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Anti-Marketing vs. Active Listening
The do's and don'ts of the simple act of conversation.
Pretty much sounds like what we all DON'T want to do. Well guess what, whether each of us know it or not, we all do it, or have done it at some point in time. So what exactly is “Anti-Marketing”. It's the simple act of being negative. Negative in our conversations, body language and reactions with our clients, customers, friends, associates, etc...
With this in mind, I encourage you to think about your marketing as a conversation. In fact, do this with every conversation you have with customers, prospects, employees, colleagues… even friends and family. You're all familiar with the concept of the “30 second elevator pitch” and the USP (unique selling proposition), so I ask you to think about the value of personal storytelling as a marketing tool. If you are passionate about your story, they will get caught up in your excitement, and be drawn in to being a believer, participant and evangelist. And in a perfect world, spread your story. After all, the absolute best and most valuable advertising is word of mouth.
Now keep in mind, your stories should not "tall tales", but interesting, entertaining, and thought provoking. If you are tempted to spin a tale, the listener will see through you faster than you can possible imagine. Once this is done all your, or your products, credibility will be lost.
Ok, so if marketing is every positive conversation we have and storytelling is a great way to connect with customers and generate positive word-of-mouth, anti-marketing is the complete opposite. It literally is every negative conversation, reaction or body language we have or story we tell. Let’s face it. Who wants to do business with someone who is negative? Do you?
To combat anti-marketing, just be aware of the conversations you have and the stories you tell. If you’re tempted to go negative, bite your lip! Let the other person do the talking for awhile, or find a way to change the subject.
Letting the other person speak. Sounds easy enough, but in reality, when you're excited about your story, it takes a concerted effort to let them talk WHILE YOU LISTEN! This is a great example of what we call "active-listening". People love to be heard, and more importantly, people love to know that you're actually listening!
To actively listen, you have to first of all pay attention! Don't day-dream off to your plans for the weekend, your next meeting, or what's for dinner. Let them speak. Once they’re done, or there’s a logical break, repeat back to them what they said. When you're done repeating it back, ask them if you got it right. If not, ask them to explain again. Believe me, they’ll be happy to, because they know you’re listening. Once they've finished, ask them if there’s anything more, if not, thank them for sharing. And mean it. Give it a try sometime, I truly believe you'll be amazed at their reaction, and the credibility you’ve gained.
So to sum it all up, BE POSITIVE! Once you achieve this, you can expect a lot more referrals and a lot better word-of-mouth.
A Special thank you to Ken Sethney for the inspiration and a great deal of the body of this article.
Learn more about the author, Scott Poe.
Comment on this article
Active listening can be a difficult thing for a guy to do, I don't think it's in our DNA. If we make the effort and learn how to listen, amazing things happen in business and at home. We make real connections.
Posted by Deborah Drake, Bellevue, Washington |
Dec 04, 2009
What a fine and succinct reminder of common sense that isn't always easily common practice. And as for do guys in particular, not inherently listen, Ken, I don't know that I agree with that as a blank statement. There are plenty of great listeners both male and female and there also women I know (some family members coming to mind) who don't seem to know how to listen and let another talk (LOL).
I realize this was put forth as a business article and it is so true but I am going to stay mindful of it as I work my way through the holidays...(Smile).
And I just happen to be reading How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie again and am struck by the universality of his message and this nicely updated essay that rings of same themes, Scott!
The Carnegie Principles for Effective Communication and Improved Human Relations are so much about listening and being sincerely interested in others. One person I know said yeah, that book is corny but it works!
When was the last time you read HTWF&IP? And if you want the cliffnotes download the Golden Book from this link:
I keep it on my desktop and consult when I need that boost of positivity.
Thank you for writing this article!
Deborah Drake - Enrollment Specialist
You be the expert, let me be your evangelist.
Posted by Deborah Drake, Bellevue, Washington |
Dec 04, 2009
Thanks again for the article and thank you sir may we have another. (smile)
P.S. Ken, you look like a guy who listens...and I can't exactly agree with you entirely about men not being wired to listen (smile). For I know plenty who can and do (and I so appreciate them) and there are some women (family members coming to mind...LOL) who can't seem to listen without interrupting or directing me toward advice (smile)...and as we are in the midst of holiday and lots of extra family time, I am thankful for my natural and cultivated listening skills (as I head off to spend quality time with well-meaning friends and family...lol)
Posted by Shaun Lawrence, Irvine, California |
Dec 05, 2009
Pretty helpful information here. Trying to get into the swing of networking. Thanks.
Posted by Donna Kastner, Hudson, Ohio |
Dec 07, 2009
Enjoyed your article Scott - particularly the last tip to summarize/replay back what you've heard. It demonstrates that you're truly listened and it helps to make sure you've got it right...
PS: Guys aren't the only ones who struggle with being good listeners ;)