How to Out Heart the Competition

There’s no reason to be mean.

Slinging hate, slashing tires, undercutting pricing and poaching customers is not the smartest way approach your competition.

HERE’S MY SUGGESTION: Out heart the competition.

It’s easier.
It’s cheaper.
It’s more fun.

Here’s how to make it work for your organization: 1. Give your brand three dimensions. Cooking websites are getting smarter. They know that their users don’t just want recipes. They also want to learn what others thought about the recipe, what ingredients they added, what spices they used, what side they paired it with, what wine goes with it and what their families thought about it.

In short: They want to become better cooks, not just better at following directions. And if you want people to join you, know this: Information is price of admission. Giving people a bunch of facts isn’t enough.

To out heart the competition, you have to offer people context, perspective and community. Public radio is another brand that does this beautifully: They speak straight to the heart of the human experience. They explore new angles most stations miss. And they create a safe place to learn that broadens the listener’s cultural sensibilities. You can’t get that from top forty stations.

The point is: Customers want to listen to the whole song. And if all you’re giving them is a few random notes, they’re going to go somewhere else. How many dimensions does your brand deliver?

2. You can’t work incognito. If facts worked, the gym would be crowded. But it’s not. And here’s why: Numbers don’t inspire commitment – story does. And if you don’t dress your truth in it, you’ll never out heart the competition.

Here are the two questions that matter:

*Are you telling a better, funnier, more spreadable and more emotional story than the competition?
*As is that story embedded into every nook and cranny of your brand’s existence?

If not, your product is just a commodity. Another annoying interruption that’s going to be forgotten anyway. Look: You don’t need public speaking lessons – you need to cut your soul open. And you need to express yourself from that place relentlessly and expressively.

Even if it scares you. Even if it scares others. Because you intentionally set out to make the viewer blink, you incidentally end up making the viewer buy.

Remember: Don’t be afraid to chose a better story. Shout it from the rooftops or risk being ignored. Does your work evoke an active resonance or a dull thud?

3. Speak to the heart of human experience. Here’s why Starbucks rocks: They understand that “home” isn’t just the house you live in – it’s the space you return everyday. Sure, they don’t know what’s going on in your life when you walk in the door.

But their store still provides you with an act of escape in a moment of chaos. It’s a daily refuge for people. And that’s ten times more addictive than the caffeine.

Unfortunately, that’s where most companies lose: They fail to recognize and affirm our shared humanity. But if you want to out heart the competition, you have to master that deeper humanity within your work. And then you have to embed it into your job function on a daily basis. Consider these examples:

First, virus protection software. Their job is to preserve the inalienable right of digital freedom. Second, insurance companies. Their job is to help people live their lives free from fear every day. Third, trade associations: They job is to create a network of human healing. Has your brand anchored itself in the concrete foundation of compassion?

4. Anchor belonging. Every quarter, my mastermind group gathers for a full day strategy session. We give feedback to each other, laugh at each other, share with each other and confide in each other. It’s a beautiful thing. And any time new members join us, we always make sure they feel like they’re part of the group immediately.

In fact, I recently received an email from one woman who said, “This was the first group meeting I attended where nobody squeezed my shoulder.”

That’s a great reminder for anyone organization who has a membership base: People don’t want to have their head patted and told they’re going to make it someday. They just want to belong. They just want to have a home. They just want to feel like they’re part of the club.

Try this: Instead of waiting to warm up to people, skip the small talk. Stop inquiring about the goddamn traffic and just jump right in. And instead of asking people what their job title says – ask them what their emotional labor is dedicated to. They’ll forget all about the fact that they’re a first-timer. What do you see when you see people?

5. Squash complacency. Relationships work when you work at them. Period. Otherwise they degrade into predictable, boring and complacent stalemates. And that’s when people start to feel invisible. If you want to avoid getting lazy with your customers, ask one crucial question: How do you recognize longtime partners in a unique, memorable and spreadable way?

And I’m not talking about thoughtless, uninspiring holiday cards that get trashed instantly. Or impersonal, emotionless autoresponders reminding people how important their business is to you.

This is about creating an emotional connection that deepens over time. Gifting – not just giving – meaningful rewards that recognize outstanding contributions to your organization.

That’s why my company makes brandtags. These customized limited edition art pieces, or “identity collages,” completely erase the memory of any other gift your clients have ever received.

With a brandtag, you make people feel essential. With a brandtag, you make gratitude palpable and recurrent. And with a brandtag, you prove that recognition isn’t some corporate initiative – it’s a constitutional ingredient.

Remember: Ingratitude is the gateway drug to complacency. And complacency the merit badge you get for winning a marathon in your comfort zone. How do you thank people?

REMEMBER: People buy from people, not from faceless conformist hierarchies.

Follow the path of heart.
Wear it on your sleeve.

And let it bleed for the people who matter most.

Will you out heart the competition?

For a list called, “20 Types of Value You Must Deliver,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment.”

–Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

How to Secure a Spot in Someone’s Heart, Part 1

Being remembered has less to do with you, and more to do with how people experience themselves in relation to you.

Because in my experience:

It’s not who you know.
It’s whose life is better because they know you.

It’s not being the life of the party.
It’s bringing other people to life at the party.

It’s not making people fall in love with you.
It’s helping people fall in love with themselves.

That’s how you achieve heartshare, not just mindshare.

THE QUESTION IS: How do you want to leave people?

If you want to secure a spot in someone’s heart, consider these ideas: 1. Leave people shoved. Petition them to take the plunge. Challenge them to play for keeps. And show them what they can’t see for themselves. Did you disrupt their inertia?

2. Leave people speechful. If people are speechless, you’re doing something wrong. Interacting with you should invite people to talk more. Did you excavate their brilliance?

3. Leave people disturbed. Picasso said, “You have to wake people up. To revolutionize their way of identifying things. You’ve got to create images they won’t accept.” Did you evoke emotion?

4. Leave people faithful. Your story should lay naked your belief. Then make them believe. Then make them proud to take the first step. Did you let people pick up where you left off?

5. Leave people essential. Making them feel valued, important and special isn’t enough. They need to know their work matters. That they’d be missed when they’re gone. Did you show them you’d crumble without them?

6. Leave people honored. Respond positively to their unique experience of the world. Look them in the eye and tell them how great their ideas are, no matter how big or small. Did you respond to them with fundamental affirmation?

7. Leave people impressed. Not with you, but with themselves. All you have to do is put their brilliance on display; then give them a front row seat. Did you become a stand for their greatness?

8. Leave people reevaluating. If you can reset the compass in people’s brain so they can better feel what’s important in life, they’ll never forget you. Did you invite them to confront what matters?

9. Leave people alive. Helping someone live life is the ultimate human connection. And if you can help them embed their passion into the pavement of the conversation, they’ll never forget you. Are you asking people about the weather or their passion?

10. Leave people liberated. Create a safe place where individual creativity can shine. Petition people to inject their personality into everything they do. And make no restrictions on self-expression. Who are you asking to edit themselves?

11. Leave people seen. You look with your eyes, but seeing is something you do with the heart. Try this: Instead of handling them, treat them. And instead of manipulating them, harmonize with them. Did you make anyone feel invisible this week?

12. Leave people breathless. Bother to show up when you’re scared. Tell the truth when there’s no reason to be honest. And dare to care when it’s inconvenient. In your rarity, you will become remarkable. Did you make them gasp?

13. Leave people validated. Not everybody needs information. Sometimes they just need affirmation of what they were already thinking, and verification that they weren’t completely crazy. How do you make people feel not alone?

14. Leave people heard. Put up a verbal mirror so others might experience themselves as you do. Show them their words have weight by taking notes on the conversation, then emailing them a copy five minutes later. Did you reflect their reality back to them?

15. Leave people able. People love to hear how great they are; but they long to hear how great you’ve become because of who they are. Tell them often. Do you make people conscious of their own capabilities?

16. Leave people connected. Position yourself as a catalyst for connection. Because sometimes the best way to secure a spot in someone’s heart is to secure them a spot in someone else’s. Are you a master of the email introduction?

REMEMBER: Memorability pivots on the fulcrum point of better.

Refuse to leave people where they are.

Focus on how they experience themselves in relation to you.

And you’ll secure a spot in their hearts forever.

Whose life is better because you’re a part of it?

For a list called, “134 Questions Every Salesperson Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment.”

–Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

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