Really, write your own company’s eulogy. I got the idea from Ron Lovett, the author of the book Brand Scaling Culture. I read the book last week and this suggestion has stayed with me ever since.
Think about this. If your company died or disappeared one day, what would your customers say? Would they be sad? Would they be disappointed? Would they miss you? Or would they say that they thought you were dead already? Would they be able to go on without you? Or would the loss of your company be devastating to them?
What about your vendors, the people who have been selling you products and services. What would this reaction be?
How about your employees? What would they think? Would they be devastated or surprised? Or would that have seen it coming for many years?
Think about your company’s funeral and assess, honestly assess, what the reaction would be.
If you cringe at the very idea of what an accurate eulogy for your company would be, if you have to admit it would be pretty bad…then that ought to tell you something.
Well, here is the good news, your company is not dead. If you did not like the way your imagined eulogy would have sounded, you are not dead yet and there is still hope for you to create a company that would be great to eulogize in the end.
Now imagine what a great eulogy would be, what you would love people to say about you when you’re gone. Better yet let’s dump that morbid eulogy example and get right to the point. What do you want your customers to think about you? What do you want them to say about you?
Ponder that for a few minutes and you’ll have the exact model for what your company should be like.
Here is a suggested list of what you would like people to say about you:
- They were always there for us no matter what happened.
- They had the best products on the market. We could not live without them. We could not run our business without their help.
- When it comes to great overall value they were the best. When you take into consideration the fact that they were always on time and we never had rejects, we were more than willing to pay that small extra amount.
- They were always open. Even when there was a problem they would stand up, admit it, and then get on with the solution. They never argued about whose fault it was, they just went to work fixing the problem.
- I loved it when their salespeople came to our facility. They were so well-informed that they would always tell us something that we did not know.
- What I loved about them was that they were so far ahead of their competitors when it came to the newest technology.
- They always could find a solution for the products we bought from them. No matter what it was, no matter what we required from them they always had it.
- Whenever we started a new project or developed a new product we could count on them to come up with ways to make that product better.
- Their management team was made up of some of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met in business. You could sit down and talk to them about anything. And they were always extremely trustworthy. I was always very comfortable talking to them about our proprietary products because I knew that information would stay with them.
- I was always very proud to say they were one of my vendor partners, they made us look smart for working with them.
- They were true industry leaders when It came to innovation and thought leadership.
- They were extremely generous, always willing to share whatever information, technology, or new innovation they developed.
- They looked out for us. They would actually have brainstorming meetings focused on how they could help us to be successful.
- If they spotted trouble coming, something that could hurt our business in the long run, they would not only tell us about it but when they did tell us about it, most of the time they already had a solution for how we could handle it.
- Remember that blizzard a few years ago? It was at our month end, and we desperately needed their product so that we could complete our equipment and ship them so that we could make our critical revenue forecast for that month. The highways were closed, and everything was shut down. Planes were grounded and UPS and FedEx were not delivering. I had just about given up hope of getting their parts. I was in the process of sending everybody home when I got a call from their General Manager telling me that he was driving the company van full of those critical parts and would be at our place in an hour! How the heck can you top that?
- You know I always thought that we were their favorite customer. They treated us so well that I just assumed we were special to them. Then I talked to some of their other customers, even some of our competitors and they admitted that they felt the same way! They treated everyone this same great way!
What do you think? Would your customers talk about you this way if it was your funeral, your company they were eulogizing?
One thing is for sure, your customers talked about your company this way, it would certainly not be at your company’s funeral! It’s only common sense.