Here's a truth that won't surprise you: Businesses that make sales stay in business longer than those that don't. So if sales are the goal, then how do you make more sales?
It's pretty simple really. Not easy, but simple. The absolute best way to make sales is to create a magnificent product. How do you create such a product?
Let's look at businesses that create magnificent products. You might not like these companies, but they are the best in their fields because of their magnificent products. Let’s see what we can borrow from their successes.
Apple is the obvious choice, of course.
It has set the standard for innovation over the last 10 years. The company gives consumers what they want before they even know they want it. But behind each shiny new gadget and voice-activated phone is something more that you can use to build your own business.
Apple's products aren't simply phones or tablets or music players. They are symbols of a community. Apple understands why it is in business (not just what it does or how it does it). This strong sense of why has allowed the company to build a community, a passionate following around their brand.
Magnificent products give people the chance to be part of a larger movement. They provide something people can believe in and a community for customers to join.
On any given day, McDonald's feeds 1 percent of the world's population. So, every single day, 70 million people eat at one restaurant chain.
Some people think McDonald's foods are not as healthful as they could be. Others protest the way it sources some of its food. I won't debate any of that. But McDonald's executes daily as well as any business in the world.
You cannot find a company that delivers such a consistent product all over the world, and under such variable circumstances (employees speaking different languages, operating in different regions, encountering different shipment times). The company pulls this off, even though we know it’s sometimes hard even to find two apples of the same quality at the local supermarket.
McDonald's defines consistency and it does it at more than 30,000 restaurants worldwide, every day.
The product you create, whether it's a good or a service, has an experience attached to it. The way that it's prepared, the way that it's packaged and the way that it's delivered all affect the experience of the product. That experience needs to be as consistent as possible.
Magnificent products deliver consistent product experiences to all customers, visit after visit.
Zappos has set the standard for new-age customer service, and it's much more than just a savvy customer-support team. The company takes care of its customers with ultra-fast shipping and no-hassle returns, but it also improves the customer experience long before the sale is made.
Zappos was one of the first online shoe retailers to offer high-resolution photos of shoes from different angles. Today, it has video reviews of many shoes. The company make it as easy as possible for the customer to get a sense of what a particular shoe is like without actually trying it on.
When you invest in the customer experience, people begin to trust you. They perceive that you have their best interests in mind, and that alone makes you magnificent.
Customers experience Zappos products positively before money changes hands. The company puts the customer's wants and needs before making a sale, and the result is that people love to buy from it.
When customers have a positive experience buying certain products, and feel that the company puts their interests first, they tend to regard those products as magnificent.
James Clear is the founder of Passive Panda. He is an award-winning writer on business strategy and entrepreneurship and has delivered speeches in the United States, Britain and Switzerland.