Do you use what you sell to others? It strikes me that many of us - perhaps particularly in service industries - forget that the service we sell can benefit us, too.
For example, I met someone recently who has a series of questions he uses to judge the health of a small business's marketing efforts. Based on the answers to those questions, he is able to recommend new strategies and tactics to improve results. We were talking about how to market his services, and I asked him if he had run his own business through his assessment process. Answer: not yet.
And elsewhere, I know of a consulting business that focuses on accountability in organizations - how to get it and track it. The owner mentioned a problem with accountability within his organization. Was he using the tools he recommended for others? Not yet.
Don't forget to use the tools and take the actions you are selling to your clients and customers. If you are a coach, for example, be sure to have your own mentor coach (I do). If you consult on strategic planning, use the same techniques to plan your own strategy. If you are a staffing firm promising the best candidates, use the same rigorous processes when evaluation your own new hires.
- First, because it will help you maintain quality. Drinking your own Kool-Aid will help you maintain just the right amount of sugar. Using that Enterprise Resource System in your own business will help you maintain quality when you implement it in other businesses. And you will more quickly see where your offering can be improved.
- Using your own product or service also helps you better understand what your customers experience when they do business with you.
- It will often help your business improve, just as it does your customers' businesses. If that accountability system can help Acme, Inc., it might just help you, too. If coaching is good for your clients, it might be helpful for you, too. (It is!)
- Using your own product or service also builds credibility. What will customers think if they know you sell Chevrolets but drive a Honda? What does that say about your commitment to what you sell?