(May 2, 2018) Peter Fitzgerald challenges Christians in business, indeed every believer…
Fibonacci is amazing stuff; it involves something I was never very good at – mathematics.
In business marketing applying the mathematical principle of multiplication will work immensely more powerfully for you than the principle of addition.
Parallels can be found in the growth of Christianity (Acts 6:1), the spread of the gospel message (Mark 4:6; Acts 12:24), and God’s promise to bless his servant Abraham (Hebrews 6:14)… it’s plethuno – to increase, abound, multiply.
Heard of the Fibonacci Sequence?
It’s named after Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, who was considered ‘the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages.’
Check out the Fibonacci sequence on Google (eg https://www.livescience.com/37470-fibonacci-sequence.html) and see some amazing multiplication in nature!
This growth sequence doesn’t go as we normally count – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and so on. It’s a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it – Starting with 0 and 1, the sequence goes 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so forth. Written as a rule, the expression is xn = xn-1 + xn-2.
Now I hear you asking, ‘What has this got to do with marketing or my business?’ Quite a lot actually! But, firstly, some basic ‘Marketing Spirit’ stuff I’d like you to understand:
The Marketing Spirit
1) General bushiness minded attitudes today…
Consider what normally happens when a new customer arrives:
# 1 – Pleasantries exchanged
# 2 – Request for a product/information/order/discussion
# 3 – Purchase made; payment; transaction done; walks out; may come back… or may not(!)
# 4 – Three (or was it nine) months later the customer wanders back in.
2) The real business spirit needed today…
- Business is primarily about people and relationships between people
- The primary purpose of a business is to serve a target audience, not to make money
- True serving begins when your customers walk out not when they walk in
- Relationships build over time and requires regular communication
- Genuine serving others is not natural for humans (nature makes us self-centered) ..
- Two things most people crave for – love and recognition!
This challenge calls for building each new customer relationship as a Fibonacci sequence:
# 1 – Initial contact and welcome (Offer some unique information about what you do)
# 1 – Find out about the person, the problem/need/want after all (You’re the expert)
# 2 – Finalise their purchase, if it happens then; add some ‘wow’ (Eg a gift)
# 3 – Make a promise you have to keep (Within say, 24 hours)
# 5 – Follow up on time (Thus keeping your promise)
# 8 – Make sure they have a query that you need to answer (Set it up if you have to)
# 13 – Get their permission to make contact when x arrives/happens/is ready (Follow through)
# 21 – Ring the next day to thank them for their business (And remind them of your guarantee)
# 34 – Your first friendly newsletter or a Blog invitation is sent (A good and welcomed follow-up).
Okay… the numbers may be a bit optimistic but compared to the ‘normal’ situation you would have to be in front in relationship-building. I went to the same menswear store for 28 years but never once got even a phone call. The sales action only happened when I chose to walk in; incidentally the last time I went back was seven years ago!.
My encouragement is simple – we all need to think outside the box!
And the good news is that this is not rocket science; it’s the outcome of a simple process or system developed by a wise marketer – you.
It could be put together in a series of brainstorming sessions along the lines of ‘How to increase (multiply) the number of contacts we have with customers.’
Now that’s the real marketing spirit! But… some further thoughts –
‘Communication’ is an action word – as is ‘love’
Consider these two principles of business and two questions relating thereto –
- The primary purpose of a business to serve
- The primary purpose of marketing is to communicate love.
Q1 – to you … as a customer:
When was the last time a personal or business supplier contacted you out of the blue with some useful information, advice or friendship?
If you’re like 96% of people I’ve asked this, the answer is – never.
Q2 – to you as a customer… but also a business owner:
How can the owner and staff communicate with customers if they just stand around waiting for customers to walk in or initiate a transaction; and come back in future?
It’s ridiculous; it seems that business owners know a lot about selling but so little about real marketing through the ‘communicating’ and ‘love’ principles!
‘Communicate’ is an action verb that implies to…
- Go to; to speak with; seek out; to share; initiate; give value
- Impart knowledge, make known, transmit, to pass on information
- Express or convey one’s thoughts or feelings; to follow up
- Connect, regularly (and quickly if there’s a problem)
- Announce, divulge, disclose, reveal.
Some great quotes about love…
- Dorothy Kruger: ‘Love needs to be expressed in words and deeds.’
- Doris Day: ‘Only love ever changes anything.’
- Peter Fitzgerald: ‘Two things people crave at the point of sale, love and recognition.’
- Paul: ‘Love motivates; love endures; love is kind; love is truthful; love is humble; love is just; love is patient; love is generous; love is compassionate’ (Read – or reread – 1 Corinthians 13).
The world ‘system’ is now in disarray
There is no love or genuine communication in our capitalist system: in fact the opposite is encouraged – compete to win; make money; use people; do what you have to do to get a sale. Poor quality and discounting are rife; none of this is real marketing or under The Marketing Spirit.
The good news is that when the biblical principle of communication and love are grasped for your business, living life itself, helping others, assisting grow your church – you will prosper. Opportunities emerge as you and your team serve, care for and display an unselfish concern for others – proving it by genuinely communicating with them.
Also… when economic times get tough, which they inevitably will, people will remember and be drawn to those who looked after, or befriended, them in the good times. Think about that.
Peter Fitzgerald is a business and marketing adviser. Having observed and advised small and medium enterprise owners for some 37 years, he has coupled his passion for economic research with a desire to understand why so many businesses fail even, in boom times, culminating in his encouraging and helpful The Marketing Spirit blogs. Peter’s goal is to share what he has discovered and promises The Marketing Spirit can dramatically improve not only one’s businesses but one’s life and future. Links: Website / firstname.lastname@example.org