Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere - Connecting your brand with your clients

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere
Mia Sherwood Landau

 Thinking back to the old expression – “Flattery will get you nowhere…” we might wonder if it applies to our business behavior today. Deep down inside, we don’t want to use flattery in order to be successful because it makes us uncomfortable. Flattery is not a very flattering word, even though it is simply a form of attention. And most of the time we all love attention. But what we don’t love is the kind of attention that feels fake or put-on. We don’t like to be scammed, and we certainly don’t ever want to come across as a scammer. We trash all emails that come from scammers, and we are constantly warned by our anti-virus programs and web forum administrators to avoid getting involved with scammers using flattery to get our attention and eventually our money. We want scammers to be on notice that, “Flattery will get you nowhere…” and we mean it. So, looking at what we choose to avoid can be the first step towards knowing what other people probably choose to avoid as well. And if we are looking to find and grow a target market, the best place to start is acknowledging what our people are most likely to avoid. We need to start at the rock-bottom, foundational reality in order to build our success. People will not opt-in to your list or follow your posting or give you a phone call because you are flattering them. They will only want more of whatever you are promoting if your attention is genuine and substantial. Most people want attention that solves a problem or creates a powerful feeling. What you share with others online and also in person has to ring true, and more specifically, it has to ring them personally, and often literally, right on their smart phones. Who you are, what you do and what you can do for others must be instantly accessible and imminently real. That means you have to know those three things first, of course. You have to know: 1) who you are; 2) what you do; and 3) what you can do for others. You have to be able to know and understand these three things as you want your target market to know and understand them. In other words, they have to be short and easy to remember. Let’s take a new dentist, for example. She knows that she has a degree and an office and a whole lot of debt. She knows that she works on the teeth, gums and mouths of willing patients. And she knows that she can alleviate dental pain and prevent or restore teeth so they look good and work better. Her target market doesn’t care about 1) or 2) at all. They only care about 3). They only want to alleviate their pain or to prevent pain and tooth loss in the first place, and they often need repairs just to remain functional. That is where the conversation needs to start in the minds of her prospective patients. It needs to meet them right where they are, mentally and emotionally. A new dentist might decide to blog about new toothbrushes. She might tweet some comments from her existing patients. She needs to take everything her patients tell her (and ask them if they don’t offer comments) and share those things with the world. People will tell us what they want to hear if we are listening carefully. Billboards and yellow page advertising that feature flattering photos of teeth, dental offices or dentists are no longer interesting. A target market is always thinking, “So, what can she do for me?” Our new dentist has to answer that question in all her promotional materials, and she has to do it consistently. Flattery will get us nowhere in print or electronic media. Sincere interaction, which comes about when we know who we are, we know what we do, and we know what we can do for others has definitely replaced insincerity in advertising. We cannot flatter ourselves any more than we can expect to flatter a target market and succeed. We have to say what we will do, and then do it, whenever we have the opportunity. And we have to share what others say about us online, in the media and in print. That is how we attract our target market and build our brand.

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Mia Sherwood Landau
Wriser & Associates
Photo Courtesy of http://davecollyjap.blogspot.com

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