Make This Your Business, And Succeed

If your business has clients who are also businesses, you might want to pick up on the below point.

I’m not a champion like Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, but I’m pretty sure Mr. Branson would agree with the gold nugget I’ve learned through the years and will share with you below.

Many years ago my dad started a roofing business with just a pick-up truck, a straight-claw hammer, a 40-foot aluminum ladder, a leather nail pouch, and a box of nails.

Eventually as my brother and I grew old enough, we worked in that business.

I started at thirteen years-old cleaning residential customer’s lawns on tear-off jobs. I was the guy who picked up all the scraps and old roofing, tossed it in a wheel barrow, hoofed it out to the driveway or street, then picked it up again to toss in a truck. Crappy work, but I earned some bucks and it was a great learning experience.

Here’s the good part though, ten years later, at twenty-three years of age I was running a flat-roof crew and successfully bidding large commercial projects against contractors who’d been in business longer than I’d been alive.

Of course, hard work and persistence on my dad’s part was huge, because it allowed the stability for me to take interest in the business at an early age.

As I look back though, there was someone else who was very instrumental to our success.

A salesman from a roofing system manufacturer took interest in our family business. He shared personal experiences of his own previous roofing business, he shared tips and tricks he picked up from other contractors, he would talk us up to potential business clients in our region, and he knew a lot about our personal lives.

Cripes, I think I still have a couple Wilkinson knives he gave us for a wedding present over 30-years ago.

There is no way we would have had the success we did if not for the help from this individual. Yes of course, he increased his sales numbers by selling product, but it was good product to start with, and he knew that helping others with their business, would help him out in the end. He cared first, and reaped second.

More recently, one business I’m in involves distribution companies. For certain products there are two main distributors. One of them I’d used for years mostly because there was little other choice, we’ll call them Distributor A. The other is a much smaller company; we’ll call them Distributor B.

I’ve been using smaller Distributor B more and more, and plan to use them almost exclusively for the foreseeable future.

So how can Distributor B come in and grab my business from Distributor A who I’ve used for almost two decades?

Here’s why.

When I ask Distributor A if they can do something, it’s either, “No, we can’t do that,” or “I’ll look into it,” and I never hear from them again.

Distributor B says, “I’ll look into it,” and the get it done.

I haven’t seen a Distributor A sales person with product samples at my place for probably 8-years other than once when they wanted to push a cellular sales device they were getting into.

Distributor B stops by nearly every month to bring samples of products, tell me about new things coming on the market, and shoot a little BS as well.

With Distributor A, my inside salesperson left back in December of 2014, and I still don’t know who replaced her despite my asking about it three –times.

With Distributor B I know the name of the billing person, my inside sales rep, and of course my field rep who comes by. If I want a product they don’t carry, they’ll do their best to get it for me.

Basically, Distributor A doesn’t give a rip about me, the sales guy is only interested in dealing with companies who have big sales numbers, and personally his agenda when I do talk to him is quite transparent. I don’t really care for him.

He very much gives off the impression I mean nothing to him because I’m not a big business client of his. How hard is it these days to send a simple personalized e-mail to check in virtually? Besides, I live 10-minutes off a main highway corridor running through our state, not out in Timbuktu.

Distributor B’s sales guy is somewhat surface talk, but he’s a good guy and cares about helping me be more profitable. He’s gone to bat for me with product pricing right from the owner himself, and has really worked hard to gain my business, as small as it might be compared to the big boys.

So what can we walk away with here?

If you serve other businesses, or even if an individual customer, make it your business to help them grow, increase profitability, or achieve their goals.

I can pretty much guarantee you’ll gain their loyalty and increase your own business as a result.

This is exactly what is meant by helping others helps yourself. The catch is, you genuinely have to feel helping out a customer is your real interest and your gain is a bi-product. If you try to buffalo your way through the opposite, they’ll see right through it in your words, tone, actions, and energy. Do not under estimate your caring, or lack thereof, as well body language, verbal tones, and follow-through; which speak much louder than words themselves.

Until next time…

Live like you’ll never get hurt, dream like nobody is watching, and above all… try-try-try until you succeed!

About Brad Dunse'

Freelance writer, entrepreneur, and life student of personal development with a passion for writing, learning, and helping others... a winning combination to live the writer's life! Looking for e-mail campaigns, web content, case studies, or more?
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14 Responses to Make This Your Business, And Succeed

  1. Excellent points and well told.

  2. BradBrad says:

    Thanks Donna. I had a product broker chastize me over the phone this week as well, asking why I didn’t carry his product. He took on a tone and attitude my parents did when they told me to clean my room ten times and it was still messy. He instantly got on my, “I don’t like this person,” list. lol.

  3. becky says:

    hi how do I make it a business?

  4. chelsea Preskitt says:

    I think this was very well said. These are points we can use not only in our business but in personal experiences as well.

  5. Mike Calvo says:

    Brad that was a fantastic article! Keep them coming!

  6. Alma says:

    Very, very well-written.

  7. Brad says:

    Good point Chelsea. Many do this, unfortunately not all. Just think how the world would be if all would? Wow!

  8. Brad says:

    Becky. I guess there are two ways to go here.

    My point of making it your business was more on the lines of making something your habit, your value, your way of conducting yourself.

    You know, if someone says, “It’s none of your business.” They don’t mean business as entrepreneurship.

    Similarly, one might say, “I make it my business to e-mail every client with a personal thank you.”

    That too doesn’t mean a brick and mortar or virtual business doing that act.

    That said, far be it from me to say helping others isn’t a business. Just look at your Brian Tracys, Tony Robbins, and Seth Godins of the world. They’ve built careers, not to mention public personalities, on helping others help themselves.

    Really, isn’t that what business is all about? Helping others meet a need for a fee. Where the difference is, is to always do more than you are paid for, and you’ll be whistling Dixie north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

    As far as making it one’s business to help others which in turn helps you, probably the best way is to look at the world through your customer or client’s view.

    When we go for coffee with a friend, we appreciate the waitress stopping by with a pot more than a couple times asking, “Can I top off your cup for you?”

    That’s better than us feeling we need to shake down a waitress like a New York cab just to get the second cup after the bill was given.

    Just thinking a step or two ahead of a customer to anticipate a small need you can fulfill is great, or even making them feel like they are the most important customer to you, can go a long way.

    Hope that answered your question, if not? Let me know.

  9. Brad says:

    Thanks Mike. Joe is forcing me to post. He said he liked the way I write, and that was that. I guess I’m easy.

  10. Brad says:

    Alma. Personal experiences always seem to hit a chord with folks. I guess although they are different verses, we’ve all sung the same song at some point or other in life and can identify.

  11. Jes Smith says:

    Fabulous! I am going into the music business and looking for a job so this article was very encouraging! Basically, be your own business.

  12. Brad says:

    Having a day-job is a good thing to support your music composing addiction Jeff. Being able to have your own business to do same is both better and harder. I’m a performing songwriter as well freelance writer and run another business. It’s great to have the flexibility, but self-employment can also rob creativity and time for music. It’s a delicate balance. Like Mr. Miyagi told Daniel in the original Karate Kid… paraphrasing here…

    You karate yes, you karate no, you karate so-so, squish just like grape.

    It’s all about balance.

    And, as you already know, creating, marketing, and performing your music is a full blown entrepreneur endeavor all its own requiring that balance.

    Not sure if you heard of Taxi, but if you’re looking to play around with getting your music in TV and film, Taxi is an outlet for that. Also there are places which purchase music for when people are on hold on the phone.

    Best wishes on getting your tunes out there.

  13. Joe Orozco says:

    Excellent article, as always. My only caution for entrepreneurs is to draw a line between helping someone and enabling dependence through free gestures. Over the years I’ve taken on more than my fair share of pro bono projects, because I genuinely want to see a project succeed. Yet, you reach a point where it starts to feel like the would-be client is taking advantage of your generosity. This leads to resentment, makes you turn out less than stellar product and could have a negative impact on your reputation if the would-be client spreads word of your underwhelming results. So, in short, do help people out as Brad so eloquently reminds us, but do not help so much that you cease to be seen as a viable business partner. After all, you too have to put food on the table, and a good business partnership is one where both entities mutually benefit. Great writing! Already looking forward to this coming Sunday’s piece.

  14. Brad says:

    Excellent points Joe. In fact, there are a couple really important expansions on this I’ll focus on come Sunday.

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