We. Sell. Joy. Why Don’t You?

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by Corey Michael Blake and David Cohen, co-founders of Round Table Companies

we sell joyAt Round Table Companies (RTC), we live by seven core values:

  1. Brilliance is what we strive for in our work.
  2. Love is how we lead.
  3. Honesty is what we infuse into our conversations.
  4. Momentum drives our process.
  5. Community is who we serve.
  6. Growth is what we are all accountable to.
  7. And then there is joy. Joy is what we sell.

You can feel it on our website. You can read it in the tone of our communication. And you can hear it in the voices of our clients when they talk about their RTC adventure.

At RTC, we sell joy.

Now obviously, joy is not a product. Nor is it a service. In “reality,” we surround people with teams of artists to create books and sell books. One step deeper: we create thought leaders and introduce them to the world through intimate storytelling. Deeper still: at the heart of our entire program is personal transformation. And it’s required of our staff and of our clients.

Quite frankly, we can’t help but wonder why every company isn’t working this way. Because in one way or another, we’re all selling emotion.

Regardless of industry, people trade money for your product or service because, in their eyes, it betters their life. We buy gluten-free cereal at the store because it makes us feel healthier. We buy a cappuccino because it tastes delicious and we love the feeling of community at a local coffee shop. We stay at a nice B&B for the warmth we feel from the staff.

In each of these cases, we are trading hard-earned money for experiences. The experience of feeling healthy, of participating in community, of being treated with kindness and warmth.

So, who creates experiences? Human beings do. Living, breathing people with dreams and desires, screaming kids at home, aging parents to support, and life transitions to contend with. They’re the ones who create experiences, and guess what? That’s all of us.

So if you’re delivering experiences in one form or another, then you’re in the joy business as well. In which case you would be wise to consider how you are treating the human beings that power your organization.

For any business looking to sell joy in this new economy, we recommend you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are we hiring staff who naturally deliver on what we want our customers to experience?
  2. What role do we play in keeping our staff feeling happy and alive so they can ensure our customers feel happy and alive?
  3. How do we support our staff through difficult life situations that regularly pop up, so that they can learn how to love our customers through similar situations?
  4. Who is our sales team saying “no” to in an effort to protect the happiness of our staff?
  5. How do our processes work to replace, automate, or end the parts of our employees’ workday that are not in their “zone of genius?”
  6. How is our leadership team regularly modeling continual self-growth, navigating conflict with kindness, and creating (and deserving) the life they want?

We have always lived by the philosophy that if you take care of your team, they will take care of your customers. Make the decision to deliver joy to yourself and your people. In turn, they will sell the experience of joy to your customers, who will shout it from the rooftops.

The Round Table team on retreat... They certainly look like a joyful group! The Round Table team on retreat... They certainly look like a joyful group!

Corey Michael Blake and David Cohen are the cofounders of Round Table Companies, a storytelling company that writes and publishes books that change the world. In 2011 and 2012, they worked with Tony Hsieh and Jenn Lim to produce and publish the Delivering Happiness comic book.

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