[This is article 6 of 6 in the ‘How To Be Heard Amidst The Competitive Forest’ series.]
…Then you may need to… Get Over Yourself!
As we said in the previous Competitive Forest update - Adding Value - you need to generate value in some way or other. People should leave every interaction with you, through whatever medium (in person, your website, using your product or services), feeling a little bit better somehow.
Here are some practical pointers on how you can achieve that:
1. Your Followers Are Not Fans
Unless you really are a genuine celebrity, then it’s more likely that your followers (for example, but not limited to, your social media followers and connections) are doing so not because they hang on your every word, but because they think you offer them something of value.
So that’s what you need to do. Otherwise your followers will soon tune their attention to someone else who can give them a better exchange for their time.
Think about: Your audience, your customers, your social media connections, the people you meet or talk to on the phone. What do they want from this exchange with you? How well are you meeting their needs? What new information, or tips, or shortcuts or referrals or connections, can you offer them?
2. It’s Not You, It’s Me
In the first sales course I ever attended I learned about the importance of ‘you’, specifically how to reconstruct your sales communications so they talk about ‘you the customer’, rather than about ‘me and what I’m selling and why it’s so great’. It makes sense; it stops the author ranting on about their own agenda, and it forces them to empathise with the customer, what they will be thinking and the benefits to them.
This simple art seems to have been lost in the digital age however, and blogs and emailers abound with bragging rights about how well we think we did with our last client, what a great speech we gave at a recent conference you don’t care about, even tales of what we did at the weekend along with photos of pets, and the children eating ice creams! Enough already!
Think about: Taking an interest in your customers' situation and perspectives. Don’t suggest you can read their minds, or presume to know exactly what they're thinking, but do tell them how you can help them. Get to the point, add your value, and then leave them alone so they can get back to their other priorities.
3. Show 'Thank You'
I think this one mostly boils down to a bit of humility, and acknowledging that your customers (and your followers, readers, introducers…) have a choice.
Now, if you’ve been applying the suggestions contained in this series, then you should be working your way to being the most: Visible, Accessible, Proactive, Memorable and Valuable choice. You may have earned that first choice spot, however, don’t start taking it for granted. People don’t respond well to a sense of entitlement!
Think about: Ways to Show Thank You:
So, as we reach the end of our journey through the Competitive Forest, we have talked about many ways you can add value, and enhance your profile and your ‘impression management’, whilst keeping yourself grounded.
The lesson that has really been driven home to me during this series is just how fragile all this is. With the excellent work that you do in finding prospects and building relationships, nurturing trust and creating a compelling proposition, it still just takes one failure in your visibility or accessibility (…etc) to lose you that opportunity for good.
But that’s The Competitive Forest for you. It’s unforgiving and full of predators. You can’t afford to be complacent. As we said at the outset of the series ‘build it and they will come’ just doesn’t cut it in the real world.
Instead, build your plan, invest in your skills and resources, then back yourself and get out there and be excellent!
I hope you've enjoyed The Competitive Forest series. If you have please pay it forwards – Use these smart social media links to share the final Competitive Forest article with your connections with it’s link to sign up for the complete e-book.
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‘Til next time…
By Kevin Sheldrake
The How To Be Heard Amidst The Competitive Forest series is 100% original content, written by Kevin Sheldrake, © Real Business Consulting Limited 2014.
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