Can I help you? (2)

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My message to you today is to know that, Can I help you, is more of business than favour. And it tells a good story about your business. The challenge for you as a professional is, how can I transform that help into big business?

The platform to launch into the business of help is to understand that buying and selling, of exchanging values is really that of offering help and solutions which your customers can pay for. There are so many needs in the marketplace looking for help and this can come  as solution or favour. You can do favours, but remember there is the business side of help.

For your business to thrive, it means you must know the boundary between favour, which is a give away, and solution which yields money.. Both are two sides of help. You just have to maintain a good balance to reward your stakeholders.

You are a medical practitioner. When you donate to charity, that is help, for which you do not expect monetary rewards, But when desperate parents rush into your clinic with their convulsing 3-year old daughter, shouting, “Doctor, please help us!” And  you revive the sick child; that is help, delivered as solution and not favour. And the service should be paid for.

The business of help is deep. If you pay your tithes and give offerings in your church, you cannot really classify them as favour or solution. It is an obligation which the Christian faith demands. And in fulfilling it, you expect God to bless you because the Almighty has said in his word: “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together shall men give unto you.”

What does this Bible verse tell us? God understands the business of help. And he has promised that if you give to His work on earth, He will even give you more. That is why in so many Christian organisations, the Ministry of Help handles a big portfolio of responsibilities which co-ordinates the help of members who give their time, money, energy, ideas and talents for the promotion of God’s work on earth.

Can I help you? Yes, you can, but you have to be businesslike about it, and not necessarily with expectation of lustful gratification. When an American or European professional asks you, “Can I Help You,” he is talking business. He is simply saying I want to be of service to you; I want to do business with you; I have solutions for your problems. And he will do so with a smile, courtesy, and respect. If this is the case, why would you not pay? Next time the customer comes along, she will gladly say, “please I want your help.”

So, how businesslike is your help? Does your help tell a good story about you and your business? Are customers coming to you saying, “Please help me” with their money. Everybody needs help and the challenge for you as a professional is to position your products and services in bundles, packages, and deliver them in ways that say, “I want to help you.” The way many of us deliver our business does not say so. Rather, it suggests favour.

If the entire story your business tells is, favour, it may be worse for you; but if it is solution, it will be better. Customers want help they will pay for, not necessarily favour, which is temporal. They want solutions which are long lasting. The challenge for you is to offer helpful solutions and make money. When that happens, you have a good story to tell about your business. Always remember that you can turn the question, can I help you, into big business.


Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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