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How the Homeless Can Generate More Revenue

I tend to encounter a lot of homeless people since I work near the beach in Santa Monica. They are a part of the community.  But homeless people share a lot more with my local clients than just geography.

Homeless people also struggle with revenue generation.

And actually, homeless people struggle with revenue generation for the same reasons as many of my clients – they do not understand how to leverage their core value proposition so that it satisfies the needs of their “customers”.

Its difficult to get very motivated to give money to a guy who has a cardboard signed saying “Will work for beer”.  But I did encounter one example of someone who learned to ask for money the right way.  Watch this video.  It is worth your time, and if you are in an office, you can listen without the sound and still get the point.

We often give money to charitable causes for a variety of internal reasons.  And those reasons usually start with some sort of emotional connection between us and the beneficiary of our giving.  Non-profits have known for years that simply stating the problem (“Fifty million people will die of hunger this year”) is not as effective as appealing to our heart and compelling us to forge an emotional bond (with a single hungry person).

The person who gives, does so, in large part, because it is emotionally gratifying.  We need an emotional connection to give.  Yet, most homeless people fail to connect in an emotional way with their potential customer.

The man in this video eventually understood his “value proposition”, and how to convert that into the emotional bond his “potential customer” needed.  And, with just a change in words on his sign, he forged that bond and reaped the resulting revenue rewards.  His customers needed an emotional bond with him to motivate them to give, and his word change gave it to them.

If it were only that easy for businesses!

Yet, the principle remains the same:

Find out what your customers truly need

Leverage your core value proposition to give it to them

Is your business still struggling with revenue generation, despite the uptick in the economy? Try answering the two questions that flow from the principle above.  What do my customers truly need?  Why am I the only company who can truly give it to them?

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