The Most Important Person in the World

The other day I found myself in a very interesting conversation about strangers.

Her: “I always try to be as nice as possible to strangers”

Me: “Really?  Why?”

Her: “Well, you never know who that person is and what if they’re the most important person in the World?”

Me: “So you assume everyone you meet/talk to is the most important person in the World?”

Her: “Precisely”

Me: I didn’t say anything just had a small explosion go off in my head.

My boss has always told me when going to a small town bar, make sure you treat the waitress like gold because she probably owns the place.  I think this is a great metaphorical life lesson.

The person who I know who is the best at dealing with people does this all the time.  You can see it when he talks to anyone, yes I mean anyone, he gives them the time of day, he truly cares about what they think and he makes them feel like they are the most important person in the world.  It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, this strategy works wonders for building your personal and professional relationships.

Where can you start?  Remember peoples names more often.  To anyone the most important word in the english language is his/her own name, if someone remembers it, it’s a sign of respect.  Here’s a few tips on how to remember better.

If you have a story about treating a stranger really well that resulted in something amazingly spectacular I’d love to here about it in the comments below!

The Second Annual Coveted Cup

There’s an event that happens every July in Regina that would give Chuck Norris a boost of Testosterone.

The Coveted Cup:

20 guys, 10 teams, 3 days, 6 sports, 2 champions that get 363 days of the best bragging rights ever.

We start off the weekend with a home run derby.  Second comes the beer dart tournament after a friendly BBQ.  Saturday morning comes quick if you’re not prepared, 9:00am head to the beach volleyball court for some early morning two on two.  Break for lunch then off to the tennis courts for a four hour long debacle, people say it’s comparable to a tournament called Wimbledon.  Nicknamed “Slaughtering Saturday” because of the fierce competition endured, we wind down with good ol’ poker tournament.  The final event of the weekend is out at the beautiful Dear Valley Golf Course.  Oh I forgot to mention, the last placed team gets kicked out of next year’s Coveted Cup.

A portion of our entry fee goes to Kidsport, so we are giving back a little as well.

The scoring algorithm  our good friend Trevor Galon came up with would rival that of university mathematician.   Trevor plans the entire Coveted Cup and our hats go off to him for one of the best weekends of the year.

2010 Winners:

Home Run Derby: Baron/Badger

Beer Darts: Baron/Badger

Beach Volleyball: Bozak/Solomon

Tennis: Baron/Badger

Poker: Tran/Rink

Golf: Galon/Maystruck

Overall Champions:


*Lausch golfed with Badger instead of Baron.

Real-Estate Agents on Twitter

You know what really grinds my gears?  When people try to sell something on Twitter. A growing culprit of this? Real Estate Agents.  No, they’re not the only ones but why do they insist to put their listings on Twitter?  Does anyone else tweet about their products including the price?   Have you ever sold a house via Twitter?  It just seems ineffective and lazy.

There are many different things you can do on Twitter I just don’t think selling or bragging about the thousands of houses you sold last week are giving the best impression to your followers.

So what could you be doing on Twitter?  Offer me something no other Real Estate Agent can.  How about you tweet your favorite Real Estate blog post each day.  Offer me housing tips that will help me save money or time.  Offer me your expert advice on buying a house, get into detail and really create a digital asset that can help many other people in the Regina market.  Forget selling houses for a day and help others with whatever it may be they are tweeting about.  There are many options of what you can do on Twitter, just don’t try to sell me a house.

Finally, here is an example of a Real Estate agent who got creative with a video camera and offered something different to his followers (click the picture to watch the video):

Twitter is not a one way communication medium, it’s a conversation medium, use it wisely.

Permission Based Marketing

A long, long, time ago advertisers would interrupt people to get their message in front of them.  Commercials interrupting your favorite show, coupons in your mailbox, awkwardly placed billboards, branding of anything and everything, commercials interrupting the top 10 countdown on the radio, telemarketers trying to sell you something, sales people showing up at your door, and video billboards promising even more interruptions than static billboards.

There was no permission established so eventually these were bound to fail once the market was saturated with messages competing for the next chance to interrupt you.

Enter the Seth Godin coined term “permission based marketing“.

I need to be friends with you for you to show up in my Facebook newsfeed or to be able to post on my wall.

I need to be following you on Twitter to receive your tweets.

I need to subscribe to your e-mail newsletter to receive it.

I have never been forced to watch a YouTube video, I choose what I want to watch.

I can’t force you to read my blog, it’s your choice.

Notice a trend here?  To communicate with people you must have their permission, no matter what medium you use.  Marketing hasn’t gone anywhere since “social media” took over, it just got smarter.  The winners now will be the ones who understand permission based marketing and come up with the newest innovative way to acquire permission.  It’s the next generation of word-out-mouth.

On the other hand, I hate to hear campaigns talking about “mass-text-messaging” services and mass e-mail marketing.  Just further attempts at interrupting more people to tell them a message they don’t want to hear.

If you want to delve further into the topic pick up this book:

You Can’t Hide Your Reputation

Anytime you cross someone in a bad way they will remember.  Your reputation is your business.  We have the ability to communicate online with thousands of people instantly, it is what those people say about you that becomes your reputation.

Humans remember the bad things much longer than the good, if you have broken someone’s trust in the past I’d suggest working on making it better soon because it’s going to take a while.  Think of the last person who broke your trust, have you worked with them since?  How do you feel about him/her? Read more

Cause marketing: a diamond in the rough

Cause marketing is utilizing a non-profit organization as a means of putting a for-profit brand or product in front of someone in return for fundraising and awareness.  Anytime you partner with a charity for anything it is a win-win situation.  The charity gains funding and exposure to a group of people it may not have been able to touch and the company gets to show people that they actually do care by helping out a charity.

Cause marketing is growing in part because some large players are getting involved such as Pepsi with it’s refresh project.  Other companies have the charity aspect as a part of their day to day business like Toms Shoes, their fascinating business strategy is worth a read.

The example I love to tell people about is a local company.  Coda Clothing & Shoes (@CodaClothing) throughout the year does not promote the store or sales via any mass media type other than the large billboard on the side of their building shown here:

Instead of telling everyone in Regina to come to Coda, they host Charity fashion shows where a large amount of money is donated to a specific charity and Coda gets to show off their new line of clothing.  It’s difficult not to like companies like Coda that are active in the community, that care about your city, and that want to give back.

I love the concept behind cause marketing because in this ever-changing marketing world you can never be certain as to what is the best medium to be broadcasting your message on.  Cause marketing works because it’s like putting a huge sign on your company’s building that says, “WE CARE”.

So when you’re thinking about the next big ad campaign to roll out with, why not pair up with a charity and try help them too, you’d be surprised at what you can do.

Pictures courtesy of Coda Clothing & Shoes