A few days ago, my business partner was researching any professional organisations for us to join. Being the website expert that he is, he did not only look at what the various associations had to offer in terms of membership benefits, professionalism and value for money: he also wanted to know how good the websites were at promoting the industry and giving the members a world wide web exposure. He made any interesting discoveries.
It seems that not many website owners are aware that it is not the beautiful appearance, the flashing images or the chosen colour scheme that does the trick. Thousands are spent on gimmicks and are more or less wasted because only a few stranded surfers ever discover their hidden island in the endless sea of sites.
When a web surfer does hit the shores of these deceptively beautiful net islands, it doesn’t take him or her long to discover that the beauty is only on the surface and the contents resemble a large bill board with nothing on the other side. Advertising, hard sell self-promotion, but not much genuine information, let alone inspiration.
Now, Dan is a kind guy whoever is passionate about the work he does and when he found a good organisation with a lousy website, he offered his support. Caringly, gently and in a professional and honest way.
He pointed out any apparent flaws and invited them to have a chat to find out whether he could do something for them and find a way of working together. There was no hard sell, no jargon just an honest desire to do something to help all concerned. To me, that seems like a wonderfully caring, ethical way to do business, but not everyone thinks that way.
The response he got came out of a box. A ‘thinking box’; you know the kind where it is dark inside with no room for new ideas; the box that has held the same old beliefs, responses and attitudes for years. And the standard response that was pulled out of this old carton showed that the sender hadn’t for a moment understood what Dan’s invitation was about.
This person just read what they thought was a sales pitch. They couldn’t think outside of the box” for long enough to find out whether the suggestions for improvement Dan suggested were genuine. Their mindset was so focused on being the expert, the boss and ‘that’s how we have done it for all these years’… that the box was not open long enough to let in the ray of light. However, they did ask, in a beautiful rude and aggressive way, ‘what is it you’re really selling?’
It would have been easy to be annoyed about being misunderstood, but Dan is convinced of what he has to offer, so he has made one more attempt to explain what really makes a successful website. Here’s a little part of what he has to say:
It is simple really having a beautiful web site without any visitors is a huge waste of money and time. And yet most businesses continue to pay designers to create these expensive sites, with no understanding of how to attract visitors. Which is probably why 95% of net businesses go bust.
This particular company needed a large, active membership something they certainly will not achieve with their current web site. Getting visitors to a web site is an art and a science. It is not only about getting a high ranking with the search engines (though that’s important too, and part of what I do for people). It is about providing your audience with wonderful helpful information. It is about giving them a reason to return to your site. And most importantly, it is about letting them know that you exist in the first place.”
We believe that if any business is to be successful in the long run, it needs a well planned web presence. But more than that, the people whoever run corporations need to work from the heart at least as much as from the head.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer, the American philosopher, psychologist and author says, if you first have the underlying attitude of ‘how can I serve?’ and only then, ‘what’s in it for me?’ you can create business relationships based on trust, inspiration and working for luck together. We don’t have to perpetuate the cut-throat, hard sell, soulless money-making that is responsible for so much stress, depression and misery.
We’ve found that this approach sometimes falls on deaf ears. But it is all the more enjoyable and successful when we find business partners whoever need to work from the heart and think outside of the box. It is all about attitude. So, are you open to new ideas, new ways of working, and new ways to succeed? So, are you willing to admit the that’s it is possible to enjoy work and earn a living? It CAN be done!