A friend and business partner recently said to me, “There’s nothing better than doing business with someone with common values.” An interesting and valid perspective, for sure. It’s certainly better than doing business with someone whose values don’t align with your own.
Finding value relationships is probably more important in business-to-business or long-lead/long-term relationship businesses. For example, I have a long-term relationship with my life and car insurance guy (John Langford with Commonwealth Insurance in Louisville, if you need a recommendation). We have shared values on a lot of fronts. (I’m sure we have some unshared ones, too, but we’re friends, have kids the same age at the same school, love sports, etc.)
I don’t share some values with certain executives at Chick-Fil-A, but sometimes I just want a good chicken sandwich, so I overlook that disconnect and eat.
Seeking out others of similar value to do business with isn’t hard for most small businesses. Often, your customers are people you go to church with, are fellow parents at your child’s school, live within a small radius of your location and so on. But how can you break that ceiling of acquisition and start finding value relationships beyond your relationship limits?
The answer in some ways is social media. By representing yourself and your values on your blog or videos, social channels and how you engage with people on social platforms, you’re sending that value signal to the world. If you do it enough and in the right places, you begin to attract those of similar value sets.
Finding value relationships becomes an extension of a sound digital marketing and social media marketing strategy. You don’t want to attract any business from anywhere. You want to attract the type of business you will value because it’s coming from those who value you.
Remember that we have three types of customers in most small businesses – Relationships, Referrals and ‘Round heres. In order to grow beyond that, you need to plant your flag in the digital landscape and cultivate relationships to the world. And you do that by illustrating your values so like-minded prospects will find you.
A little food for though on why social media marketing is important. Because it’s those who believe it is that I value working with the most. 😉