The need for companies, individuals, and other organizations to evolve over time is not news. If you want to stay relevant you must be relentless and continuously grow and evolve. Although this is common knowledge the approach to evolving is not simple. It must be timely and strategic so that you don’t lose your trusted audience or face costly mistakes. A common mistake that business owners and leaders make is looking outward when deciding when and how to evolve instead of looking inward. Evolving is not just necessary because your competitors, colleagues, or mentors are growing and evolving. Evolving should begin because YOU are growing, have more knowledge, and have more resources. Evolving is not about keeping up with “The Jones”or hastily following trends and fads. We evolve because we are continuously making our mark as leaders and experts in our fields and want to present the improved version of ourselves and our offerings to those we work with and serve. Four key ways you can evolve strategically are:
Never subscribe to the belief that you are only good at one thing. Equally so, don’t ever be so naïve to think you know all there is to know in your field and skill set. Both are false beliefs that will hold you back. To strategically evolve you have to expand your knowledge and your offerings. You are probably already great at what you do but ask yourself the following questions:
Can you enhance any of the services you provide?
Have you explored educational and training opportunities to learn more about your field?
Are you up to date on the needs and interests of your target market?
Have you surrounded yourself with a team who has skills that you don’t so that you can increase your value and the value of your product?
Is your team and talent pipeline diverse and inclusive so that knowledge and experience from multiple cultures and ethnic backgrounds are represented therefore, expanding your reach to diverse audiences?
When you stay humble and are open to learning more and increasing your network and team you can do more and provide more!
Embrace Technological Growth
Even the most savvy leaders can accidentally get technologically left behind. You may understand the importance and use of social media, you may have a mobile friendly website, and you may have a fully functioning e-commerce website that allows users to shop at ease. But here is what you may be missing:
If necessary an app that allows your audience to plug in with your organization and buy faster than a website and have a better experience.
Automation software that allows you to seamlessly keep up with your current and prospective clients and pre-schedule and automatically run your outreach to them.
Digital marketing opportunities that allow you to present your organization to hundreds and thousands of people who fit the demographics of your target market.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. New technological advances are always being developed and integrated into society and the workforce. Every new technological advance or opportunity may not be a fit for you but you still have to be aware of the changing times. When technology is making daily life easier for your competitors and your audience you cannot ignore it. Adequate access and use of technological advances directly impacts your product and your bottom line.
Be an Innovator
Wise people often say: “Nothing is new under the sun”. And it’s so true. Even the most lucrative companies have pre-established competitors or newly founded imitators. Facebook was not the first or last social media platform. Ford was not the only car manufacturer to use an assembly line. Nike is not the only athletic wear company with a solid product, strong celebrity presence, and catchy headline. Apple is not the only developer of computers, laptops, and smart phones. I can go on and on! Money and clout is not the only factor that sets these companies apart. These companies and many more like them are true innovators. They don’t just offer the same product we can get anywhere else. They think out of the box and dare to be different and I want you and me to do the same. What if Google would have just stopped at being a search engine? Could you imagine? Be limitless! Look at what you offer and figure out how to offer the same thing in 5 different ways. Look at what you currently do as a stepping stone to the next big thing. That’s what innovators do, they seek, they tackle, they succeed, and then they go back to the drawing board and expand on their latest success. Every thing they do and offer is just one success on top of another. They are out of the box and these leading companies keep us engaged and active because they continually evolve through innovation.
Provide an Unmatched Customer Experience
If you understand that you and thousands of other companies provide the same service how will you differentiate yourself? And no, a cheaper price is not necessarily the answer because I am a firm believer in getting what you pay for and the power in investing in what matters. The difference is an unmatchable customer experience. There are too many people selling and not enough people relationship building. If you spent thousands of dollars on advertising but made little to no time investment teaching your team to know, embrace, and SERVE your clients you are missing out and a provider of a sale not a budding professional relationship. Boost your customer experiences by:
Making sure your team is walking in servitude instead of existing for the next commission. Servitude is there to address the need, respects the process and amount of time a buying or partnering decision will take. Servitude makes you a resource. Do not staff your organization with cashiers; surround yourself with problem solvers and servants instead.
Remove the cookie cutter approach. No one has the same exact needs. Provide tailored and unique services and eliminate the one size fits all method.
To do either of the above you must have a relationship with your customer. You must make an effort to know them beyond the sale. If this isn’t currently you that’s ok you still have time to evolve into an empathetic, thoughtful, and strategic leader. The difference between customer service and a great customer experience is that a customer experience provides a wow factor, it is genuine, and most importantly it is constant. Customer service can be up and down but experiences are recurring and memorable. If you evolve with your customer you can continue to serve them in an exponential way and never risk losing them to your competitors.
There is not a 10 or 100 step process to evolving. This process can’t be measured because it’s a continual journey like most of the areas of our success. Your dedication to the process is required for greatness. Time makes so many things and people better and you are no exception. But you and those you lead will not naturally get better, growth is natural, but evolvement must be chased and sought after and the effort is well worth it so that you, those you work with, those you serve, and those you are leaving a legacy for can reap the benefits of your continued success.
If this inspires you and you want more thoughtful commentary and discussions on leadership, success, professionalism, and more subscribe to my YouTube Channel here: http://bit.ly/DialogueWithDallas