During the holidays, I was thinking about Santa and what a huge job he has every year picking out and delivering the right gifts to the right kids. His sales territory is vast and his timeline is aggressive.
Even with the help of his elves, you have to figure that he’s a pretty stressed-out guy who is juggling multiple priorities. Yet he meets the challenge year after year. He’s timely, meets deadlines, works efficiently and sustainably, minimizing environmental impact. Like the rest of us, Santa is an entrepreneur who has run his successful business for years. We could all take a page from Santa’s marketing plan:
- Listening. He listens to make sure that he fully understands what each child is longing for. As business owners, listening to our clients is the most important part of our jobs. Look for their pain rather than rattling on about your products and services. No one cares.
- Customer focus. Just as Santa looks forward to the cookies and milk that we leave him each year, we should be doing something to show our customers how much we appreciate them.
- Consistency and credibility. Christmas is about believing, and Santa does a superb job. He shows up every single year, regardless of weather, politics or illness. His brand is that of trust and reliability and as a result of that trust, he has successfully beat out his competition.
- Keeping up with technology. I don’t know how he does it, but Santa stays on top of the trends. He has Facebook and Twitter pages, and he knows that kids aren’t interested in Cabbage Patch dolls or GI Joes anymore when they can be playing with their expensive iPhones.
In the same way that Santa stands out from the crowd, we need to help our clients gain competitive advantage. Just like Santa, our goal should be building customer loyalty and accountability. The great thing is that if we’re successful at helping them grow their businesses, we also will be growing our own.