I do not like the vision, mission and values thing. As a matter of fact, I HATE IT.
Yes, it fills space on a web-site, in marketing brochures, or in a presentation deck. Yes, it might even be a good message for employees. But the real reason I detest the vision, mission and values thing is that it is all about you; and as your customer, I only care about me. I want to know what your Promise is – to me.
You went into business because you thought, did and were different. So, don’t waste time sounding or being like everyone else. Imagine how much more effective your sales presentations would be if you started with, “I promise you will have/get/make/feel… Let me show you how we do that.” Even if I don’t believe your promise, at least I will listen to confirm or deny my suspicions. And if I do believe your promise, I will line up and order my thoughts and concerns within your framework.
Your Promise is not about the service or the product you deliver. Your promise is what is so special about the service or product you deliver. Your promise is what makes you different from everyone else. Your promise can be serious, funny or profound. Your promise is not limited to the service or product you deliver. Your promise is about difference – the difference you make to your customer.
Here’s a simple example of leading with your promise. In most neighborhoods there seems to be a Dental office on almost every corner. Each one has a sign and all the signs say pretty much the same thing. “Miss Evelyn Entrepreneur, Family Dentist.” If you are a Family Dentist, wanting to establish your own practice, what is so different about you? How about “Family Dental Group. We make smiles every day.” The tone is different; the purpose is different and hence the promise is very different.
When you are in the business of making smiles every day, your whole focus, the way you practice your craft, the way your employees work and interact is completely different from every other Family Dentist. Everyone likes a smile. How much easier would it be to entice future customers with the promise of “We make smiles every day?” How much easier would it be to attract, inspire and manage employees who want to make smiles every day? How much easier would it be to keep your customers and expand your business when you know that what you are passionate about is making smiles daily?
So please, lead with your Promise because it helps make your business Bullet Proof.