe in something, it is necessary to know that what you’re marketing will strongly benefit a person or people other than you. The more you know this, the easier it is to be fully passionate about it.
When marketing your dream, your services, or your product, you need to know that what you’re “selling” will be of much greater benefit to your “customers” than the price they will have to pay. For example, most of us would have a hard time marketing a seminar that lacked any really useful information. Yet, it would be easy to market a seminar that guaranteed to help people make an extra $5,000 in income in just one month—if you really believed it could deliver the goods and improve their lives.
How do you find a cause or something to market that you really believe in? Begin by being on the lookout for such things. Good products, ideas, and services do exist. Follow any thread of an idea or product that you think could really benefit a lot of people. Some of the threads you follow will take you nowhere, but if you follow enough threads, you’ll finally find the magic carpet you’ve been looking for.
One of the things I do to tune into what I feel passionate about is to simply get quiet inside and ask, “How can I use the gifts I’ve been given to serve and inspire people?” Most of the ideas and projects I’ve passionately pursued came to me as a result of asking that question. Sometimes the answer did not come right away. Yet, as I kept asking, it seems that an answer has always become clear to me during the course of my life.
A second principle of integrity marketing is to be willing to find out what others truly want and to become committed to providing it for them. Although I had long heard the business maxim, “Find a need and fill it,” it never got me excited until I realized that filling other’s needs is simply another way of saying, “Give selfless service.” When you can meet someone’s need and pursue your passion at the same time, then you really have a powerful combination.
A third principle of integrity marketing is to recognize the value of people and to find ways to make them want to work with you or be your customer. Whatever your financial, personal, or spiritual dreams, they cannot be fulfilled without truly caring for people.
If you own a store, your job is to make people feel good about doing business with you. Besides offering them products or services that are helpful, you can make them feel valued in other ways. Just as in intimate relationships, little things can make a big difference in how much people feel valued. A nice smile, a kind word, or simply a sincere desire to be of help can go a long way in making your business stand out above the rest.
I used to go to a copy shop that was near where I lived, but the attitude of the employees toward the customers was always very poor. Although it was a bit out of my way, one day I decided to go to another copy shop. The owner greeted me with a warm smile like he was really happy to see me. I told him what I needed copied and asked him when I could pick it up. To my surprise, he said, “I’ll do it right now it’ll only take a few minutes.”
As he copied my material, he began a friendly conversation with me and seemed truly interested in what I was writing. As I paid for the copies, he asked me if I would like some free memo pads to use as scrap paper. Indeed, I needed some memo pads, and he gave me about a dozen of them. He asked me if I wanted a box, or help carrying the stuff out to my car. I felt that I was being treated like royalty. He made a customer for life.
Marketing Your Dream by Jonathan Robinson
In business, there’s an obscure term called “the marginal net worth per customer.” In essence, this term refers to the amount of money you stand to make from a single customer over the life of your business. To figure this out accurately, you need to include the amount of money you might receive from all the referred business you receive from a given customer.
In the case of me and the copy shop, I once figured that I have spent about $1,200 a year at this friendly man’s copy shop, of which about $1,000 ends up being his profit. Over the last seven years, that means he’s made roughly $7,000 profit from me. But the story doesn’t end there. I’ve told at least 20 people about this copy shop, and about half of them have become his customers. If they spend the same amount as I do, that means he’s ultimately made $70,000 from having me as a customer over the past seven years! That’s a nice size reward for just a few minutes of good service.
How much is each customer worth to you? Do you treat the people you do business with like they were worth a million dollars, or like they’re just ordinary customers? Figuring out the marginal net worth of each customer you do business with can be an eye-opening experience. It can help you see that each satisfied patron can have a major impact on your financial life. Yet, customers know when you’re just being courteous to make an extra buck and when you’re being helpful because you really care about people. It’s nice to know that purity of heart can result in more business and money.
A fourth aspect of marketing with integrity is to understand the potential power of commitment. If you have a dream that you really believe in, then you need to be willing to persevere until it becomes a reality. As I’ve come to know many successful authors and entrepreneurs, I’ve seen that all of them share the trait of being fully committed to whatever they are marketing. It’s almost as if they won’t take no for an answer.
Colonel Sanders tried to sell his chicken recipe to 1,009 restaurants before he received his first yes. “The Chicken Soup for the Soul” book was turned down by every major publisher before it went on to sell many millions of copies. These people fully believed in what they were selling—so they persisted despite the many trials they encountered.
The final principle of integrity marketing is the ability to use one’s intuition as the basis for making important business decisions. Rationality, analysis, and competence in one’s field all have their limitations. Even after gathering a mountain of information, stockbrokers don’t really have any idea which stocks will go up or down.
Despite the fact that knowledge and expertise are helpful in any business, no one can consistently state what will do well and what won’t. Therefore, successful business people are not afraid to use their intuition as an aid in making important decisions. They know that intuition, hunches, and gut feelings can sometimes be more important than market research, past experience, or rational analysis.
Whenever facing an important business or marketing decision, ask yourself, “What is my gut feeling about what’s right to do here?” Notice when your intuition later ends up being right, and when it seems to end up being wrong. Over time, you may notice subtle clues as to when it’s critical to listen to the small voice within.
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Marketing Your Dream by Jonathan Robinson
In the world of business, we are constantly faced with decisions. What product should we sell, what ad should we run, what service should we focus on? Gathering as much information as possible is necessary to the success of any business. Yet, as human beings, we need to respect both the analytical and intuitive sides of our nature. By gathering rational information and listening to the “still, small voice” within, we can improve our chances of success. As one becomes better at applying the principles of integrity marketing, it’s possible to do a lot of honorable work in the world—and have a good time doing it.
This excerpt was taken from the new book Real Wealth: A Spiritual Approach to Money and Work, by Jonathan Robinson published by Hay House in March 1998. It is available at all bookstores or by calling Hay House at (800) 654-5126 or via the Hay House website at www.hayhouse.com