One of the toughest things for businesses is to take a deep breath and figure out the closing line isn’t wrapped around ‘buy me.’
The ability to connect with someone else, for many people, is either centred on building for personal gain (social vanity) or material possession (something to sell).
People take a step back when you have something to say, not something to sell.
I connected with someone locally last week on LinkedIn. It was someone I was vaguely aware of but did not know personally and certainly not familiar with. When the message arrived (and it was a personal message not a templated ‘I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn’ we are all familiar with), I clicked that button that put us both together in the same place. It wasn’t long after, until I received this message.
Now, there is nothing wrong with it. He didn’t ask for anything, it wasn’t a forceful approach, but it was empty.
The message was centred on having a phone call and potentially work together. This is the thing that I have issue with. There was nothing in place or to share that would lead me to see what someone else believed in. Just because there was an approach, didn’t mean it helped us connect further. There was nothing that connected us.
When we get down to the nitty gritty, ‘WHO CARES!’
Please don’t think I am using a LinkedIn intro as a way to throw someone else under a bus. Trust me, I did respond and asked for some more info to see if there was something there to open up that conversation. I was a cut and paste job that was used for the next person in the quest for personal gain.
This is the lesson for us all. You can send a blanket approach to everyone, or even show a motivational quote to be recognised as a Yoda like bastion of universal truth. Alternatively, you can have something to say that resonates with someone else. The feedback you receive from someone else is an indication of the idea you share and how it fits with them (and become enthused about).
I guess this is the response I wanted…
You wanted it, you are getting it! Both barrels!
I have a blog that I publish as my main activity bit.ly/wow
Here is a talk I did last year, that was recorded, not the best sound quality, but hope you get where I am coming from bit.ly/biggerwow
The thing I believe in is centred on enterprise and how small business owners can find more time, live a happier life, do the things they want to do, all by being a bit more structured.
I saw some of your work and really see a fit. Plus we are both in the same region. What have we got to lose?
Backing Up What You Believe In
You cannot approach and make that sale in the quickest amount of time if you have nothing to say and cannot back it up.
For instance, the Pepsi fail from this April, if they had taken a stance over the past few years on documenting social unrest and putting the spotlight on movements and protests that made societal change, would we all have looked at their advert differently? When you set an expectation and then behave in a different way, credibility and trust comes crashing to the ground.
I highlighted in an article during March that you, “cannot just inform other people and not align this with what you do. This result in failure.” Whilst we need to become better salespeople, to enable others to make a commitment they have to understand the principals that you stand by and the sense of meaning that you create.
When you curl up in a ball and ask for the generosity of someone else with nothing in return, it can lead to eventual failure.
Putting Things To A Working Test
In order to see if what you have to say resonates, you have to put it to the test. If what you share aligns with what you say/share, then you move to a much stronger place of authority.
When it comes to testing, here are some ideas for you to take on board.
- when you connect with new people on LinkedIn why not get them to see what you truly believe in beyond the intro template (for instance, I ask people if they would like to join the You Are The Media email community)
- can you keep momentum that doesn’t steer into trying to sell something else from your company in a limited time frame
- can you monitor and measure the articles that people are reading (via Analytics) to then gauge the development of popular topics
- if you feel uncomfortable with a topic, then even more reason for you to write about it (for reference, I was unsure about sharing a message from someone on LinkedIn, it became the centre point for this article)
- by having something to say, does this add humility to your business?
- by keeping track of a flow of opinion/ideas/views/experiences, is this equating to stronger community growth ie. more sign ups per month
- can you start to move social media away from a point of direct selling, but a point of difference based on a viewpoint, alignment and value to someone else’s timeline
- can you become comfortable with exploring and if someone pulls you up on a spelling mistake, that is the least of your worries
The reason you stay interesting is when someone else is always interested.
Three Forces That Will Always Be In Play
There will be three forces that will always be pulling you back to the dark side of pure product promotion. The forces that you have to manage and focus on will always be:
Consistency – the more you create with a viewpoint in mind, the greater the ability for someone else to trust you. If you start to wobble and you start losing a persistent approach, it becomes easier to throw something out there that comes back to selling product. When you lose regularity (it may be one solid article per month), you lose a rhythm.
Alignment – you have to have synergy between what you sell and what you believe in. You do not want conflict where the message you create and share has no connection with someone else and what it is that you do. It is easier when the pull takes you to social channels to merely promote, rather than being brave with you own slant on a subject matter that has relevance within your industry.
Audience Focus – when you become an authority within your marketplace, you become a point of reference for others. Other people who have subscribed and continually engaged helps to build an audience, that leads to better action. The pull will always be to looking inwards, rather than putting the microphone to others. Remember, the value is about the audience, not you.
Lets Round Up
Having something to say, not something to sell is when you have the ability to communicate to others and build an audience around your core beliefs.
The disconnect is when you look for vanity or something to sell. This is where trust falls to pieces. The way to sell is when you build a business that doesn’t affect your values and you communicate from this.
The false charm has no place, today’s relationships are centred on empathy and building a message that people want to be part of and want to come back to on an ongoing basis. When you have something to say, your products and services can change people for the better.