It’s In You and You Don’t Even Acknowledge or Use It
I was going over a leadership project in Toastmasters when I asked the question, why am I this leadership type. I was using my leadership abilities in certain areas but not all. Why not? Because I didn’t recognize it or I thought the reason was too private. It would expose my inner self and leave me vulnerable. That’s exactly what I needed to be...
Vulnerability wins others over. It shows them you’re human. It shows you care.
My Formative Childhood
When I was five years old, I would listen to my parents late at night – yelling at each other in the living room or kitchen. I wondered what would happen to my family.
After two more years, my dad left. He told me I was the man of the family now. It was a curse.
I became a worrier. My mother was horrible with personal finances (and she was a bookkeeper). She made bad decisions, especially with men. But the worse was when she was in a car accident. Me, my younger brother and sister were placed into separate foster homes for six months (no relative wanted to deal with my problem child brother).
On my 10th birthday, I sat in the back seat of a small car with my sister and brother huddled against me. A social worker took us out one by one to our temporary homes. My brother was first. He turned to me and said, “Don’t let her take me.” I said, “It’ll be okay.” I didn’t know that but I wanted to believe it.
I was dropped off last. When I saw my new room, I dove face down onto my bed and sobbed...because I had failed my family.
Whenever I went on events like Church Camp or a field trip, I was given spending money. I always brought all of it back. I was concerned for my family. If my mother needed some kind of help, I gave it to her. I became the one she could depend on. I didn’t want to fail again.
Through the rest of my life I would want to do right by others. My motto became: I don’t want to let anyone down.
It also lead to me being taken advantage of. I would learn this the hard way.
I served in the United States Navy. I took my oath seriously, especially since I had veteran family. I became dedicated to my country and fellow servicemen. This would also be my way in civilian work.
The Cancer Crisis
On February 13, 2016, I went into surgery for facial cancer. Earlier that week I had been putting my affairs in order – in case I would die. Then something inside me said, “NO!” I had friends and family who needed me. My mother and brother were gone and my sister would be without me (her closest family).
It was rough – 12 hours of surgery – but I survived.
My goal was to work with others to achieve a better life for them even more than myself. This not only gives me purpose but a better feeling about myself.
What’s This Got Do With Business?
You need to be true to yourself if you are going to communicate with potential customers. Otherwise, they’re going to sense that you’re not who you say you are and mistrust your product/service.
You’ve got to let them know – you’re not just out for their money.
Marketing means reaching people. They have dreams, desires, values, flaws and a need for human connection. The latter being king. Because of this they can risk damage. The consequences to making the wrong contacts are – mistrust, resentment, depression and isolation.
Have you ever in your life had to move from place to place, home to home, school to school. I had when my mother got into the financial trouble. I had to try and make new friends. But some of the new kids I came across were just evil. Which lead to early isolation.
Imagine a business gaining someone’s trust and then burning them. Now you’re job to market them got that much harder.
If you market like many of your competition, you’ll get little results. You’re not winning their trust. They want to know if you’re for real. Are you a person who cares about them and not some slickster?
How do you do that? By opening yourself up and being vulnerable. My family members in sales knew how to win customers with relating and gaining trust.
So what is the missing ingredient you refuse to use that will make your business successful?
You actually know what it is but are too guarded to take it out.
Communicating Your Basic Self
It’s the center of who you are. Your values, hopes, fears, and strongest beliefs are what make up your core. But you see all this as PRIVATE and don’t communicate.
The façade can always be yanked away suddenly because it’s not really you. “Who can relate to someone as inferior as the real me?” A real person sees themselves as just as inferior. They’re desperate for contact with someone who isn’t perfect. You’ve been taught by phonies (with their own inferiority/superiority complexes) to be like them.
I’ve been through many of these sham courses. Haven’t you?
Break the deceit and be you with all the mistakes. Make yourself human to be the hero. Be you.
It’s time to start a new type of marketing that’s not new. When you tell a story, give an example, or talk to your customer like someone you know – care about them. Let them know you’re in this for them.
That doesn’t mean a discount offer. It means a communication relationship. You’d be surprised that even the most trivial subject matter keeps them interested, as long as you are you.
Make a future or current customer a friend for life today.
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