Donald Miller believes that the reason you may not be making enough progress in your business career is that you’re not adding enough value to your company. Miller suggests 11 methods to become a good investment for your company, from acquiring value-adding personal attributes to successfully carrying out a strategy.
By following his advice, you can learn how to add value to your company no matter what your role. Creating a StoryBrand is a book by Miller, the owner of StoryBrand, a firm that assists businesses with story-based marketing message.
In this manual, we’ll add psychological knowledge and advise from other business experts to Miller’s suggestions.
Your Goal in Business: To Be a Good Investment for Your Company
Adding value to a company by generating profits is key to succeeding in business, according to Miller. This ability can lead to career advancement or entrepreneurial success, as leaders and investors prioritize it. For example, creating a successful marketing campaign that brings in new prospects and revenue is more likely to get you noticed and promoted compared to simply fulfilling job requirements.
11 Ways to Investing Well for Your Business
Miller provides 11 sequential steps to become a valuable investment for your company.
Successful professionals recognize themselves as valuable economic assets to their companies, quantifying and explaining their value in terms of revenue generated or sales made. They aim to earn back at least five times their salary, resulting in a modest profit for the company.
To succeed and be a valuable asset to your company, you must see yourself as an active agent in your life. Making excuses and playing the victim will hinder your growth and success. By pursuing new goals actively, you can learn and develop.
Reacting calmly to problems is a valuable trait that can earn you respect and help you accomplish more. By handling problems gracefully, you can conserve mental energy for yourself and others.
Being open to feedback is a key trait for success. Seeking regular feedback from mentors and friends can help you improve and excel, even if it’s initially challenging to hear.
Successfully managing conflict is crucial for progress. To navigate conflict productively, Miller recommends accepting it as a part of moving forward, avoiding intense negative emotions, showing respect for the person involved, and prioritizing resolution over being right.
As a manager, prioritizing respect over being liked is crucial for the success of your team and company. You can earn trust by setting clear goals, clarifying individual responsibilities, and rewarding achievements.
Being action-oriented is key to completing projects. Merely intending or planning to do something isn’t enough; you must follow through with action.
Trusting in your knowledge and taking action leads to faster progress than procrastinating or avoiding difficult decisions.
Maintaining a positive outlook on the outcome of your actions leads to taking more risks, resulting in greater long-term rewards.
Believing in your ability to improve means failures are viewed as growth opportunities. You can take on greater challenges and rise to meet them, leading to growth, improved skills, more responsibility, and higher pay.
Step 2: Become an Effective Leader by Creating a Company Story
Miller’s second step for becoming a valuable asset involves creating a company story to become a successful leader. A company story explains the reason for the company’s existence and why people should engage with it.
Without a clear story or mission that includes every employee, the company will lack direction and fail. To create a company story, start by writing a mission statement that inspires action, using a template such as “We will accomplish [goal] by [date/year] because of [why achieving the goal is important].”
Then, define the traits employees must possess to fulfill the mission and determine three repeatable actions they should take daily to achieve it.
Step 3: Enhance Productivity by Focusing Only on Critical Tasks
Miller’s third step towards becoming a valuable company investment is to manage time effectively by prioritizing tasks that offer the highest return on energy investment. Miller recommends creating two task lists: one with three crucial tasks to complete each day and another with less important tasks to delegate or eliminate. It’s important to complete the top three tasks first, even if only partially done, to increase productivity.
Step 4: Visualize Your Business as an Aircraft to Become an Experienced Marketer
Step four in Miller’s guide to becoming a valuable employee involves learning to strategize effectively. He suggests visualizing the company as an airplane with five parts – body (overhead), wings (products/services), right engine (marketing), left engine (sales), and fuel (capital and cash flow). Balancing these divisions is essential for maximizing success.
For instance, if the body of the plane becomes heavier, the marketing and sales engines must be powerful enough to keep it aloft. Miller advises keeping overhead low, ensuring profitable and popular products, testing marketing with a website, building a sales funnel, and monitoring cash flow to stay airborne.
Step 5: Base Your Messaging on a Story the Customer Can Star In
Step 5 in adding value to your organization is crafting effective marketing messaging. Miller recommends creating a story where the customer is the hero with a goal that your product helps them achieve. The hero faces an obstacle, which is the problem your product solves. You position yourself as the guide who can help the hero overcome the obstacle with a plan and challenge the hero to take action. Lastly, you explain the benefits the hero gains by taking action and the consequences of not taking action.
Step 6: Create A Three-Step Sales Funnel That Fosters Customer Trust in The Sixth Step.
To become a valuable team member, it’s important to learn marketing mechanics. Miller emphasizes the significance of a robust sales funnel in marketing strategy.
A sales funnel helps to improve sales by leading buyers through the three stages of inquiry, comprehension, and purchase. To spark curiosity in potential customers, create a concise sentence that outlines a problem, your product as the solution, and the result of using your product to solve the problem.
Step 7: Communicate in a Story Format so Others Listen
To add value to your company, you must excel in basic communication, particularly presentations, according to Miller. In sales presentations, follow the story structure and focus on the problem you’ll solve, your solution, and how it will change the customer’s life.
Connect every subpoint to your main point, and limit the number of subpoints to three or four. For a unique and memorable presentation, consider weaving in other stories and keeping it short. Gallo suggests a maximum of 18 minutes, as anything longer will cause the audience to tune out, regardless of the presentation’s quality.
Step 8: Making the Sale Involving Qualifying Leads, Sharing A Narrative, And Sending Proposals
To add value through sales, Miller recommends qualifying leads to avoid wasting time and money. Ask if they have a problem your product solves, if it’s within their budget, and if they have the authority to buy.
Miller also suggests pitching in a story format, highlighting the customer’s problem and proposing a solution with references to past success. Lastly, provide a document or video summarizing your pitch for prospects to reference.
Step 9: Negotiate Effectively by Determining the Other Party’s Negotiating Style
Step 9 is about developing negotiation skills to add value to your company. According to Miller, there are two types of negotiation: cooperative and adversarial. In a cooperative negotiation, both parties aim for a win-win outcome, while in an adversarial negotiation, one or both parties want to win at the other’s expense.
To negotiate successfully, identify the type of negotiation and adjust your approach accordingly. Find out what factors influence the other party’s decision-making process and appeal to their emotional needs. For instance, when selling a used car, highlight its sleek leather interior to appeal to the buyer’s desire for a stylish ride. Finally, to end a negotiation, pretend to be dissatisfied with the outcome, which signals to the other party that they’ve won.
Step 10: Successfully Manage Groups With Metrics
To effectively manage people, Miller advises relying on input and output metrics. Input metrics measure the work put in to produce an output, while output metrics measure the actual output produced. For example, posting three times a week on social media (input) could lead to 300 new followers (output).
Step 11: Execute Well Using a Plan
To execute a project successfully, Miller recommends three steps: hold a launch meeting to determine the project’s success criteria, participants, resources, and timeline; check in with the team weekly to ensure everyone knows their next step; and publicly track input metrics to encourage the team’s progress.
In “A World Without Email,” Cal Newport suggests using task boards to manage communication and check-ins effectively. Task boards are physical or digital boards with columns representing project stages and cards representing tasks. Newport also advises delegating the scheduling of large meetings to an administrator or scheduling service.