Think that a reality show has nothing to do with business? Think again.
I don't know about you, but I'm totally hooked on The Voice!
With other "talent" type programmes delivering pretty much the same old format, The Voice has a positive new format that is proving a ratings winner for the networks.
Watching it last week, it dawned on me that, as business owners, we can take a few lessons (and not singing ones) 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. The singer then gets to choose their coach from the pros who have turned around.
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 are the best choice to be their coach and why they are the ones that will make a difference to their singing careers.
What makes the show really interesting is that the contestants pick their coaches - they get to choose who fits best with both what they're trying to achieve and the personality that will work best with them. R and B singers tend to choose Seal, those with a country twist, lean towards Keith Urban. And that makes sense - it's horses for courses.
And 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 other than you might think. 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 - because the fit just isn't right.
Just like rockers will choose Joel Madden to try to get the right fit that that will, they hope, bring the same success as Good Charlotte has, your clients will choose you to get the same result, image or success, or products and 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 (and don't underestimate the importance of this). Apple has built a whole brand on image - they're more expensive that just about anything else in each of their product lines but their market share speaks for itself!
Have a think about your level of success - and what your customers or clients really want from you? And if you don't know, ask! Think about the perception you and your business has in the market - and why your customers will choose you over the other guys.
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 both your core business, your presentation and your message is absolutely key as is a congruence with your market's needs.