I’m no success guru.

Not a clue about 7 steps to great wealth, or whatever.

The closest I’ve ever come to closing a sale involved the words, “Please bring your purchases to the register.”

But I have learned a thing or two about connecting with clients and walking through open doors of opportunity. To be honest, it’s no secret. Or at least it shouldn’t be. So, I share these five simple personal discoveries with you.

1. My job is to meet my client’s needs.

My clients are not in business for me. I am in business for my clients. In fact, let me take it one step further. I am in business to make my clients successful.

Several years ago, I was hired by a local Public Relations firm. I was a little lost the first week on the job. I went to my boss and said, “John, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing. Is there a job description for my position?”

He answered simply, “Well, your job is to make me look good.”

I’ve never forgotten that. Most of my clients hire me on behalf of their clients. The bottom line is that they hire me to make them look good.

Your job is to meet your client’s needs.

2. No one succeeds if the ones they serve don’t succeed.

It’s just a fact. There is no way on God’s green earth that I can be successful if my clients aren’t successful.

I have a policy that any client that is going after new business can depend on me for free voiceover work for any spec spots they need. Why?

It’s simple. If they succeed, they will take me with them. It’s the way I’ve done business for thirty years. Some of my biggest clients were small, one man operations when I started with them. Many of them have grown through the years, and I’ve grown with them.

You will not succeed if your clients don’t succeed.

3. Sometimes I am not the right person for the job.

Many years ago a client asked me if I could do an impersonation of Dick Vitale for a commercial. Well, I don’t do impersonations, and I told my client the same.

He said, “Look, we’re in a bind. This spot has to go to air in two days and we can’t find anyone. Would you please do your best?”

I agreed, and gave it my best shot.

I’ve never heard from that client again.

Sometimes you’re not the right person for the job. Do yourself and your client a favor and hold on to that.

Define your product. Which takes us to the next point.

4. It’s not me, it’s my voice.

This is one of the greatest business lessons I’ve ever learned.

I was told my whole life “You’ve got to get out there and sell yourself.” So, I did.

The problem was, no one was buying me. Of course, that didn’t stop me from trying. I kept at it. For years.

One day, my wife told me she was her way to a little store in our town. I knew about the store. It was a dump. I asked her why she would go to that store because it was so…unbecoming (see, I do know some kind words).

She looked at me like I was nuts (I get that look a lot).

“Are you kidding?” she asked. “It has the coolest things.”

It dawned on me that she wasn’t buying the store, she was buying the stuff on the shelves. For too long I had been trying to sell the store, not the stuff on the shelves.

Nobody buys the store. They buy what they need or want off the shelves.

Quit trying to sell the store. Start selling your product.

By the way, there is great freedom in that discovery. Suddenly, it’s not personal. It’s about the product, not you.

Go sell your product for what it’s worth…not what you think you personally are worth.

5. Go burn something.

I had a client once tell me, “Look, I don’t care how hot you are, I just need someone to set this on fire.”

I understood exactly what he was saying. It wasn’t about me or my voice. It was about his product.

No one buys a product because of the voice selling it. Well, except my dear mother who years ago bought The Magnaduster off a TV infomercial. Turns out she had no idea I was the voice for the product. When I asked her why she bought the duster when I could have given her one for free, she answered, “Well it just sounded so believable.”

Anyway, go set your product on fire. As one of my clients once said, “Hot is the new cool.”

Have you sensed something from these five personal discoveries? Your success is not about you. It’s about your clients. Everything you do should be about them. Do that and they will go before you to carve out your success.


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