I was walking my dog Sawyer the other day and realized that he is arguably one of the most popular and well known personalities in my neighborhood. It seems like everywhere we go, people and other dogs can’t help but walk up to him to say hi. As once again, one of our neighbors, who was sitting on her front porch, actually ended a phone call just so that she could spend a couple of minutes with him, I was thinking that Sawyer inherently exhibited some traits and behaviors of a good marketer.
Sawyer always seems to be in a happy mood, and he has never met a stranger. As a marketer or a sales rep, you will be much more successful if you know how to make friends. The more open and personable you are, and the more you assume the best in other people, the easier it is. While there have been successful marketing campaigns that relied on negativity, I think it’s fair to say that in order to foster genuine and long lasting relationships with your prospects and your customers, it’s best to focus on conveying a positive message and attitude.
When Sawyer says hello to someone, he pulls out all the stops. He doesn’t just wag his tail, but he also offers up his paw for a shake or a high five, he gives kisses, and he does a variety of tricks. He clearly understands the importance of engaging with your audience.
See and seize opportunities
Sawyer knows how to capitalize on a good opportunity when it presents itself. For instance, one day, there was a loud noise outside, and while the other dogs immediately ran to the window to see what was going on, Sawyer realized that they had abandoned their food bowls, so he swiftly took advantage of this opportunity. I recently realized that he also started creating his own opportunities: He occasionally walks over to the bay window during dinner and barks, and when the other dogs fall for his trick and run to the window, he makes his way over to their bowls. While I am certainly not advocating that you manipulate or fool your prospects, customers, or even your competitors, I do think that seeing opportunities where others might not is one of the key skills exhibited by successful marketers. They’re not afraid to try something unconventional and to be creative.
Sawyer’s persistence is as pronounced as his massive snout. When he wants something, be it attention, a treat, a seat on the couch, or an open back door, he will be laser-focused and not give up until he gets what he wants. Good marketers know that most strategies, whether they are inbound or outbound focused, are not going to render overnight lead generation success. The key is to be dedicated and even tenacious.
Sawyer passed his canine agility course with flying colors, because he is a fast learner who can solve problems quickly by trying different things and determining if it gets him the reward he’s after. He applies agility not just on the course, but in every situation. For instance, after his surgery on his back leg, he had to wear the infamous “cone of shame”, an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from pulling out his staples. When he first came home, he was very upset about having to wear this lampshade. He bumped into furniture and couldn’t quite figure out how to get to his food and water. After the first day, however, he started to accept this limitation and he adjusted. In fact, he quickly learned how to leverage the collar as a tool to shove the other dogs out of the way, to push the door open, and to poke me with it to politely ask me to take him for a walk. Great agile marketers don’t focus on limitations – they look at the resources available to them and figure out the best ways to use them. They also try different strategies and frequently assess what works and what doesn’t in terms of generating the desired outcome.
Sawyer’s unwavering sense of loyalty never ceases to amaze me. I know that he would defend me in a bad situation, and that even when he’s not my first priority at times, he still wouldn’t trade me for another person. When it comes to building and nurturing great relationships, it’s important to show your prospects and your customers that you are dedicated to always holding up your end of the bargain and that you’ve got their back.
I hope you enjoyed this weekend post. I’d love to hear your thoughts – What have you learned from your pet?