“Quick question: I have a client who has a sign posted on his building that says, ‘FIRE OBAMA’. Is that a bad idea for business or is it one of those ‘don’t be afraid to exclude people’ things?”
This is a text I received from a former co-worker. I had just presented a new keynote address, Personal Branding: Who Are You, Really?, to him and his fellow media reps. I received this text later in the day.
His mention of “Don’t be afraid to exclude people” refers to a question I asked during the presentation:
Are you willing to repel one prospect to gain three?
Do you have the courage, the resilience, the intestinal fortitude to totally and completely turn off a potential customer forever in order to gain three?
The best branding campaigns ripple outward from a company’s core culture and nonnegotiable standards. This is what we refer to as your Sword in the Stone.
What do you stand for? What do you stand against? What do you deliver to your customers based on what you stand for and what you stand against?
Do you want to connect on a deeper level with customers who share the same values as you?
Or are you content with watered-down, homogenized marketing that says nothing and persuades no one.
Remember – you’re not a 100 dollar bill. Not everyone is going to like you.
As my partner and mentor, Roy H. Williams, says, “The risk of insult is the price of clarity.”
What is your Sword in the Stone? Do your systems, policies, and procedures reflect your values? Do they mirror who you are, what you stand for, what you stand against, and what you deliver to your customers?
My reply to the text message:
“Politics are tricky, of course, but this is a perfect example of repelling a prospect to gain three. If he’s unapologetic in his stance, he will gain customers…and he will lose some, too. But he will certainly strengthen his connection to the ones he keeps.”
How about you? Are you willing to repel one to gain three?