I posted this article about a month ago, and figured it was pretty good, so I’m adding it to my blog. I know, I should have put it here first, but it was one of those “quickie” articles that I cranked out on the first draft, didn’t think it was that good, and just let it simmer for a while. But having just completed my Maven Matrix workout, I realized that these tips are actually worth their weight in gold. So here’s the re-post of the article:
If you look at the greatest leaders in entrepreneurial sectors they are normally the entrepreneurs and businesses who engineer the maximum quantity, quality and consistency of breakthroughs in marketing, strategy, innovation and management. – Jay Abraham
At Rich Schefren’s StrategicProfits Live event he opened the doors for a sneak peek at a few of the comments from the presenters at the event. One such peek was marketing maven Jay Abraham’s Q&A session.
In the video, Abraham divulges the top three "must do’s" for anyone to become the maven in their marketplace, regardless of industry, product line, or any other factor. Knowing these items is important, but effectively implementing them is critical if one is to build a reputation of expert status in your market niche. In Direct Sales, there are specific examples of how to implement these three tips.
Tip 1: "See things that no one else sees and articulate them"
It sounds complex, and on the surface it may be, but in conjunction with #2, this becomes easy. This isn’t about predicting the future as much as it is about being able to identify customer concerns that may not be apparent in the short term. For example, a customer may only want to order a trial size of a product that garners much repeat business. You would be remiss not to share the potential savings of an autoship program for that product.
But it’s a deeper issue than that, as well. Pay attention to your company’s trend reports. Prepare your customers when their favorites are being discontinued or replaced. Advise them of transitions so they can be ready. Customers will look to you as an expert in your market if you can guide them through changes in ways that bring them farther ahead on the other side of the transition. Have a method of articulating that message to your clients – an ezine, newsletter, phone service, personal or video messaging, etc. Be consistent in the use of that method. For example, as an author, I use articles as my primary method of articulation to my clients. People expect to see my articles, and if I were to phone them, that might throw them completely. Having a consistent message delivered in a consistent way makes it easier for people to establish trust because of a level of predictability.
Tip 2: "Be genuinely concerned about your customers"
Abraham suggests being so deeply concerned about your customers that you establish a concern for their final outcome, not just the sale of the moment. At the core of this is passion for your cause. Don’t just say you care. Mean it. And prove it by going beyond the transaction – even beyond the relationship – to the ultimate outcome of the relationship.
I turn away recruits on a daily basis because I don’t believe that their best interests (or mine) are being served by signing them into my organization. I tell everyone that I want them to be successful on their terms, not mine. And if I’m not convinced that the timing is right, or that there’s a good fit, I’m honest. I can’t count the number of times people actually thank me for turning them down. It all comes down to being concerned about their ultimate outcome and helping them make an affirmative buying decision that’s in their best interests. Don’t be fooled. Booking and recruiting are just as much a buying decision as the sale itself.
Tip 3: "Commit yourself constantly" to innovation.
Abraham points out that "innovation is a misnomer… it can be just bringing greater value to the marketplace that they perceive and desire." Which, in Direct Sales, means being their consultant for life – but being unique enough to draw them to you, rather than chasing after them.
It’s also about continually improving every aspect of who you are as a business person and what it means to build your personal brand. Abraham points out that no one could possibly learn everything there is to know about every possible topic. He suggests using the power, knowledge and influence of like-minded individuals to further your development.
"We believe very ardently in creative collaboration. You need mentors, you need mastermind groups. You need brain trusts."
In direct sales, that can be as simple as attending team training meetings, or as complex as a series of training courses or seminars designed to build your skills in a particular area. Some of the more successful direct sales consultants have even studied at Harvard Business School. Wherever your education comes from, it’s clear that continuous improvement is a key component to successfully establishing your authority in your market.
It’s as if you’re saying, "I’m at the top of my game, because I keep learning about what’s new, what works, and what’s the best choice for my business. – and implementing it."