My wife forwarded me an article about inspirational leadership yesterday with a note saying “Bueno refrescar un poco”, which means “It is good to refresh [lessons] a little bit”. Which reminded that, although we are always learning new lessons all the time, we only effectively incorporate them into our actions when we practice them. Thus I went ahead to write this post, so hopefully more marketers can practice more of these lessons. The article is from the leadership guru, John C. Maxwell and it got me thinking that any marketing strategy and program needs to follow the same 5 attributes outlined in the article (Attitude of Service, Affirmation, Attentiveness, Availability and Authenticity) to truly engage prospect to eventually turn them into satisfied clients for life. The article starts like this:
“The Sahara plays tricks on the eyes of its travelers. As the desert sun beats down on the sand, heat waves rise from the ground. Light bends as it passes through the superheated air, painting illusory pictures on the horizon. To thirsty travelers moving through the Sahara, it often appears as if an oasis looms in the distance. However, as the voyagers journey on, the oasis proves to be nothing more than a mirage.”
An organization that wants to effectively help its clients succeed, it must act like an inspirational leader and avoid any marketing programs that are not a true reflection of their value proposition and benefits. The increasing adoption of social media make these attributes more relevant than ever before because it is harder and harder for organizations to control the marketing and communications channels. Here is a recommendation based on the 5 attributes from the article on how to approach your marketing communication efforts in 2010 (I had to add one of my own, I like things in six):
- Attitude of Service – Always deliver valuable content to your prospects and customers for free
- Affirmation – Clients look for expertise and thought leadership, but instead of telling them how great your are or how much you know as an organization, be humble and share ideas and tips on how to leverage resources and assets that they may already have an expertise.
- Attentiveness – Ask for feedback, thoughts and comments. Listen to what prospects have to say and act on their message
- Availability – Take care of your customers, don’t take them fro granted. Be there for them, let them know that your available and be proactive in engaging in conversations with them
- Authenticity – Trust is key to any lasting and fruitful relationship, make sure that you are honest on every message and action.
- Accountable (this is mine) – Take responsibility for your actions or the lack of thereof. This shows you care and that you want to build a long relationship with your clients.