It’s All About Trust: Growth Insights from a Marketing Master

I just returned from my regular pilgrimage to an Alan Weiss event. As usual, Alan never disappoints. Here are some insights from our session that you can immediately apply to your annual planning activity.

Lisa & Alan Weiss 2012
photo courtesy of Gary Hallquist

Alan has delivered immense value to his clients and global consulting community. After authoring over 40 books and advising leading corporations for over three decades, he clearly knows how to help companies drive higher performance.

As you prepare your 2013 growth plan, and need to garner support from your contemporaries, take heed:

It’s perfectly natural for people to object to your plans. Remember that you are competing for budget AND mind share. Gartner Group recently projected that budgets for marketing technology would increase 11% in 2012, and IT budgets continue to stay flat. Do you think turf battles and ego bruising will occur? Absolutely.
If you want to thrive in 2013, listen for these objections, and prepare a strategy to address each one.
  1. “We don’t have the Money.” Money is NOT a resource; money is a priority. There is always money to fund smart investments. It’s just that your Marketing initiatives are NOT currently a high priority for the CEO because you have not yet demonstrated strong value.
  2. “We do not have the Time.” If you say you don’t have time to spend with your family and attend your child’s sports event, that is because you choose NOT to spend that time with them. The same is true for your executive team. You have not given them enough of a reason to focus on YOUR project.
  3. “We do not see a Need.” Ask the other person, “If I gave you a magic wand, and you could improve one thing, what would it be?” Meet them where they are, and acknowledge their concern. See how your initiative addresses that one thing. You may both find common ground.
  4. “We do not Trust this (or you).” This is the number one reason your marketing and growth initiatives are languishing. When people say “get me a more detailed report,” be wary. In our polite society, many peers would rather give you hope than simply say no. Think of the number of times you return with some additional information, and they are suddenly busy–or disappear.

Review your comportment, your language, and your social habits to see how you can drive higher trust. Ask your peers for input prior to that next Board meeting. Stand in front of the mirror and do a “trial run” of your presentation. Are you acting like a market maker, or an order taker?

copyright 2012, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.


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