I have lied…

“I have no intention of telling you the truth

sanfranInstead I’m going to tell you a story.

This is a story about why marketers salespeople must forsake any attempt to communicate nothing but the facts, and must focus on what people believe and then work to tell them stories that add their world view.

Make no mistakes. This is not about tactics or spin or little things that MIGHT matter.

This is a whole new way of doing business. It’s a forward shift in the paradigm of how ideas spread. Either you are going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant”

I wish I had said those words so eloquently, alas, they come from the pen of Seth Godin, in his book “All Marketers Are Liars”

What prompted this post was a LinkedIn message I received from a woman, who wrote, ‘among all the tactics and tips, it’s great to hear big ideas being shared from people such as yourself.’

Complimentary? Certainly. But as authorities in our fields – whether you are an analyst in a technology company, an agent in real estate office or a consultant in the health industry – our responsibility to our potential and current clients and customers is to be the go-to person. The person that people trust and rely on and respect enough to be top of mind, to help them make a change. And to get there it’s about being able to spread our ideas on how we can help them.

3% of people are ready to buy what you offer the market, right now.

Do a straw poll at the MCG or the Superbowl or Wimbledon for those ready to buy a car TODAY, and 3% will raise their hands. That leaves 97% scaling from ‘thinking about it’ to ‘not interested’.

Only 3% will be interested in the details of buttoning down the deal, and in most cases (over 50%), will tell you what they want.

How will you engage the majority of the 97%, and how will you stay front of mind until they move into that 3%?

By spreading your ideas. By sharing stories. By creating content that is relevant. By stepping out of your own limiting stories about how you don’t know enough, don’t want to get it wrong, don’t want others to think you’re a (fill in the gap), can’t do it because it’s ‘not corporate’. Because that 97% will not be interested in tactics or spin or the little things that you think MIGHT matter.

The truth of the matter is… you’ve got to start to put your thoughts, ideas, insights, crazy ideas, suggestions, tension building questions out there. And to do that you will feel uncomfortable and you might even feel vulnerable.

If you don’t, no one will know about the value you personally offer, the value your offering provides the buyer or the value you bring to your market or industry.

So, give this some thought…

1. Write a white paper and send to your clients for discussion or feedback or to prompt a conversation – not just for the sake of writing a white paper.

2. Join a LinkedIn group that belongs to your customers world, not your own industry and listen for what they talk about so you can share ideas – not just so you tick the 52 boxes.

3. Get really curious and ask questions about THEM, because you are truly interested – not just so you can manipulate the conversation toward a sale.

As you read this I am leaving San Francisco where I have just walked up Lombard Street, the world’s most crooked street (seriously, it’s just a crooked street) and am heading north to Seattle this afternoon where I will visit the famous Pike Place Fish Market (seriously, it’s just a fish market) and I’m able to do that because I have been given ‘the freedom to fly’ by SouthWest (seriously, it’s just another airline).

Either you are going to tell stories that spread like these 3 have, or you will become irrelevant.

On a separate note, MARK YOUR DIARIES for October 22nd USA and October 23rd ANZ – times and details to follow. I will be proudly presenting a webinar alongside Charles Green (author of The Trusted Advisor), Colleen Stanley (Author of Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success) Deb Calvert (Author of DISCOVER Questions) around the theme of ‘Your Competitive Edge: Customer Focus 2.0’.More about that later. In the meantime…

Be Bold and Brilliant!

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