You might be sick of seeing the marketing term “influencer”, or maybe just tired of all the people all over social media and the web who claim to be some kind of “influencer.” What does that term even really mean?!
Checking out some favorite resources lately and I came across this post and video interview that starts by saying …
“Influencers don’t just beam out proclamations from mountaintops. They’re on the ground with their people and their customers every day, learning what makes them work, what they value and what the need most.”
YES! That’s the kind of influence I could actually get behind and who I think some of you want to be with your business, for your clients. I’m not very interested in who wears what brand, or how they love this particular type of makeup, and that I would know all this from pictures thrown out from Instagram. That doesn’t really influence me.
Being ‘on the ground’ and learning what a potential client really values, what makes them tick? THAT I can get behind. I know it’s the kind of listening, participating, and modeling good leadership that I see in one of my favorite online business communities, Love People & Make Money from my coach, Kelly McCausey.
In this post and 22-minute video on observation techniques to boost our communication skills, guest writer at Entrepreneur.com, Natalie MacNeil, interviewed speaking coach Sharí Alexander, and learned Alexander’s “V.I.B.E.S.” technique. Alexander uses this technique for improving how we read and analyze those around us, learning what they really need, so that we can have more meaningful interactions.
One of the first things Alexander says in the casual interview is that we spend too much time in meetings, calls, negotiations or sales talk worrying about what we’re going to say. But what is important is that we learn what we need to KNOW and what’s the right thing to say for THAT person (and I’d add, ‘at THAT time’). We have to get out of our heads and think more about the other person. But she also cautions that we don’t take the first bit of info we see and jump to conclusions – it’s just a bit of data in the larger picture of better understanding, empathy, and connections.
Another tip Sharí offers, which I’ve seen in many other communications tips, is to match or mirror the style and tone of the person you’re communicating with. But she’s quick to remind us that while we may mirror or match, we are staying authentically us. If they start out serious, we reflect that. If they lean in, we may lean in too. The idea is each person is put at ease and trusts the other, so that later you might shift the tone or style and they’re ok with that. There are good tips here for how to listen, mirror, and find your influencer in a group setting. I love how she calls groups and live meetings “death-defying acts of influence!”
I like the idea given of practicing the V.I.B.E.S technique while watching TV – rather than starting out with your partner, local barista, or your next client!
Generally speaking, I think we can all do a better job of listening and paying attention to others. Listen not just for the chance to say what you came to that meeting to get across, but to really learn and understand. Good reminders and tips in this interview!
How might you use the V.I.B.E.S technique in your next meeting with a prospective customer? How can we adapt it to use online when we can’t read someone in-person? (a good reason to practice using the TV characters!) Should we participate in the VIBES challenge they mention and talk about how we’re doing over in the Mighty Marketing Mojo Facebook Group? 🙂
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