Do you agree or disagree with the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”?

In your personal life, you may respond in one way, but now ask if it is the same for you in business?

Take it one step further; what about how you conduct yourself in business.  When you sell your products or services, are you challenging your audience on a deeper level or is it only superficial?

Let me unpack this idea further for you.

We live in a very visual age.  It’s all about the quick images.  The fact that you are reading this now puts you out of step with the next generation.  Why read when you can watch a few seconds of video on Instagram.  It is not just a byproduct of technology today; it is the way they have always taught us at school.  We are focused on looking.

The problem with looking is, all you usually see is the cover or highlights.  Listening, on the other hand, offers you more of a chance to go deeper.

Pick your favourite song – watch the video clip.  Now listen to it again with your eyes closed.  If you choose to hear the lyrics, chances are there is a more revealing layer available to you.

While we are so focused on the visual today, it is in our nature to listen.

To be successful, you need to broaden your way of thinking and stop just trying to sell.  We are being asked to engage all the time.  There is much we can learn, if like the lyrics of a song, we take a moment to tune in.

The trick is (and what I am asking you to invest in now, reading the entire newsletter) to make people listen with their eyes as well – hear the words as you read them.  Be engaged so you have a chance to engage others.

Here is something simple to consider…

What can family and friends teach you about marketing?

How successful are you at selling an idea to your family?  It could be something simple, like choosing a restaurant to go to for a special dinner.  It could also be something tougher, like deciding on a holiday destination, a new house or a car.  When you have something in your mind, are you able to negotiate an outcome?

Take a holiday, for example; what do you do when all four family members want to go somewhere different.  It is tempting to have each go off on your own, or demand everyone do what you tell them.  However,  the reality is you need to listen to them and work out a plan.  All you are doing is marketing.  You are communicating your idea, allowing them to express an interpretation and responding.

If you take this approach at home, try bringing it to the workplace.  Instead of thrusting your products or services on your audience, engage them.  Sell them your idea, but listen as well to their feedback.

There is much to learn from what we do naturally away from work, which can improve your marketing strategy.

Take the time to understand your audience and form a deeper connection.  You know how to surprise your partner or children because you know what they like, what will make them happy.  Your connection is emotional.  

What is wrong with most marketing tools?

If you look online, you will find many marketing systems and tools to generate leads and process them through funnels.  What is interesting about them all – they invariably focus almost entirely on observation and visual stimulus.  Few encourage you to self-reflect, and virtually none of them require you to scratch the surface.

Of course, some provide analytics which is a form of listening based on a response to what you initially enter, which does not require you to have listened – only assumed.  In other words instinct rather than fact-based choices.

Yes, there is a mountain of Podcasts out there.   While you can listen to them, there is listening and really listening.  Podcasts, while providing valuable information, are not a two-way communication tool.

The lesson – to be successful you must listen!  Really listen!

We listen to you and provide you with a framework so you know where to pay attention.  Book a free consultation today, and we will have a two-way conversation so we can hear one another and plan a way forward.