Barnum’s American Museum entertained millions of young and old customers across America throughout the mid 1800’s with brand new attractions and freakish animals. P.T. Barnum, the outlandish owner, placed signs on specific doors that said, “This Way to the Egress”. Curious customers eagerly approached the door, and subsequent doors with the same sign until they found themselves outside of the museum. An “egress” is another name for “exit”. Consequently, anyone wanting to return to the museum had to pay another admission fee! Understandably, the value proposition of this practice was poorly received.
Grabbing customers’ money through trickery is a death sentence in today’s business world. Information, opinions, and bad news travels too fast. Customers have options and substitutes for most products and services. Consequently, customers who believe that they were mistreated, will take the egress and head toward a competitor. Yet, some businesses continue to dupe customers to buy before they fully understand. The value that business creates disappears as fast as each fooled customer churns.
Re-establishing trust is hard once customer credibility is violated. Businesses focused on the money grab eventually spend too much time and money finding new customers instead of taking care of the ones they have. Even the business’ internal and external storytelling suffers because the message continuously changes as marketers reinvent shady claims. An exciting product, or a dazzling service may capture the marketplace’s imagination initially. But, the marketplace will report poor performance and the damaged brand will have difficulty recovering. Ultimately, customer satisfaction becomes non-existent, marketing costs soar, and doors close in the money grab world.
When sellers build relationships on purpose along with delivering a desirable product or service, the seller benefits from the money hold. Consider an exceptional contractor who transforms kitchens into magical palaces of cooking and conversation. Since the contractor has demonstrated credibility and cultivated a miracle-worker reputation, buyers gladly pay a deposit to get started. Besides establishing trust in the marketplace, his longevity indicates that this contractor is responsible. As a responsible service-provider, the miracle-working contractor earns the privilege to hold money at the beginning of the transaction. As evidenced by his ability to sustain service delivery excellence, the belief is that he also holds onto it well on the back-end.
The money hold mindset reinforces a reputation for excellence with the ability to benefit from referrals. Success encourages subcontractors to want to work with him. Also, suppliers want to attach their reputation to his brand by offering favorable terms in their selling relationship. The value multiplies throughout the subcontractor’s supply chain resulting in superior growth. Essentially, the money hold creates a more positive and sustainable business environment. The value is revealed in the final product, and in the contractor’s brand.
Ultimately, in business, the money will move. Rewards grow according to the level of service provided. Consequently, marketing that emphasizes superior service creates greater opportunities to do good and do well. Service-based branding and superior execution makes a difference in the rewards that a business enjoys. Hyper growth is exciting. But, enduring growth builds better business. Grabbing money attracts a lot of business attention. Holding money builds fortunes. Business success ultimately comes down to making money and keeping it.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC