So how would Zig Ziglar use current technology to leverage his ability to connect with others? I did a quick search and found that Zig has been mentioned over 41,000,000 times on Google. He’s mentioned over 1,270,000 times on YouTube and has 87,207 fans on Facebook. Not bad for a man who didn’t embrace social media technologies in an active way. So how did he build such a strong following?
I see three strategies that insured Zig’s success in social media. I thought it might be helpful to share several secrets of his success in hopes that it will inspire you to take your message and brand to the next level.
The first strategy when you’re looking to build an enduring brand is know how to tell a good story. Zig was the master of telling great stories. What made his stories different was that he used several types of stories. He uses regular stories, metaphors, and teaching parables. He would use all of these types of storytelling in his speeches. He also knew how to share a story. At times during his speeches you would feel like he was talking just to you even though you might be in a stadium with thousands of other people. He was always developing better stories and examples to make his points during his presentations.
He was the master of using vivid language that was crystal clear in its message. I remember him describing his loving wife as the Redhead as well as an aside that shy salespeople have skinny children. Both these sentences immediately paint a picture in listeners’ minds. His unprepared remarks could take weeks to craft and left lasting memories. His stories were so simple and powerful that you would want to share them with others.
I’d like to step out of the box here for a moment and talk about something that most social media would like you to believe about its nature. Many social media experts would like you to believe that if you become an expert with social media you no longer have to close sales and people will rush to give you money. Sorry to say, I have met very few people that fit this case. Social media requires different selling skills. I believe what I learned from Zig about closing applies today more than ever. Your ability to have several different ways to close the business can make the difference between your business being a success and failure. The entrepreneurs who know when and how to close a deal will continue to succeed in the new emerging economy. I talk to hundreds of successful entrepreneurs across the globe every year and have discovered that sales skills are even more important than any other skill you develop. Zig understood this and provided a wide range of closes to learn and master to help you succeed in your business.
The second strategy to build an enduring personal brand is finding your unique voice. Zig understood the idea of being authentic in you presentations and selling. Take time today and watch him on YouTube. If you watch several videos across the span of his career you will find one constant among them all. Zig never tries to be someone he’s not. His enthusiasm is always contagious and optimistic. When you finish watching him you want to share his message with others. I think this is why many of classic videos continue to go viral even though they may be 20 years or more old. Need a quick pick me or some just in time motivation? You’ll find it in Zig’s videos and Facebook posts. Want to share? All the tools are there to make it happen. Zig always believed the simpler, the better.
Finally, the third strategy Zig embraced was the value of family to a person’s success. He felt that there were many ways sales professionals can become successful, including financial and recognition. You must also understand that this person is a member of a family and a community Business success was important but not as important as having a strong family life or marriage. I think this may be the greatest success secret Zig had. Long before work life balance became popular, Zig was sharing what it took to become a success in life on your own terms. He wrote several books that focused on helping high performers to live a balanced work and personal life. As Zig grew he took many people with him on the journey. He shared parenting secrets and how to treat your wife. When Zig was doing sales training many of the top sales professional were experiencing increasing divorce rates and alcoholism. Zig was one of the few speakers who would take these issues head on. He shared with others what it was like to be a success and how challenging extensive travel can be on the sales professional’s family.
Zig used to say people buy from people they like and respect, but the first person you must sell on yourself is you. Building unbreakable self-confidence is critical to your growth as a person. People who heard Zig speak felt like they were part of his family. They shared all kinds of personal stories with him. I can think of several very successful entrepreneurs who gave all their friends and family copies of Zig’s new books as they become available. No matter how many things change in the world the power of personal referral will never go away. Even today it’s the basis for much of the success of current social media stars. Connect on a deeper level and you will have a friend for life.
Over the next several weeks we begin sharing different tools you can use to take your life to the next level. I hope you enjoyed reading the last several blogs on Zig Ziglar as I have enjoyed writing them. I share my memories of Zig Ziglar and his key leadership lessons I learned for my nonprofit and church partners at Developing Serving Leaders at http://www.trippbraden.com this week. As Zig would say at the end of many of his greatest presentations, I’ll see you at the top.