How Valued is Your Business?

The Zappos School of Values

On a recent FRESH iDEAS Podcast, I was lucky enough to interview Robert Craven, Author, Director, Business thought leader and thoroughly nice chap. Click HERE

We talked about the ‘elevator pitch’ and the ‘one minute introduction’ so that we could make the answer to the question “What do you do?”  slightly more exciting and open ended than “I’m a driving Instructor”…try just answering that question with that answer at a BBQ or a Networking event and past the “Have you got a good pass rate…?” question, the conversation doesn’t really go anywhere.

In this elevator pitch, its a good idea to develop, dramatise and make your role sound different and important. By extension we can use these on our websites, to encourage potential pupils to buy from you, rather than the “I’m a GRADE 6, (GRADE A), driving instructor that has been teaching for 10 years with a 100% pass rate.”

Apart from the obvious argument about the pass rate, which can be manipulated however you put it, (and lets be fair the ASA have probably got something better to do than investigate 43,000 pass rates on websites. PS I’m not saying it’s right but I’m not stupid either), pupils really don’t give a bloody rats arse how long you’ve been doing your job, what grade you are, whether you wear Hush Puppies or have your own hair; all they want to know when they are surfing the endless amounts of websites with Keyword rich texts, all saying pretty much the same thing, is “ Can you get me through my driving test?”

So here’s the thing…we know that.

We do, don’t we?

It doesn’t matter what marketing guru you go to, pupils just want to know that.

But what about the parents and what about helping you, and your business appear even more professional than it is now? When you’ve got 15 sites on the first page of the ‘GENERIC INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE’, with them all saying roughly the same thing, what would make your business stand out?

Well you can go back to the ‘elevator pitch’ and employ that on your website. However…I want to look at something a little deeper.

Recently I was told and shown a story in a presentation.

 

Simon Sirnek -Loves Golden Circles

Simon Sirnek -Loves Golden Circles

Simon Sinek gave a presentation for TED on WHY people buy from you. It’s interesting stuff and you can see it HERE.

In that presentation he talks about how Apple got us to buy the computer or the ipod from them…even though there were thousands of computers and hundreds of mp3 players already available. The reason? They gave you a ‘WHY’ to buy from them.

In the presentation I recently saw, David Holland MBA showed us that WHY, but in a deeper way. Being able to display the reason WHY you teach, or WHY you help with road safety may make you more attractive to someone who is surfing the front page looking at the same old, same old.

Zappos - more to shoes than you think!

Zappos – more to shoes than you think!

The example he showed us was the shoe firm ‘Zappos’.

Zappos is an online shoe company that is headed by Tony Hseih. They are a multi million dollar company based on values and ethics. I know…..you’ve heard that before.

When they hire people, this is the company that pays employees on their initial trail period NOT TO COME BACK!

Seriously….! If these guys don’t feel they fit into the culture that has built Zappos to where it is now, in week 1 they have an envelope with the employees name on it, with a $1000 in it. If they want to stay they don’t accept the envelope. Week 2 it’s $2000, week 3 it’s $3000. (Not entirely sure I’d not be tempted if I’m honest). This is because they DON’T WANT people who DON’T WANT to live their values.

Their values are what defines them as a great place to work, but more importantly it allows them to deliver the world class service they want to, to their customers.

Some of their values are:

Deliver WOW through Service :

At Zappos, Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing With WOW.

WOW is such a short, simple word, but it really encompasses a lot of things. To WOW, you must differentiate yourself, which means doing something a little unconventional and innovative. You must do something that’s above and beyond what’s expected. And whatever you do must have an emotional impact on the receiver. We are not an average company, our service is not average, and we don’t want our people to be average. We expect every employee to deliver WOW.

Whether internally with co-workers or externally with our customers and partners, delivering WOW results in word of mouth. Our philosophy at Zappos is to WOW with service and experience, not with anything that relates directly to monetary compensation (for example, we don’t offer blanket discounts or promotions to customers).

We seek to WOW our customers, our co-workers, our vendors, our partners, and in the long run, our investors.

Create Fun and a Little Weirdness:

At Zappos, We’re Always Creating  Fun And A Little Weirdness!

One of the things that makes Zappos different from a lot of other companies is that we value being fun and being a little weird. We don’t want to become one of those big companies that feels corporate and boring. We want to be able to laugh at ourselves. We look for both fun and humor in our daily work.

This means that many things we do might be a little unconventional — or else it wouldn’t be a little weird. We’re not looking for crazy or extreme weirdness though. We want just a touch of weirdness to make life more interesting and fun for everyone. We want the company to have a unique and memorable personality.

Our company culture is what makes us successful, and in our culture, we celebrate and embrace our diversity and each person’s individuality. We want people to express their personality in their work. To outsiders, that might come across as inconsistent or weird. But the consistency is in our belief that we function best when we can be ourselves. We want the weirdness in each of us to be expressed in our interactions with each other and in our work.

One of the side effects of encouraging weirdness is that it encourages people to think outside the box and be more innovative. When you combine a little weirdness with making sure everyone is also having fun at work, it ends up being a win-win for everyone: Employees are more engaged in the work that they do, and the company as a whole becomes more innovative.

Be Passionate and Determined:

At Zappos, We’re Always Creating  Fun And A Little Weirdness!

One of the things that makes Zappos different from a lot of other companies is that we value being fun and being a little weird. We don’t want to become one of those big companies that feels corporate and boring. We want to be able to laugh at ourselves. We look for both fun and humor in our daily work.

This means that many things we do might be a little unconventional — or else it wouldn’t be a little weird. We’re not looking for crazy or extreme weirdness though. We want just a touch of weirdness to make life more interesting and fun for everyone. We want the company to have a unique and memorable personality.

Our company culture is what makes us successful, and in our culture, we celebrate and embrace our diversity and each person’s individuality. We want people to express their personality in their work. To outsiders, that might come across as inconsistent or weird. But the consistency is in our belief that we function best when we can be ourselves. We want the weirdness in each of us to be expressed in our interactions with each other and in our work.

One of the side effects of encouraging weirdness is that it encourages people to think outside the box and be more innovative. When you combine a little weirdness with making sure everyone is also having fun at work, it ends up being a win-win for everyone: Employees are more engaged in the work that they do, and the company as a whole becomes more innovative.

Here’s the link to their values and the video that shows you how it drives them and their business. Click HERE

Their values and the way they do things has become so famous, they have even set up their own form of training so that people can attempt to replicate their team successes with Zappos Insight. Find out more HERE.

We’re currently building our website, and somewhere on this blog is our manifesto. We will put up our values that drive the FRESH team to what they do…they are an extension of the manifesto.

Take five minutes and write down the 5 values that ‘drive’ you and your driving school business.

Share them with your friends and co-workers…just promise me one thing….Don’t use “Teaching safe driving for life….” That’s very commendable, but let’s be honest….it’s probably on most driving school websites….so make yourself stand out, by having real values that are non-negotiable in your mind and most importantly, shows YOU for WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

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