Don’t get your dander up. This blog is not about politics; it’s about marketing – all the networking, blogging, tweeting, advertising – that we do to get customers.
Unless you’ve been asleep for a month or don’t own a TV, you’ve heard about the Senate race we had in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley vs. Scott Brown. Despite Democrats having 25 percentage points more of the electorate registered, Brown, the Republican, won. Political analysts will point to the economy, healthcare reform and other factors that affected the race, but what I’m writing about – and what impacted who won and who did not – is the campaigns each of them ran. Scott Brown ran harder and connected with the voters as someone who understood them and their problems, and he came across as a likable guy. On the other side, Martha Coakley didn’t run very hard (she had several days where she did not do any campaigning), apparently didn’t know much about the Red Sox, a Massachusetts icon, and acted entitled to the seat. Brown won.
Brown won in much the same way that Obama did: he connected continually and positively with his audience. Doesn’t this sound a lot like basic salesmanship? Work hard, be likable, and earn trust. This approach will win customer loyalty more than product features and benefits almost every time. In fact, you can take this idea one step further. Each of us talks to or emails many people every day. Many of these people already know us. Every one of these interactions sends a message about who we are. I don’t care how competent you are, if others don’t like or trust you, it is unlikely they will use your service, buy your products, or refer you to other people.
Like other professionals, we are on Facebook and LinkdIn; we tweet and we blog. We are doing this to connect better with the people we already know and find new people to network with. But there is an easier and cheaper marketing that we all do every day, whether we are conscious of it or not, and that is through the interactions that we have with all the people we already know and come into contact with in the course of our daily lives. Remember, you are marketing yourself in each one of these interactions in one way or another. Make sure that these interactions are ones that make you welcome and that would encourage people to recommend you to the people they know.