The ridiculous notion that a sealed door complete with glue in the lock is good for business.
A few weekends ago I was privileged to be in the audience while Mal Emery, one of Australia’s most notorious Entrepreneurs (yes, a real serial offender) took to the stage and presented a fascinating look at business in the light of trust. He gave a pile of evidence to support his view and then made an astounding comment.
It went something like this:-
“In our fore father’s day a man’s honour and integrity was his guarantee. Essentially his word stood when it came to a business agreement and they merely shook hands and the deal was solid. Business is sadly lacking in this area these days and I believe its high time trust was re-introduced to restore the faith of the agreement”.
I was deeply moved!
I stood internally applauding his statement. My heart was pounding. I wanted to rush up and hug him. Don’t worry, I caught myself beginning to move from my seat and controlled the urge.
But why had this struck such a chord?
He went on to explain a few other points as well but since that initial statement, I found myself magnetically glued to his every word.
And then he came out with what seemed to be another incongruence of business.
He said, “Don’t try to waltz into my office and request my services. I am very careful and deliberate about the clients I choose. I only work with those I want to work with and unless they pass my scrutiny I avoid engaging in business with them. It doesn’t matter how much money they are offering! If you happen to come to my office in Perth without an appointment you’ll find the front door sealed, glue in the lock and a sign that warns to beware of the dog!”
I sat there dumb founded!
What on earth was he trying to convey?
Is this some sneaky psychological tactic that was designed to peak the very last nuance of desire out of us, the audience?
Well, perhaps it was!
It is human nature to want what we can’t have and Mal had set the bar extremely high. He was ensuring that his basic client was able to pay what he had determined he was worth and was filtering out those who were dreamers from the actual wealth creators who wanted to increase their position.
He knew that he could improve just about anybodies lot with his strategies but he only wanted to work with those who could make it worth his while. It’s positioning. Placing yourself in the market and knowing the boundaries of your niche. It’s about exclusivity.
I must say I admired the way Mal believed in himself. It really didn’t matter what others thought of him, in terms of business (and that is what we were all there to learn about) he had the runs on the board and no one could dispute it.
He had perfected it down to an art form. It was a classic take away sell!
So, I went home with Mal’s words ringing in my ears. I thought to myself, how would I go about setting myself on an authority seat. A position where those who wanted my skills would be happy to pay whatever I asked, because they knew that the end result was quality. The point where I didn’t care about the detractors. That place where I was so confident in my own ability that I simply performed to excel.
I now realise I want what Mal is selling. Not the product or the service, but the stance and position. To be the one at the top of the mountain. Not an oracle as such but the expert who is reliable and whose results are bankable.
It all comes back to mindset in the end.
I learned that no matter what, Mal was being true to himself. His persona was larger than his personality in some ways but then that is what he set out to build, knowing full well that with his understanding of business there were few to question his ways.
I am now actively looking for ways to hone my skills in take away selling. It is a powerfully motivating tactic. One that I am going to study with monotonous repetition until I master it.
And if you are like me you will feel the urgency of time rushing past and the need to capitalise on it as much as possible. This urgency somehow polarises things and galvanises you to action.
I have entered a new phase of my life. It’s time for me to shine for my new found talents. My old ways have begun to fade and the new me is emerging like a butterfly from the cocoon.
Gosh I can be eloquent!
But then it’s all in the name of self discovery.
I’m not talking about some touchy feely naval gazing, I’m talking about the realisation that change brings growth. The kind of growth that causes attraction to those you meet.
There is a quiet confidence that brings people to you like a moth to a flame. It is only when you gather this kind of confidence that you can even aspire to be the goto guy.
Here’s the thing.
- Are you open to alternative points of view?
- Do you consider the experience of others as something you can learn from?
- Can you see that although you have a lifetime of experience at your disposal, you don’t have all the answers?
If you answered yes to these three questions you could well be at the same point of emergence as I am.
If so, let’s follow Mal’s lead and put some trust back into the way business is done. Let’s build a culture of decency and integrity. This movement could well revolutionise the current business landscape and may bring untold riches simply through unique positioning. And if we position ourselves well, we get to choose just like Mal does.
“After all, the successful ones are usually those going against the crowd. Because the masses are usually dead wrong.” – Mal Emery