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Million dollar business secrets: Lessons from The Voice

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Think that a reality show has nothing to do with business? Think again.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hooked on The Voice. With other ‘talent’ programmes delivering pretty much the same old format, The Voice has a positive new take that’s proving a ratings winner for the networks.

Watching last week it dawned on me that, as business owners, we can take a few lessons (and not the singing kind) from The Voice.

If you haven’t seen the show yet, contestants sing to seasoned professionals who can only hear, but not see, them. If the pros like what they hear, they turn around to see the singer, who then gets to choose their coach from the pros who swivelled.

Interestingly, the singing professionals on the show – Seal, Joel Madden, Delta Goodrem and Keith Urban – then pitch themselves to the singers pleading their case for why they’re the best choice of coach.

The contestants choose who fits both what they’re trying to achieve and the personality that will work best with them. R&B singers tend to choose Seal, those with a country twist lean towards Keith Urban. And that makes sense – it’s horses for courses.

If you think this doesn’t have anything to do with your business, think again. It’s just like what we as business owners do day in, day out. Part of our role is to educate our clients but, in the end, we’re more than likely to be pitching against our competitors for their business.

You see, whether you like it or not, your clients will choose you (not the other way around). They will meet you and decide whether or not the fit is right.

Often they’ll choose you on things you may not consider: your personality, the way you do business, the look and feel and/or attitude of your company. And they’ll leave you for the same reasons – the fit just isn’t right.

Just like rockers will choose Joel Madden to get the fit that, they hope, with bring them the same success Good Charlotte enjoys, your clients will choose you to get the same result, image, success, products or services that they perceive you can bring to them.

All this brings me to the question: what, then, is the perception that you give out? What’s your image? How have you positioned yourself? Are you meeting the image that your customers want?

And if you think it’s all about price, think again. Apple has built a whole brand on image. They’re more expensive than just about any competing product but their market share speaks for itself.

Think about this in terms of your attitude, your dress, your presentation, your demeanour, your marketing materials, your web presence, what you say and how you say it. Congruence to your core business, your presentation and your message is key; as is congruence with your market’s needs.

Fiona Anson is a popular speaker, author and serial entrepreneur. Winner of Sydney Businesswoman of the Year and Finalist for Telstra Businesswoman of the year, Fiona has been the go-to business expert for Channel 9 and the Daily Telegraph, and has written for just about every major newspapers and business magazine around the country. Winner of the TiE/Women in Focus Pitching Competition in May, 2012, Fiona knows what it takes to get a business on track.

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