First love your work, then love your customers

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of customers. I love sifting through a business’ customer base, creating customer segments and then creating marketing that makes each customer in each segment feel unique, beautiful and deeply appreciated.

I love this idea so much that one day, years ago, while working full time, I started an online store (selling organic baby clothing), simply because I wanted to have my own customers. I wanted to show them how much I care about them. The thought of treating my customers with an insane amount of care and attention made my heart fill up and almost burst out with joy.

Oh, how foolish I was! I learned quickly through this one experience that no matter how much you love your customers, you have to first and foremost love your work in order to make your customers feel loved.

In this case, I didn’t love my work. I didn’t love managing product, inventory, operations and all the day to day activities. And most of all, I didn’t feel a deep connection towards the product I was selling. Baby clothes are deliciously cute, but selling them didn’t help me personally feel fulfillment.

 
 

You see, when you love your work, your customers smell your passion from miles away. They feel attracted to you, they want to join in on your high vibe of love and appreciation - even if they don’t care that much about what you’re selling.

Years ago, I worked with a company that had highly loyal customers, even though this company didn’t stand out when it comes to treating its customers with extra care and attention. But there was one thing this company had, that most other companies I’d personally seen didn’t - its employees were genuinely living and breathing the product. They felt proud, transformed, beautiful, confident and unique when they touched, owned or talked about this product.

Customers sense the connection you have towards your own product. And when you proudly display it, they’ll stampede to buy your product.

That’s because they’re not just buying your product. To them, your product will represent much more than what’s in the box. It will represent pride, joy, passion, self-appreciation, self-confidence, self-love. That’s what they’re really buying from you. And that’s what you’re offering them when you truly love your work and when you talk to them about how much you love your work.

It sounds counterintuitive at first, and perhaps it sounds even surprising to hear the woman who created a customer retention & loyalty program say this. But friends, love your work first, then love your customers.

PS: Before you go, I created a new audio training called “Four strategies to boost your profits and attract more loyal customers”. Free for email subscribers. Download it here.

Mihaela Akers
A change in mindset that can help you sell more of anything

In my past corporate life I used to get a lot of calls and emails from people who wanted us to buy or try their service. The services were fantastic. The people who sold them were wonderful. But I didn’t have the time. I was always in a hurry, trying to get to the next meeting or to finish the next project.

Nowadays, I’m the one doing the selling. I’m the one creating and then selling. So, I rolled up my sleeves and I learned about sales. I learned different techniques and different strategies. But none of them got me anywhere until I learned that I needed to change the way I think about the process of selling. Specifically, there was one change I needed to make, and I think you’re going to love this.

I needed to change the way I feel when others sell anything to me. I learned that until I fully appreciate when and what others sell to me, I won’t be able to easily or successfully sell my own products and my services.  

Let me explain.

When you repeatedly hold a certain attitude about something, you train your brain to subconsciously and automatically choose that attitude any time when a similar situation comes up in the future.

When sales professionals called me and emailed me while I was pressed for time, I felt interrupted. It wasn’t anybody else’s fault but mine that I felt that way. I could have unplugged my phone. I could have closed my email. I could have set myself up for more efficiency. But I didn’t. Because I felt interrupted, my brain started to associate the feeling of “interruption” with the process of selling.

That meant that when it was my turn to sell something of my own, I subconsciously felt like I’m interrupting the person at the other end.

These are subtle associations in our brain, but they’re important to understand.

This may also be the reason why as a society, we feel that selling is icky and uncomfortable. It’s not because of the sales person who called us during dinner or knocked on our door right when our kids needed us the most. It’s because of the thoughts we thought when that sales person called us.

If you ever felt like somebody’s being pushy, if you felt interrupted or if you simply felt discomfort when others sold their things to you, pay attention to not subconsciously withdraw and feel fear that others will feel the same way you did when they see your email, your call, your sales page or your social media ad.

Pay attention to your attitude about selling. If you feel there are some kinks that need to be worked there, I have a quick and joyful exercise for you: take a five minute break every day this week and simply appreciate everything that others are selling to you within these five minutes. You can take a walk or browse the internet for five minutes. Thank you for that simple pen. Thank you for that colorful ad. Thank you for that pink food processor. Thank you for that useful app. Thank you for that e-book. Thank you for everything everyone made, sold and then continued to sell. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

During these five minutes, understand the work that went into the making of every single product, store, ad, web page, training. Somebody, somewhere, had a passion that couldn’t be quenched. Then, they created something from that passion. Isn’t everything we use in our lives the result of some people, somewhere working hard and wishing well?

Five minutes every day and you’ll start feeling pride, ease, success, contribution and well-being when you’re selling your products. A joyful and effortless way to elevate your attitude about selling, and to know, with every cell of your being, that just like you did, somebody, somewhere, silently says “thank you” to you.

And let me know how your five minutes go for you! Email me at hello@builduplab.com.

With love,

Mihaela

Mihaela Akers
Business is about sharing value

If there were no other people left on Earth but you, would you still do what you’re doing today for work?

Would you still create your products, your services or your ideas?

Think about it.

There would be nobody left to buy your products, to read your books, to listen to your presentations, to need your services. So, your business - the way it exists today - wouldn’t exist anymore if it weren’t for others.

If your business and your work wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for others, it makes logical sense that the purpose of all business is to benefit others and to improve their lives.

To create and share value with others.

We start alone, with our own desire to create something meaningful and to savour that journey of creating. But we continue on the path together with our customers and our audience.

I want to remind you of this simple and beautiful truth because, as you grow your business and expand your work, I invite you to always ask yourself "does this step I'm about to take create value for others?"

I also want to remind you of this idea because there are many who think that business is about sleazy selling or that selling is about taking money from customers. And as a result, they're apprehensive to sell their products.

But that’s not what [good] business is really about.

My son rode his scooter to school this morning because somebody created that product and then thankfully asked me to buy it. I attended a paid seminar this weekend because somebody thankfully decided to share their knowledge with others. Last night I found an easier way to meditate because somebody created an app with white noise sounds and then thankfully advertised it on the internet. There are examples like these all around us.

Our lives are better today than they’ve ever been because somebody, some time, understood that business is about benefiting others. And then, they created something that they can joyfully sell to others.

Mihaela Akers