Beth Perl Berman, a WHY/Compellications™ Coach, specializes in the art of defining and developing the compelling communications (see where the word comes from?) within corporate organizations. And WHY is this important (yes, we had to take that and run with it!)?
Read on for Jessica Timmerman’s interview with Beth below to gain an interesting perspective on the importance of cultivating a strong culture and how this translates to business valuation.
JT: So Beth, help define your specialty for our readers.
BB: I am a WHY/Compellications™ Coach focused on fortifying leaders individually and organizations as a whole from the inside out via compelling, WHY-based communications. Key elements that I analyze include:
- Creating awareness, and alignment with leaders’ visions and each person’s contribution to it —
- Empowering team communications – so that leaders and team members “get” each other and become aligned, and engaged with their purpose
- Defining company branding – who they are, what they do, and why should we even care?
- Determining authenticity of a company’s message
- Overcoming infobeasity – in order to not only be heard above the noise, but to create a deeper connection
By understanding their “WHY” – which is their unique individual gift, that which makes them tick, how they’re hard wired – they can better understand how to articulate a company vision from the inside out, how individuals on teams can be validated for what they bring to the vision of the company, how to cultivate strong and effective leaders, and how to deepen communication – internally with their teams, and externally with their ideal clients, investors and stakeholders. Ultimately, these elements foster compelling messaging to the company’s customer base, creating brand intrigue and ultimately, loyalty.
JT: And what is this “beast” you speak of when you mention the term Infobeasity?
BB: Infobeasity is the shift towards shrinking attention spans due to accelerated communications. The biggest culprits, social media players like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. So we now need to now strive to connect on a different level with the public because there is just so much clutter out there.
JT: How does WHY Work analysis translate to improved earnings?
BB: Businesses are about making money but highly successful businesses have shown time and again to always be hardwired to a greater purpose. The WHY Work includes an analysis followed by a series of workshops with team leaders to define corporate goals and help management communicate better with each other. We then define the ideal client and determine the best way to reach them. Ultimately, we are emotional beings. When we appeal to a deeper emotional connection, on the level where individuals actually make decisions, it becomes a cyclical feeding of effective communications that creates bottom line results.
JT: What are some non-traditional ways the business owners can facilitate organic growth and profitability without reinventing the wheel?
BB: Business owners need to look to build from the inside out. They need to create a culture that encourages passion, alignment, and engagement. Another critical assessment should be analyzing each employee’s driving factors and their individual contributions to the company. Knowing how your people are motivated enables you to put people in the right seats. Align their passion, goals, and skills to that of the company’s and recognize them accordingly.
Fostering and cultivating strong employee morale and loyalty are often overlooked as key performance drivers. According to a Gallup poll, employers in the top 25% in terms of employee engagement have a 21% higher productivity and in turn, a 22% higher profitability than the average business. There is a 33% employee turnover rate in the US whereby 9 out of 10 people are fired because of their attitude. This can easily be reversed through having an engaged community and culture. When WHY people do what they do is aligned with WHAT they do and HOW they do it, they have passion… passionate employees who are not just in it for the paycheck but believe in your cause.
Additionally, it cannot be stressed enough – powerful internal and external communications are at the root of your successes. Clearly articulate company vision with all employees, vendors, customers, competitors… with the world. When your vision is clearly defined, and you provide the language to communicate it, others can also spread that message to the masses.
The next element is to remain current with communication trends. While fighting infobeasity, you need to also work with it in order to stay relevant and captivate the audience out there. Use social media as a way to stay on the pulse of the industry and your organization. Survey employees, customers, stakeholders on a regular basis to remain relevant, keep those that matter happy, spread company awareness, and facilitate new ideas.
JT: How does Compellications™ development relate to brand loyalty?
BB: You can have the best SEO and spend a ton of money on Pay Per Click advertising to get your business at the top of Google searches, but when someone gets to your site, they need to connect with you and your message. If not, it’s just a commodities game – a price war. People are willing to pay a premium to work with people they like, or purchase a product that makes them feel good regardless of pricing.
JT: When business owners are in growth mode, they all too often forget that exit planning is best done proactively and when your business is booming. What do you do to educate clients about the importance of exit planning?
BB: Business owners need to plan very early for exit. It is by fortifying your business from the inside out through communications, through proper procedures, through product development, that drives valuation well in advance to starting to think about exit.
When you have alignment with your customers and your brand via WHY-based communication, this creates brand alignment. Brand alignment brings a 20% increase in wallet share which means 20% more from your existing clients and customers (as per Gallup). It is much more cost effective to develop business within existing clients who’ve already bought in at some level than to go out and forge new relationships. If you build alignment and build business with existing clients that continue to rave about you and just by inertia continue to bring in other people, that is a huge formula for business success but all of that has to start early.
JT: Where do you see company’s failing to maximize value?
BB: There are a lot of areas in which businesses fall short but the good news is they are fairly easy fixes once you develop open and clear communication channels. Primary culprits include:
- Not cultivating new business with the current client base.
- Not recognizing people or putting them in the right seats.
- Planning too late in the game. The earlier they seek ways to fortify their business, the better off they are.
- Not cultivating passion/engagement within organization at all touch points. In order to be effective, you have to live it and connect on a deeper level. You also need to demonstrate it upon every client interaction – from sales to service to billing!
- Having an inauthentic or inconsistent messaging.
- Ignoring the intangibles – these are what separate the company from its competition.
- Addressing all audiences and educating them on your corporate messaging. This includes customers, clients, employees, followers, fans, influencers, bloggers, etc.
JT: To sum it all up, if you could offer only one piece of advice that a business owner should do TODAY, what would it be?
BB: Ask yourself, is what you are putting out there – to your people, to your audiences – compelling? Strive to achieve the Apple culture where people want your new products just because they are associated with you name! And in the end, never underestimate the power of understanding what makes you, your people, and your entire organization tick.