Archives for September 2010

Burgers and Fuel – the role of emotion in influence

September 16, 2010 1 Comment

When I was a child, growing up in North Bay Ontario we all knew the places that were legendary to get fast food: Roman Villa, that made the best hot banana pepper assorted sub on the planet, Greco’s Pizza straight from Italy and of course Paul Webber’s, who’s burgers were legendary.

Every town has a list like this. It is remarkable in only one thing. One of these restaurants was a two and a half hour drive from North Bay. Paul Webber’s was the subject of urban legend. Paul Webber had built a walkway across the four lane highway so that customers travelling south to Toronto could stop for a burger. The reason behind the walkway was spoken of in hushed tones. Stories were told of near misses or actual deaths as rabid burger seekers risked or gave up their lives to cross four lanes of the worst traffic in Canada to get a Paul Webber burger. Need I say more? The legend grew to epic proportions. One fact was certain: Paul Webber didn’t want his customers risking their lives for his burgers. So much so that he was willing to pay substantial dollars for a parking lot across the highway and a sky walk across a four-lane freeway to make this happen. His customers, inspired by this commitment, created a wildfire epidemic around his burgers that has lasted some 25 years.

What’s your fuel? To generate this kind of wildfire word of mouth, your fuel is the level to which you care about your customers, your suppliers, and your business allies? How much are you willing to invest in them? The bigger your commitment the greater your influence.

Here’s two things to think about.
1) Make your commitment visible and stand by it. This can be a policy for customer service, an ethic by which you work or something physical, like a walkway across the highway. In any case, word is world! If you say, be it!
2) Once you’ve gone to the mat for those you serve, celebrate your commitment in the media. Shawne Duperon (www.shawnetv.com) has great resources to help you get started on this route.

Getting your Word of Mouth to epidemic levels – connecting the connectors

September 13, 2010 1 Comment

So you’re starting to get the whole ‘building up relationship capital’ idea and you’re doing great on generating word of mouth. But now you want to go bigger; to increase your influence to the level of your dreams. So here’s the tipping point that Malcolm Gladwell talks about.

Connect the connectors together!

It’s that simple. When you start recongnizing who the connectors are that can help you, and you start helping them, by connecting them with each other, guess what happens? They all start talking about you! You see, the thing that connectors love most, is to connect with other connectors. They’ll be holding you in gratitude for hooking them up.

Three key places where you find connectors:
1) Running meet-up groups, especially ones that meet both on and off line. These groups will have stronger relationships and good systems to support continuing conversation on-line.
2) On-stage – most speakers have followings and newsletters. At events, it’s a good idea to meet the speaker and see who you can connect them with.
3) On-TV – reporters are amongst the best mavens and connectors on the planet. Connect them with good stories and they will love you for it. www. shawnetv.com is full of resources on this topic.

Get this party started! Why the host is great at Relationship Marketing.

September 8, 2010 1 Comment

Does the coffee meeting at Starbucks really affect your bottom line? In the age of word of mouth moving at the speed of Facebook, socializing is the most important thing you can do for your business. Word of mouth epidemics start when people who have a big network, connect with others who have a big network.

So what’s the number one most important thing you can do to generate word of mouth about you? Get the party started! Introduce connectors you admire to each other. Kepp it fun and fabulous and watch the good will fan out like wildfire!

What’s dousing your flames? Are you courageous in going with your flow?

September 2, 2010 Leave a Comment

Fred has a passion for bringing green products to the planet. He is a very spiritual person and feels strongly about living by intuition and “going with the flow”. So when something gets hard, he takes it as a sign that he’s moving in the wrong direction. As a result, in two years he has made little progress on bringing his passion to the world. His “flow” has little force or direction.

We’ve all known people like this. So take a look in the mirror and ask yourself “am I mistaking comfortable apathy for going with the flow?”

Consider an alternate possibility. What if the hard things in your life are simply there as markers to test the courage of conviction to your passion? What if the challenges are simply there to help grow you to the size of your dreams? What if the difficulty you perceive is simply your ego giving you reason to stay within your comfort zone and not change?

The emotional energy of having the courage to follow your dreams, regardless of how difficult they may appear, is the number one thing that will inspire others to support you and create your wildfire word of mouth.

Today’s tip: Notice the next time you hear yourself saying the words “going with the flow” and check in on whether or not the “flow” is truly taking you to the world you want to live in.