Business is about making money, right? Well, it does appear that way. Businesses incessantly fret over how to sell stuff for money, so one might assume that money is the goal. But is it? Peter Drucker argued that it is more about creating clients. If you create clients, they will do transactions and you will make money. But until you do, your aspirations are just fantasy.
So how do you create clients? The obvious answer is that you offer them something that they want. And the relationship that you build with them informs you more clearly why they want it. When you know that, you can anticipate what they want next. And if you are clever, you offer that too.
But humans are funny in this arena. We easily get stuck thinking about what we know rather than what we need to know. So,for example, I may know a huge amount about US law. But that does not help me understand what people need from that law, if anything. I may be a brilliant chemist. But that does not help me understand what people need from chemistry. And as we get stuck, our knowledge can actually get in the way of seeing what we need to learn in order to create clients, add value and make money.
Consider music. Musicians want to get paid for selling recordings. They may think that their music is high quality and that they deserve payment when people listen to recordings of it. But that has little if not nothing to do with whether people need or want those recordings and why. So the musical band Aeorsmith may have thought that their albums are fantastic. But they made far more money when their song was played on the video game “Guitar Hero” than from all their album sales combined.
My point here is a simple one. If you want to make money, strive to learn what people want rather than what you want to give them. That is the way to create clients. I know because Drucker told me so.