One of the most common emails I receive is from somebody who has read one of my books or heard me speak and is excited about new ways to grow business by implementing real-time sales and marketing but faces resistance from others.
They want to know how to convince those who say “no”. They come to me saying: “Help! How can I change minds?”
The pushback might come from bosses or others on the team. Entrepreneurs face resistance from VCs and partners. If you are planning to strike out on your own, it might be your spouse who says “no”.
How to generate attention
The big, bold question here is: “What is the best way to generate attention?”
That’s what you need to sit down and explain to those who fear change. Talk about how to generate attention in today’s world.
Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business owners want people to pay attention to their company. Marketers, PR pros, advertisers, and salespeople are on the payroll to generate attention.
Here are four ways to generate attention. Ask those who question you: “Which ones of these are working for us today?”
- You can buy attention with advertising such as television commercials, magazine and newspaper ads, the yellow pages, billboards, trade show floor space, direct-mail lists, and the like.
- You can beg for attention from the editorial gatekeepers at radio and TV stations, magazines, newspapers, and trade journals.
- You can have a team of salespeople bug people one at a time for attention by knocking on doors, calling people on the telephone, sending personal emails, or waiting for individuals to walk into your showroom.
- You can earn attention online by using the ideas I teach — creating something interesting, and publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, blog, research report, series of photos, Twitter stream, e-book, Facebook page, or a content rich site. You can publish information at the moment it’s needed.
To understand the motivations of your colleagues and bosses as they criticize your ideas, I recommend that you know and understand these four means of generating attention. You can understand the point of view of the person you are talking to about attention, especially when the inevitable pushback about earning it in new ways surfaces.
You see, most organizations have a corporate culture centered on one of these approaches. As examples, Procter & Gamble primarily generates attention through advertising. Apple and Donald Trump generate attention via the mainstream media. Large B2B companies have an army of salespeople, generating attention one phone call at a time.
Often the defining organizational culture springs from the founder or CEO who has a strong point of view. If the CEO came up through the sales track, all attention problems are likely to become sales problems. Chances are that your colleagues and bosses did not come up understanding real-time content which is why there is pushback.
Saying “no” is the logical reaction to the fear of the unknown
The point is, you’ll have to convince your boss to invest in real-time content creation, because it’s likely he or she doesn’t consider it the most important way of gaining attention. Most organizations overspend on advertising and sales and underinvest in social media, but nearly all organizations should be doing some combination of each. If you can help your bosses and colleagues understand this trend, they’ll probably lighten up a little.
Image courtesy of flickr user Anne-Lise Heinrichs