Why do I write these blogs? Why do I create presentations? Why do I write and publish eBooks that I give away for free?
To help you succeed.
Sure, that's what I say. But even then, you are thinking in the back of your mind that there must be something in it for me. Altruistic goals always have some hidden agenda.
Here is my hidden agenda...
I love to speak to groups. I love to help other people be successful. I love to write. I love to create. So I do those last two things to accomplish the first two. I write my blogs and eBooks and presentations to get more opportunities to speak (for which I often get paid), to sell more of my book, and to find a larger audience to help (which gets me more speaking gigs and more books sold). Now you know.
The most important lesson here is that no matter how good your intentions, customers always believe you have some hidden agenda. They have been taught that "if it's too good to be true then it probably isn't true."
They are trained to look for the hidden agenda, the ulterior motive they are convinced is there.
So put your agenda out there for the whole world to see. They are going to look for it anyway. You gain their trust when you show it to them before they begin looking.
Tell them, yes, you are in the business to make a profit. It puts food on your table and on the table of all your employees. Tell them, yes, you are being over-the-top helpful because you want them to bring you new customers. Tell them, yes, they can find items cheaper somewhere else, but you are not willing to sacrifice your way of doing business just to squeeze out every nickel in the price. Tell them, yes, you want to win their hearts, you want to build trust, you want to solve their needs, and you want to get them to like you just so you can make that profit. And you will continue to do all those things to continue to make more money.
There is nothing wrong with being profitable (regardless of what the government thinks). But hiding that fact does not change it from being true.
Here is the upside from this transparency. If you openly embrace your agenda and share it with your customers, they will trust you more. And with trust comes loyalty. With loyalty comes repeat business. And with repeat business comes profit. And if you have the guts to tell your customers all that, you will be pleasantly surprised with their response. They knew it all along. They just love you more now that you are willing to share it openly.
On top of that, when you do something purely altruistic, without a hidden agenda, people won't be trying to look behind the curtain to see what scam you are trying to pull. They will believe you because they have already learned to trust you.
I wrote a line in a contest for a book that said... "the heart of our company lies not in the numbers in our books, but in the hearts of our customers."
Get into the hearts of your customers and you will have all the numbers you need.
PS Yeah, on paper it looks simple. Guess what? It looks the same in real life. Be transparent about making a profit - build trust - get more sales - make more profit - repeat. Simple.