Over the past several weeks we’ve talked about the changes going on in marketing and why things are changing in business. This week, we give you several ideas on how you can create a unique marketing message that you deliver. If you look at many successful large organizations you discover that their business breakthroughs have come after their founders became a spokesman for the business. When I share this with my clients they are skeptical that there is a purposeful strategy behind the entrepreneurs becoming thought leaders in their markets. Let me ask you a question, can you tell me who runs the following businesses: Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, and JPMorgan Chase. My most successful clients and partners are all lead by successful market leaders. Every one of my smaller business clients that have grown to sales in excess of a billion dollars have discovered this success secret early and their markets have rewarded them with strong, sustainable sales and profits.
Can you recreate the magic without having a large team of marketing and PR professionals supporting your efforts? Much of my work is to help entrepreneurs become thought leaders who can lead their markets. In today’s over communicated market you must strive to create the positioning of a market leader. It allows you to grow your business faster and more cost effectively than any other strategy available to your organization. The failure to do this effectively guarantees your organization second class status.
The first step to establishing yourself as a market leader is creating trust within your market. So how do you do this? You must understand you current markets conditions and to what the market is aspiring. People trust you only if they believe you understand them. Understanding them gives you permission to begin a discussion.
My mentor, Jay Abraham believes people want to be led. He shared this with me over twenty years ago and I think it’s the best advice he ever gave me. It has propelled my clients to become leaders in many emerging markets. It has allowed me to serve two Presidents and to work with many of the most influential CEOs and Managing Directors across the globe. Jay feels it is critical for you to establish your leadership credentials early in your business’s development. The challenge here is that you must understand your market’s needs, desires, and challenges. It’s not enough to understand your market’s future potential but also the growing pains they are going through. You have to be like them but more. You must be able to state their problem in a way they can understand you get them and their lives. Without creating this rapport you are nothing more than an outspoken sales person. Not that it’s bad to be a salesperson but it greatly reduces your ability to grow your business if people think you are just trying to sell them something.
While we are talking about trust it should be understood that I’m assuming you’re trustworthy. We’ve talked about trust in several blogs here in the past but the largest change I’ve seen with my clients is that people are more cynical than they have been in the past. So many so-called famous people who have never run a business try to tell you how to run yours. The way I see it, people are being burned by slick promises and bad decisions in higher and higher frequencies. Desperate economic times call for different measures. The idea of personal responsibility for one’s decisions is quickly slipping away.
Your biggest competition is not other companies but internal resources and earlier attempts and failures at getting the results you describe. If you can build trust with your potential clients you will be given the opportunity to have a discussion with your market. That’s all.
Next week, we’ll talk about what you need to know before your first meeting and how to start building the foundation before your first meeting with your clients.