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           Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about Creating Yourself                         - George Bernard Shaw

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The Secret To My Success

The Why-Not Factor

The Why Not Factor Your Secret to Success

Let’s go on a little flight of fancy. Let’s go car shopping. Usually when you go car shopping you start with a budget in mind, don’t you? You go from dealer to dealer, trying to get the best deal that you can, but what really sells you in the end? Is it the value? Is it the price? Is it the features?

Try as you might, emotions always come into play, you buy the car that looks the best, feels the best, and you look the best in it –don’t you? Do you always stick to your budget?

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What are they looking for, the cheapest price, unmatched packages, exceptional quality, or the photographer showing incomparable quality? Naturally, they will tell you, all of the above!

But in reality, can they really tell the difference? We would like to think that we fit the bill in all of the above but do we? Can we?

What happens, when in your clients’ eyes there are too many similarities to realty tell. Then it boils down to the best salesperson, the best sales presentation, or what I call the best Why-Not!

Your Why-Not! defines the nature and purpose of your business. It is the one thing that compels people to buy from you instead of from your competitors. Often it is call a “USP” (Unique Sales Point), or your Mission Statement.

Your Why-Not! is much more than both of the others put together – yet simpler.

It stands for

Why Hire You – No Other Temptations

You must answer the question for your clients – Why Hire You? Then you must make it so compelling that there can be – No Other Temptations!

The exciting part of it is that anyone reading Your Why-Not will get a clear picture of the personality of the company and what you stand for.

Personality shows emotion and a human side.

USP’s and Mission Statements are documents and documents are cold and impersonal.

More importantly, it will tell the client what you will do for him or her.

Too often a company fails because it doesn't know who it is trying to serve. Trying to be all things to all people is foolish. You have to come up with a specific Why-Not! - a unique and compelling claim or offer - that's targeted like a laser. This will give you a clear, concise direction.

It answers the question "What is our reason for being?" Why would someone buy from us? And when they hear the answers that they are looking for, they will exclaim, “Why-Not!”

But this is not to say that you can't have two or three different Why-Not’s for different product lines or services that you offer.

There are many different kinds of Why-Not’s and you must define this yourself because your entire marketing and operational success is built upon the Why-Not. All studios need a clear sense of where they are trying to go and what they want to be in order for the diverse elements to pull in a uniform direction.

What you are doing is providing your prospective clients a clear cut picture of who you are , what you are going to do, and what you stand for.

Why do you want to do this?

Why-Not! Just teasing with you.

One reason is that our society makes celebrities out of people who are unique or who have special abilities. Their qualities and attributes are polished to a bright shine and then professionally presented to the rest of us. We then strive to be like these individuals and yet the very nature of success demands authenticity.

So what's the secret?

It's simple really. We are ALL unique. We ALL have something special to give. Being authentic and true to ourselves is the only chance we have of being liked, being successful, and being truly happy. Improving yourself requires polishing what’s great about you and proudly presenting it to the world. My first year Philosophy Prof loved to ask, “Why should you be moral?” Then he would quickly follow up with “Why should you be immoral?”

Then with a smile on his face and a glint in his eye he would say, “The correct answer is Why Not!” Some companies position themselves as having the best selection or broadest array of buying options. Their Why-Not!. is obviously "broad choice."

Other companies may offer more limited selection, but their Why-Not! is "low price" or "low markup."

Another company may decide they don't want to be known for just price or selection, so instead they offer the finest quality at a higher, but still reasonable price. "Quality" or "exclusivity" is their Why-Not!.

I will use a photography business as an example. Most Why-Not’s encompass three elements:

1. A purpose/role element

A. In a nutshell, what is the purpose of the company?

I am going to take nature photographs, specializing in species which are on the endangered species list.

B. What role are you going to play?

My goal is to raise awareness of these precious animals by writing books and articles about them, my experiences, and how the effects of man are playing out in these animals lives.

2. A boundaries element

This element defines what you will and will not do. In the example above you might write something like.

I will write books and articles to serious journals and magazines but I will not do greeting cards and postcards. My goal is to depict the plight of endangered species but not demean them or make light of their existence.

3. A values-based/philosophical element

Here are some more questions to ask yourself. What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for? What will be your legacy? And one last question: If you don't stand for something, what do you settle for?

The principal features are usually a broad definition of the basic business code of conduct and the scope of the organization. It is important to have a clear, concise overall goal for you and your company. This can be as long as 10 pages or as short as one sentence. Generally it is better to keep it as simple as possible. Your Why-Not is the road map which you and your employees can follow anytime there is a question that surfaces out of the ordinary. Any answer which does not fall in line with your Why-Not shouldn't be used.

Another example would be if you own a portrait studio and Mrs. Jones comes in and complains that she doesn’t like her photographs and you look at them and they are as good as they are going to get. Your Why-Not! states that you guarantee 100% satisfaction, but you are torn, as far as you are concerned, they are great shots. Without hesitation and with a smile – you give her money back or offer to retake them. This course of action will always work in your favour, maybe not immediately, but it is the right course. If you have employees, they would be empowered to do the same, immediately, without fear of repercussion.

Basically your Why-Not can stand alone as an advertisement that sells your company to you, your employees and your clients. As a matter of fact, it can be used as an ad and it should be used in all your ads.

A few more points about Why-Not’s’

  • There are many different formats; there is no right or wrong type.
  • It remains fairly stable over time.
  • It may be expressed at different levels of abstraction; a balance must be struck between too wide and too narrow a definition.
  • Some Why-Not’s include objective, strategic thrust, policies and guidelines.
  • They describe your products in terms relevant to your customers.
  • Differentiate – explain how your product is different than the competition’s, with different benefits. Whenever people buy, they are only concerned with “What’s In It For Them.”
  • Effectively choose pricing and positioning strategies. These strategies may be based on the fact that:

1. You are an expert in your field.

2. You have degrees or education in your specialty.

3. You may finish your products with better quality or more expensive finishes.

4. You may frame each print.

5. You may have an escalating hourly fee depending on the degree of difficulty, safety, distance, specialty, or uses of the photograph or in the photographing,

Steps to develop your Why-Not:

Keep in mind:

- There is no right or wrong statement for your organization just as there is no best or most appropriate format.

- Focus on the concept not on the words; the words can be fine-tuned later.

- Most Why-Not’s suffer, at least to some degree, from mother-hood-it is, it’s important that you stay away from platitudes.

- The greatest flaw of most Why-Not’s are that the implicit message is the "we" are smarter, will work harder, and will do a better job. In the competitive marketplace of goods, services and ideas, to assume that you are smarter, faster or meaner than the competition inevitably leads to surprises and the realization that you and your colleagues are just about on par with the quality of the people with whom you are competing.

- Although it is difficult, try to build creativity into your work. This is a first attempt at development of a Why-Not so it is important to build in new ways of viewing things at the beginning. It will be refined and reworked later so try to open up and be creative now.

To give you an idea as to how a Why-Not can look I'll show you one of mine.

Old Masters Portrait Studio Why-Not is:

Old Masters Portraits Studio desire is to create an exciting and memorable image for each and every one of our customers. The image will be technically perfect and of excellent quality, using the finest materials that we can find. It is our goal to provide service to the customer that is unsurpassed in the industry so that all of our customers will want to come back year after year.

It is imperative that we charge a price that provides value to the client and a good return on our efforts. We will be happy if our clients are happy and our clients will be happy if we are happy.

Writing your Why-Not

Start by answering the following questions.

1. What is the purpose of our organization?

2. What is our reason for being?

3. What are we going to photograph and why? After spending some time on the first three questions, begin to filter in the following questions.

a. Who do we serve?

b. What do we do best?

c. What are some of our weaknesses?

d. What kinds of programs and services do we provide or should we provide?

e. What outcomes do we hope to achieve?

f. What do we hope to accomplish?

g. What would happen if our organization did not exist?

h. What is special about the way we operate?

i. Where do we or should we provide our product or service?

What do I or our shareholders want?

j. From the previous exercise you can now put together a Unique Selling Proposition or Mission Statement that will give you a direction and major driving force for your company. 

The Secret To My Success, is to know where I stand and what I stand for. This can be applied to any and all businesses. The Why-Not Factor is your secret to success! It has often been said that 90% of your time should be in planning and 10% should be in doing.

To your success.

 

Chuck Groot’s CPA, MPA, MBA credentials as a speaker, author, teacher, business coach and entrepreneur are noteworthy. His clients credit their success to his uncanny ability to get right to the root of any challenge that they put in front of him.  He credits his success to his clients and their willingness to being open to new ideas and desire in pursuit of excellence. 

As an entrepreneur, his enthusiasm and innovative approach have garnered him both professional success and the recognition of his peers. But his greatest delight is being able to share these skills with others and enabling them to be successful on their own.

 

chuckggroot@gmail.com

 

http://www.chuckgroot.com

 

I would really like to hear what you think about this article. Drop me a line and let me know how you feel about it?

 

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