Picture it. You get up every day and do the work you love. You love it so much, it doesn’t even feel like work. And each day you go to work, you’ve got a line of customers outside your door. A line of customers eagerly waiting to get some of what you got. They can’t get enough of the good stuff you have. They can’t get enough, because they’re head over heels in love with you and what you have to offer. Sounds cool, right? I’m gonna let you in on the secret to making this happen for you. But first, let’s go dancing.
What the dance floor reveals about your business
I used to dance a lot of salsa. Each time I went out, without fail I’d see these three types of dancers on and around the dance floor:
The ‘waiting to get picked’ dancer:
This was often a beginner, and she didn’t know many people in the dance circuit. She would arrive at the party with her fancy new dance shoes and high hopes of putting into practice everything she learned in dance class. For most of the night she stood at the edge of the dance floor, waiting, waiting, waiting to get picked. At some point during the night, someone went over and asked her to dance. Once the dance was over, she returned to her post at the edge of the dance floor waiting to get asked again.
The ‘asker’ dancer:
This was the dancer who wanted to make sure she got in her fair share of dances for the evening. She had no interest in waiting to get picked, so she would ask potential partners for dances. Some of these partners she knew, and some she didn’t. Sometimes the dances went well, and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes she got more dances as a result, and sometimes she didn’t. At the end of a song, she would return to the edge of the dance floor, looking for the next person to partner up with.
The ‘super awesome’ dancer:
And then there’s the dancer that was on the dance floor from the moment she arrived until the time she left. The guys knew her. They knew she was a great dancer. They knew they were going to enjoy every second of a dance with her. They couldn’t wait to ask her for a dance. Those who didn’t know her when she got to the party, were well aware of her dancing skills by the time the night was over. Before she could take two steps away from a partner at the end of a song, another was there asking her to dance the next one. She partnered with a lot of different people, and often danced with some of her favorites many times throughout the night. Did you pick up on the key lesson here? The better dancer you are, the more people want to dance with you. You won’t have to stand on the sidelines waiting to get picked. You won’t have to be the one always asking others to dance with you. The better you are, the fuller your dance card will be. The same goes for your business.
The super simple secret to getting your customers to want to dance with you
The goal is to get your customers to want to be your customers. You want them to want to dance with you. And the super simple secret to doing that is to be awesome. In fact, you’ve got to ooze awesome. Ooze so much awesome, that your customers flock to you. Be so amazing, that they are tripping over themselves for the opportunity to work with you. Be so fantastic that you radiate it from wherever you are. And then become more awesome each day. That’s when the scenario described at the beginning of this post starts to become your reality.
How to ooze awesome
I want to be completely honest with you. Oozing awesome isn’t easy. The truth is, most people don’t wake up dripping awesome juice everywhere they go. You’ve got to work for it. You’ve got to work to develop the raw awesomeness we were all born with, into something others take notice of. Becoming that super awesome dancer your customers want to dance with is a lot of work. And to help you along on the path to oozing awesome everywhere you go, here are four key steps to follow.
1. Choose your style of dance
When it comes to getting your customers to love you, first you have to decide what it is you want them to love you for. Then you can work to continue to get better at it on a daily basis. Putting your energy behind expertise in one focus area also helps you to create a competitive advantage. That’s because that thing that you’re a rock-star at will enable you to solve your customers’ problem like no one else can. And as a result, it makes you irresistible, by giving your ideal customers a reason to choose you instead of someone else. Choosing one thing to be great at doesn’t mean you’re abandoning quality in the other activities you have to do to run your business. It just means you’re on a relentless pursuit to excel at one thing no matter what. For Wal-mart’s it’s low-prices. For Starbucks for it’s customer experience. What’s that thing you’re going to choose be awesome at? Whatever it is for you, write it down.
2. Take tons of dance classes
It is essential for you to be a student of your craft. You’ve gotta learn everything you can about it. You’ve got to be a geek about it. You’ve got to be fanatical about it. Now before you start to roll your eyes and say you already know a whole heck of a lot more than most people about your field, keep this in mind. You’re either getting better, or getting worse. And if you don’t work on a regular basis to improve the skills that enable you to serve your customers, you will fall behind. That’s not at all where you want to be. So be a constant student. Study the latest trends, and areas of interest impacting your field. Study those who’ve succeeded at what you do, or what you need to do well to best serve your customers. This may mean reading books, going to conferences, taking courses, or paying close attention to the actions of those at the top of their game. Your quest in studying how to become better will pay handsome dividends. What will you do to stay a faithful student of your craft? Write down two activities you can engage in each month to increase your knowledge.
3. Go to (and dance at) lots of parties
While studying is essential in making you awesome, to make all that knowledge work for you, you’ve got to apply it. You’ve got to practice your craft to make what you know in your mind, come out in your actions. In his best-selling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell put it this way:
“Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.”
He went on further to write:
“The idea that excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
To become that awesome dancer that all your customers want to dance with, you’ve got to be an expert at what you do. To do that, you have to practice your craft. There’s no way around this. You must spend time working on getting crazy good at what you do. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you’re already pretty darn good. The best way to improve your skills quickly is to work on your craft every day. It’ll make a massive difference. Write down a specific thing you will do each day to get better at your craft. For instance, if you’re a writer, you could write at least a thousand words a day. Then make a deal with yourself to do that task each day, no matter what, for at least one month. Once you reach thirty consecutive days, give yourself a sweet reward for sticking with the habit. Then just for fun, compare the quality of your work after a month of consistent practice to what it was before. I’ll bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
4. Lose yourself in the music
Have you ever watched someone who just had something special about them you couldn’t quite describe. Someone who had that something extra that went into her work that made her stand out head and shoulders above the rest. In most instances that thing, that x-factor is a profound love and freedom she embodies while working in her craft. That sense of love and freedom is what enables her to lose herself as she creates art with her work, rather than just performing specific tasks. That’s what separates the good from the great. That’s what will allow your work to transform into something that drips with a kind of awesome your customers can’t get enough of. Losing yourself in your work requires you to love what you do. It requires you to have a connection to it that goes deeper than your bank account. And it requires you to trust and follow your instincts. This will enable you to put your unique stamp on the path you’re following to make life better for your customers. When was the last time you got lost in the work you were doing? Write down the conditions that were present that enabled you to have the freedom to create your best work. Now create a simple plan to enable you to have that kind of work environment on a regular basis.
It’s time to fill your dance card
You may have noticed that these tips aren’t exactly rocket science. That doesn’t mean they are any less important. You still have to do them. The success of your business depends on it. Besides, any new fancy strategies and tactics may work in the short-term to get you new customers. But they won’t help you get your customers to keep coming back over time if they realize you’re not as awesome as they were hoping you’d be. To build a business that thrives over the long-term, you’ve got to invest the time to get the fundamentals right. You’ve got to invest the time making yourself worthy of the love of your customers. And once you do, you’ll start to see that line forming. A line of customers eager to do some dancing with you.