We humans like to buy, but really don’t like to be sold to. Many small businesses believe that successful growth comes from chasing sales. I think this is a mistake and propose an alternative strategy in my book ‘Dance with the Elephants’. I was privileged last week to work with 18 small business owners who provide Professional Services to their clients to explore the possibilities for their businesses of the ALIGNED framework described in ‘Dance with the Elephants’. The acronym stands for:
|L||Learn their situation and desires|
|I||Injuries and pains|
|N||Nirvana – the Well-Formed Outcome|
|D||Decide or die|
In the session, I outlined the framework, and demonstrated the first two stages to the watching group by working with a volunteer. This was totally unrehearsed and I am grateful to my volunteer for the bravery shown and the willingness to be curious about what would happen. It took a leap of faith by both parties, and freely admit there have been times in my life when I have been more confident and less terrified at demonstrating the framework before such skilled observers. That said, I had faith in the framework, having successfully used it so many times.
The demonstration showed the use of the ‘Value Escalator’ in the ‘Learn their situation and desires’ stage of ALIGNED, and the brief exercise showed the subject connecting with a higher value benefit than was originally in their mind. The assembly then split into small groups and had the opportunity to practice one part of the framework in a safe, supportive and stimulating environment.
I want to thank all the participants in the session for their curiosity, their enthusiasm and their open-mindedness, and apologise once more to them if my terror at demonstrating the framework, unrehearsed, in front of such an august group was in any way visible.
The use of the ALIGNED framework is particularly suited to Services businesses, particularly in the Professional Services space. Businesses involved in law, accountancy and the provision of financial advice come to mind. I think the approach is equally efficacious for IT Professional Services, human resources, and management consultancy professionals. I have worked with individuals from these six groups to implement this alternative approach and have successfully adopted it in my own business. The ALIGNED framework is a large component of the Congruent Business Development System™ http://bit.ly/1pSMfCH
My business model is built around transferring my knowledge and learning into my clients and their organisations, so I am happy to share the ALIGNED framework with others. I decided to write my book to reach many more people. My whole philosophy, my raison d’être, my purpose in life is to give people the choice of being the best they want to be, not just the best they can be.
My commitment to my clients is to help them decide how good they want to be, to enable them to achieve that, and also to transfer new skills to them and their businesses to make them self-sufficient in being the best they want to be. ‘Dance with the Elephants’ was written to help people acquire the necessary mind-set, tools and techniques to be the best they want to be.