Do people hear FROM you or ABOUT you?

Harry Beckwith, bestselling author of Selling the Invisible, said it best: “People hear FROM bad companies, they hear ABOUT good companies.”

LESSON LEARNED: about, not from.

See, when customers hear FROM you, it’s usually via:

Cold calls.
Direct mail.
Email spam.
Fancy-schmancy, four color brochures.

Which usually means:

1. No value has been given.
2. No credibility has been established.
3. They feel like you’re “selling” to them.

AND THE WORST PART: you probably spent BIG BUCKS (or MUCHO MINUTES) to accomplish those things.


However, when customers hear ABOUT you, it’s usually via:
Articles about you.
Articles quoting you.
Someone else’s blog.
Conversation about you.
Email recommendations.

Which usually means:

1. Value has been given.
2. Positive reputation = credibility.
3. Instead of selling, you’re enabling people to buy.

AND THE BEST PART: you probably spent ZERO BUCKS (and MINIMAL MINUTES) to accomplish those three things.

Woo hoo!

So, if you want to assure customers hear ABOUT you, not FROM you, consider the following four-part exercise:

1. Brainstorm. Take a look at your current marketing plan. Grab a sheet of paper and make a list of every possible tool you’re using to get the word out about your business. (Wanna see MY marketing plan?)

2. Organize. Next, draw a line down the center of another blank piece of paper. On the top of the left column, write “FROM.” On the top of the right column, write “ABOUT.”

3. Place. In the left column, re-write all of marketing tools from your first list that enable customers to hear FROM you. In the right column, re-write all of the marketing tools from your first list that enable customers to hear ABOUT you.

4. Evaluate. If you have more “ABOUTS” than “FROMS,” good job! If you have more “FROMS” than “ABOUTS,” don’t worry! Re-read this article. Then, come up with three new “ABOUT” marketing tools. Make it your goal for the next 6 months to dedicate yourself to them. Create buzz that enables customers to talk about you, not hear from you.

NOTE: there’s nothing wrong with having a few items in your “FROM” column.

Take an ezine, for example. It comes FROM you, yes, but it still delivers value and enables people to buy. (Which is great!)

LESSON LEARNED: don’t try to eliminate your froms; just try to maximize your abouts.

Because people hear FROM bad companies, but they hear ABOUT good companies.

Which one are you?

Do you have more FROMS or ABOUTS?

Share your best “about” example here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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