When something is black, (a la little black dress) it means that it’s in fashion or most popular for the moment. For example, one year, designers may say that brown is the new black and so on. And you thought Orange was the New Black– but in business, experts agree that Helpful is actually the New Black especially when it comes to marketing and sales.
Free Advices R Us
A prospect who is currently evaluating whether her company would like to work with me on their marketing strategy called me out of the blue yesterday. She asked me for some strategies around a really huge new client opportunity that she was just handed and didn’t want to fudge up. She respected my opinion and asked for help off the books. What did I do? Tell her that I couldn’t give free advice since we hadn’t signed or give her maybe half of what I knew so that she wasn’t getting the best of me for free? None of those things. I gave her the same advice and offer to follow up with her that I would give to my highest paying client. She was hesitant to use too much of my time (because she’s also a consultant and understands that we get paid for our advice) but I assured her: “at one time, in some capacity, I know that we will work together.” I said it really feeling this knowing in my heart. So she hung up with a lot of homework and hopefully the feeling that she’d been helped. The lesson in the story is simply this: when you help people get what they want, YOU end up getting what you want. This is true in every aspect of life but especially so in business.
The Theory of Persuasion
According to Influence expert Robert Cialdini (author of Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way To Influence and Persuade), the first principle of persuasion is called Reciprocity. This is where in a buying situation, the seller offers something of value for free first and as a consequence people feel better about giving them their business. This theory is also at the heart of social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk‘s bestselling book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social Media World”, the jabs stand for giving value to your online audience, then the right hook is the selling or the ask. Notice the proportion of jabs to hook in that book title. Everything starts with helping because-that’s right, it’s the new Black.
Ways to Be Helpful in Your Marketing
The way that I teach my clients to be helpful to their prospects is to first become really knowledgeable about one specific business issue and to shout to the world about all the solutions that they know of to help that issue. For example, a translation company client became the Fastest ‘Other’ Language Translators instead of the generic translation company they previously were. Now, their marketing will be shouting solutions about how to do just that–turnaround virtually extinct language translations in mere hours rather than months!
Other ways to be helpful of course is to broadcast your solutions to this specific pain at targeted opportunities such as at conferences as a keynote, or in Executive Roundtables or in simple articles or videos. Be Helpful and see your company grow. After all, it is the new black!
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