Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NametagTV: Stay Human



Being human is always good for business.

And if you want your brand to stay alive, you have to leave traces of your humanity in every possible touchpoint.

After all, people buy people. Not products. Not services. Not companies. People.

Today we’re going to explore a collection of ideas to help you, your brand and your organization stay human:
1. Friendly wins. When I started wearing a nametag everyday, I wasn’t trying to make money – I was trying to make a point: Friendly doesn’t cost anything. And yet, millions of people on a daily basis are working overtime to prove me wrong. They’re too focused on their own drama, their own company policies their own egos to see how easy it really is to be friendly.

The cool part is: You don’t need a nametag to be friendly.

Instead of waiting to warm up to people, skip the small talk and just jump right in. Instead of asking if there’s anything else you can do, ask if there’s anything else you can help them learn. And instead of asking for a referral, ask if everything was great. People will notice. How friendly are you perceived as?

2. Create random acts of humanity. People may love to buy, but they also ache to belong, crave to believe and long to hope. That’s what makes them human. That’s what gives them fullness of heart. Forget about customer service.

Service, schmervice – people want to be in love.

They want someone to touch them. Instead of trying to buy your way into their lives, instead of trying to hack your way into people’s hearts, give them a chance to buy into something that matters, and then share that with the people who matter. Because it’s not about the product – it’s about how people socialize around it. Are you selling a commodity or building a sharing device that allows people to connect with each other?

3. Create an emotional bonus. I once saw a sign outside of a flea market that read, “Business sucks, come in and deal!” That wasn’t just worth taking a picture of – it was worth telling my friends about. Not to mention, walking into the store and buying a few things.

And that’s the secret: Anytime your marketing creates a memorable, unexpected and jarring juxtaposition, you win.

I’m not talking about interrupting customers with ads so you can bother them into buy from you. Marketing is about designing your brand with a high degree of visual sophistication. It’s about making a first impression that creates a smile in the mind and demands further investigation. Are you providing the transaction of a service or the experience of an event?

4. Intelligently share your intangibles. Our economy rewards generosity. And if you’re willing to give yourself away, it’s unlikely you will go away. The secret is to find your daily gift to the world. Something simple and human. Something that fulfills your quota of usefulness. And something that builds up a huge surplus goodwill.

Take a blog, for example. That’s the ideal venue to deliver the intangible value of knowledge. To pollinate people with your ideas. Better yet, blogs that are written honestly have the power to give the gift of wakefulness. They create an act of inspiration in a moment of inertia. And if that’s not a gift, I don’t know what is. When was the last time somebody thanked you for your generosity?

5. Manage your story like an asset. Story isn’t just a skill; it’s a survival mechanism. Has been for thousands of years. And here’s why: Story makes it easier for people to believe. Story makes it easy for people to find and express meaning. And story makes the experience of being alive more enjoyable.

The trick is, you’re telling a story whether you want to or not. The question is: Is your story worth repeating? Is your story worth crossing the street for? Is your story connected to another story people already trust? And does your story give people hope about what they could be? I certainly hope so. Because if your story too small to repeat, it’s not worth telling. Who’s retelling your story to their friends?

6. Make a stronger last interaction. People don’t buy what you sell – they buy what you are. They buy the way they experience you. And they buy the way they experience themselves in relation to you. Everything else is merely an accessory to the sale.

If want to become known better to the people who matter most, start by becoming known for a unique way of interacting with the world. Like FedEx, who interacts with swift responsiveness. Like Southwest, who interacts with exquisite playfulness. Or like Zappos, who interacts with true care.

The point is, when you interact with people in a way that gives them the gift of social elevation, you get talked about. Are you a business people could fall in love with?

REMEMBER: Companies that lack humanity, leak profit.

Make a conscious effort to stay human.

Stick yourself out there today.

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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