Monday, November 09, 2009

 

Joining, talking and participating

Want credibility with a set of prospective customers?  Want to be accepted as one of them, as a part of their tribe?

It takes more than just joining their club.  It takes more than just speaking their language, and talking at them.

To be accepted today, you have to participate.

Participation means two-way communication, in an authentic manner, on a regular basis.  It takes more time, more effort, and more investment than what we used to be able to do – buy a list, get some PR, write a letter.  In other words, talk at the prospect.

Today, prospects require and expect more.  If you talk at them (in a letter, a blog post, an article in a trade publication), they expect to be able to talk and comment back.  And then, in turn, they expect you to read their response and engage yet again.

It’s more work.  And as long as your prospects keep responding, it doesn’t really end.  But isn’t that awesome?

The companies you want as your customers aren’t just reading your stuff anymore.  They’re responding, engaging, asking you questions, questioning your opinions.  They’re getting to know you, and by participating back you’re earning their trust and respect.  And if you keep participating, you can earn their business too.


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