By Jeff Beals
Nordstrom is a chain of upscale department stores based in downtown Seattle, the chic and sophisticated hub of the Northwest.
Wal-Mart is the world’s biggest discount retailer and is based in Bentonville, a town of 36,000 people tucked away in northwest Arkansas.
At first glance, you might think these two businesses could not be more different, but a closer look reveals they are very much alike. Both enjoy huge, rabidly loyal followings. Their customers love them and go back again and again. Millions of families live almost exclusively on affordable products purchased from Wal-Mart. Nordstrom customers are known to travel hundreds of miles to visit their favorite department store.
These two similar-but-different retailers have been successful over many years, because they know their real business. They know what they really do as opposed to what it appears they do.
Wal-Mart is not in the grocery-and-general merchandise business. Instead, it’s in the “saving-people-money-so-they-can-live-better” business. Nordstrom isn’t in the garment retailing business. It’s in the “make-you-look-and-feel-special” business. The experiences and feelings Nordstrom provide are, to many customers, even more valuable than the apparel and accessories themselves.
The key word for both companies’ success is “value.”
No matter what you do for a living, success ultimately comes down to your ability to deliver great value for the money your clients invest.
But how do you define value?
Value is determined by the client. Value exists in the client’s head. By making your clients feel truly special, you make it easier for them to see the great value you can provide.
The greatest leaders, entrepreneurs, marketers and sales professionals understand that value is critical.
The most successful real estate agents are in the “help-you-get-your-dream-house” business. Insurance brokers are in the “keep- you-safe-and-secure” business. Financial advisors are in the “make-you-wealthy” business. Professional consultants are in the “keep-your-company-solvent” business. Risk managers are in the “keep-your-butt-out-of-court” business.
Clients feel most special when their service providers prove that it’s all about client. The successful person is the one who is in business to make someone else’s dreams come true.
As the legendary Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart once said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody, by spending his money somewhere else.”
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Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. You can learn more and follow his “Beals Motivation Blog” at www.JeffBeals.com.