There is a well-worn truth that goes something like – if you want to learn something teach it. I think this certainly applies to many aspects of business. If you want to learn something at a much deeper level then write about it, speak about it, and create and conduct workshops and trainings on the subject. You can and should be doing all of these things as a routine part of your business growth.
However, I want to suggest that you take this concept to another level. I believe that there is a powerful layer to this teaching notion that is rarely accessed by small business. If you want your customers and partners to behave in certain ways then teach them how to do it. Now, I’m not simply talking about teaching them how or what to buy – I mean teach them a behavior that clearly has a benefit to them, but ultimately may benefit your cause.
Here’s what I mean.
- If you want to get more leads by getting up in front of groups and speaking – teach your customers and partners how to get up in front of groups to speak for leads
- If you want to get more referrals from your strategic partners – conduct referral training sessions with your network and teach them how to build and activate a referral network
- If you want to more fully utilize a blog or other forms of social media – teach your staff, customers and partners how to more fully utilize a blog and other forms of social media as ways to build their businesses and get more of what they want
Now, let me be clear on this point – it doesn’t matter what business you are in, a manufacturer can benefit from this approach as much as a consultant. I hope you understand the power of this form of teaching. Beyond that fact that it will make you better at what you are teaching is that it will help credential you and your business as an expert in business. It will help you build deeper relationships with your customers and partners and it will definitely create a point of differentiation in your market. But, created and conducted thoughtfully, it will help you get more of what you want as a side benefit.
Once you get a feel for this as a business strategy you can even begin to use it as a way to give back to your community. You can mentor fledgling businesses or show non-profits how to tap your tactics.
Image credit: The Art of Charm
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