How To Be So Helpful They Can’t Ignore You

Being so helpful (or so good) that people cannot ignore you is the basis of enduring relationships. It’s knowing that someone can count on you – no matter what.

Does your marketing communicate that? How about your sales or customer service?

Helping and adding value is the new marketing, selling, and customer service. Thanks to the power of digital, the consumer does not differentiate between them.

Everyone is answering questions and offering advice, and it’s all free.

The winner in business today is the company that does helpful better. Tweet this

Here’s how to be that company.

#1 – Build a Process for Continuous Improvement

The expression to be so helpful they can’t ignore you was inspired by a very similar quote from comedian, actor, and musician Steve Martin. His mantra when he was building his stand-up comedy practice was to be so good they can’t ignore you.

As he developed his craft he went back to what worked. In the early days he worked in a booth in a carnival. Yet, what works always works if you develop ways to make it better – so good that people cannot ignore it.

What are some of the qualities that people admire, and therefore should be built into your business processes for helping them? Here are a few that come to mind.

  • Consistency
  • Graciousness
  • Personality
  • Humility
  • Inspiration
  • Humor
  • Gratitude

If you have a process for improvement you should be proud of it, because it alone earns the attention of those that have yet to experience how you can help them.

#2 – Explain How Your Process for Helping Works

People tend to fear what they do not understand. Therefore, they are unlikely to work with your business if they do not understand your process for helping them.

This is the magic of helping, as opposed to traditional selling. Your content marketing strategy should be designed to help people understand how you can help them. This goes beyond answering questions.

Facts and figures are useful, but they are impersonal and easily forgotten. Stories are relatable, and therefore memorable.

Relevant stories help buyers understand how you can help them. Tweet this

From a business perspective, stories are proof that you can handle the work. This is why original stories from direct experience are so valuable for making emotional connections that move buyers.

 #3 – Make it Fun

Just reading the traditional news is enough to bring anyone down. Interacting with many people can also prove to be less than inspiring.

Want proof? Just ask people how their day is going. Most people will respond with something like this: alright, pretty good, not too bad. Not too bad?!

Probably the easiest way for any business to get noticed in this world is to be fun to work with. Your efforts may not always be acknowledged, but they will nearly always be appreciated.

When Steve Martin was at the peak of his stand-up comedy career, he was filling stadiums with nearly 20,000 people. This is why he started wearing a white suit – to be noticed.

Even though he was working with massive audiences, he stayed true to his mantra of being someone they could not ignore.

What’s your business mantra for not being ignored?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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Presentation Skills for Marketers

Successful marketers know that presentation skills are just as important as the message – maybe more.

Steve Martin

The reason for this is every message is subject to interpretation, and the better it is presented the more likely the audience will draw from it the necessary elements that are going to be of value to them.

Media used to be the domain of specialists. Some had expertise in radio, television, newspapers, and other forms of print. Now we are surrounded by media – which means anyone in business needs to develop the skills for using it well.

This also means that every small business is indeed a media company. It’s both an opportunity and a responsibility, and presentation skills are an integral part of it.

Presentation skills are as much of an art as they are a science – you can (and should) expect to invest a lifetime into mastering them.

Ultimately, your goal is to follow the axiom that Steve Martin lived by when he was building his career as a stand-up comic – be so good they cannot ignore you.

That’s sound advice, whether your audience is live or virtual.

Skilled Presenters are Flexible

When you are delivering a message you have to own it – its a mindset. That’s the first step.

After that, you have to be ready to adapt to your audience, and this begins before the presentation – by getting to know as much about them as possible.

Presentation preparation is a practice that can only be developed through direct experience with audience members.

Speakers often comment on how they customize presentations for their audiences. Yet, customization feels like something you do to your audience – a calculated adjustment intended to earn a favorable response.

Skilled presenters, on the other hand, are more aware of being flexible – ready to use their familiarity with an audience to respond to even the most subtle signals.

Flexibility is a state of readiness that creates opportunities for learning and inspiration. It’s a collaboration – something you can only do with your audience – in real-time.

It resonates long after the conclusion of your presentation, and also serves to get you invited back to do it again.

Practice is Essential

When you are preparing and practicing your presentation there are often conflicted feelings of excitement – and fear!

This is what creates writers block and stage fright. It’s the two sides of your brain fighting with each other – one rational and one emotional. This has to be resolved – and hopefully before you get on stage.

Practice is the surest method for resolving this conflict so that you can effectively serve your audience. It’s a skill, and one that can only be learned from the platform.

If you want to be a better speaker, you have to speak. It works the same with blogging, selling, and every other endeavor that requires presentation skills.

As a professional speaker, I’m often asked prior to my presentation if I am nervous. My response is always the same.

I hope so!

Coherence is Connectedness

For a presentation to start and progress well, there has to be a certain amount of angst to heighten your awareness – and just a little is enough.

After that, experience comes to bear on the situation. Paradoxically, your intense focus on you will suddenly shift to them. There is simply no other way to do it.

You have to first get centered and grounded within yourself, and then shift that awareness to the audience to create coherence – one in which you are all of the same mind. 

Some people think of this as being in flow or in the groove. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just know that it works.

Presentation skills are vital for marketers. Since I’m often asked for advice in this area, you can expect me to share more presentation tips and best practices here from my personal experiences.

Until then, how about sharing yours?

Leave a comment below.

And please share this with your community and encourage them to join the conversation.

Until next time, Jeff