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Customers continue to fuel business case for sustainability and leaders are saying they get it

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Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most sustainable:

Helping businesses compete responsibly

Managements get it

Half do, according to a recent study:

MIT found 53 per cent of managements surveyed said sustainability initiatives have helped their companies profit.

With the wind of change at their backs, leaders changed their business model.

Policy and politcal pressure

The MIT study found that legislative or political pressure also plays a big role: 34 per cent of respondents citing the law or policy initiatives as affecting their ideas about sustainability.

People want sustainability built into an organization’s thinking.  They like the idea of sustainable products.

Two of the top three reasons leaders cite as being reasons for changing their business is the value proposition that is sustainability.

The art of listening

The automotive industry and the energy and utilities sector, often criticized for not being green enough,  finished first and second in making a business case for sustainability. Both industries were over 40 per cent.


But technology and communications and the financial services sector scored low at 27 and 21 per cent respectively. These sectors have potential. If they’re behind, there’s opportunity for smart businesses in tech, communications and financial services to take the lead where competitors are lagging.

Publics are hard to ignore

Even companies like Apple, challenged regarding their supply chain, have invested in sustainability. The creation of their solar farm in Maiden, NC, (under pressure from environmental critics?) gives the company a positive. But Apple was recently hit with another bomb regarding its supply chain. Because of the company’s enormous cash horde, critics are unsympathetic, feeling Apple could do more.

Studies show the advantage of brands differentiating themselves through sustainable thinking.

If consumers and legislators are demanding more sustainability planning from companies, and businesses that haven’t been viewed as green traditionally are committing themselves to sustainability, can other companies afford to miss out on the potential value add?

The edge in keeping consumers happy

It seems like the pressure from consumers is something thoughtful managements have foremost in their minds.

As public relations and marketing find themselves increasingly challenged by astronomical growth in channels and tools, the obvious answer points to embracing sustainability and CSR as a strategy: Managements themselves say sustainability adds value.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most sustainable.

Help me develop business but don’t sell me

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Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Business Development.

Business Development for whom?

Any client, prospect, person has the right to ask that question.

Clients are, after all, human beings. Let’s take their perspective:

I’ve been sold. I don’t want to be sold.

I want to learn about you. But mostly, I want you to help me.

I want you to solve my problems. I want you to show me how you can solve my problems. I want you to engage me in something human.

I’d like our relationship to be a long and fruitful one. I don’t have time to play the field. Are you willing to put in the energy, the commitment, into keeping or beginning this relationship?

I want to be listened to. How can you help me if you don’t listen to me?

I know what I need. I want you to ask me and then I want you to deliver.

And if I don’t know what I need, I want you to help me figure it out.

Can you inform me? Add value to my business?

I want something meaningful. My time is valuable. If you hold any keys to developing a conversation, I promise you one.

I like to talk about my business. I like to talk about growth. And I know that if I grow, and you help me grow that I’ll help you grow.

Know what? There are thousands of people out there like me. No, millions.

I want to increase revenue. If you help me do that I’m more than happy to help you do the same. And I’ll introduce you to other people who are just like me, but different.

I have needs. I want them met.

Help me meet my needs.

I have costs. I need to thrive.

I have customers. Help me help them.

I know I’m demanding, but let me tell you a secret …

I don’t care about your needs because I know that if you help me meet mine, you’re already meeting yours.

Is there a human being holding onto that briefcase? Because there’s a human being sitting behind this desk.

I like people, and I like to help them succeed. If you can show me a way to to do things, better, faster or smarter, you’re going to win me over.

Win me over and I guarantee you, it’s going to be win-win.

By the way, I like technology. I’m digital. Electric. Online.

I integrate. I communicate in a lot of different ways. I’m social. I want you to understand the channels I’m trying to master.

But I’m also traditional. Sometimes, I just like to shake another human being’s hand. I like working with people I like. Don’t you?

I am every client. Every customer. I live everywhere.

If you help me, you’ll be the first one I think of the next time I need help.

Knock, knock.

Excuse me. There are a lot of knocks at my door.

But I only open it to those who win my trust.

How do you think you did?

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