Predictably, new audiences often ask the same questions. Blurting out instantaneous, authoritative answers is not difficult. It’s actually a lazy, impatient practice I’ve seen experts fall victim to. They’ve heard the same questions and watched people jump to flawed conclusions so frequently they become jaded. They respond without truly listening to what is really being asked or said.
Consider the best and the worst advice you’ve ever received. No doubt, the best advice was both accurate and usable. The worst advice failed by being both inaccurate and not usable. Then, of course, we have all received good advice that was accurate and usable that we didn’t take—only to regret it later.
Seeking the knowledge of people who have these three benchmarks will prove to be of greatest value: specialized current knowledge, qualified experience, and your best interests at heart.
Stating opinions as facts, personal preferences, or assumptions to somebody can be dangerous. It can be the distinction between (at best) an amateur and at worst—quackery.
To illustrate, I have an older brother who lives out of state. Years ago he was diagnosed with depression and bi-polar disorder. He has suffered for decades with these conditions and it’s taken a toll on him and everyone close to him. We enjoy talking about once a month. I’m there for him for brotherly conversations, to listen and be supportive, as he is to me. Specifically, I do not offer psychological counseling or suggest which medications he should take. I am not professionally trained or licensed to prescribe medicine or tell him how to think. BTW, in the past six months he’s been attending counseling, and had his medications adjusted. He’s is doing better than he has in years.
Specific Marketing Example
Here’s an instance with specifics—but I hope my readers will see the broader scope. Early in April I presented a webinar on mobile email marketing. It is a fact that an average 51% of all people open their emails with their mobile devices. Using precise analytics, we can review all campaigns and know who opened, what time and date, and which type device was used, mobile or desktop.
During the webinar’s Q&A session I was asked how a chamber of commerce should best communicate with members. They have a variety of events, announcements, people to recognize, educational programs, etc. Because they didn’t want to “bother” people, all data was accumulated and emails were sent only once or twice a month. Naturally this resulted in huge, bloated emails.
The open and response rates were decreasing and event attendance was declining. Like many organizations, they’re understaffed and (perhaps) overworked.
My advice was to break the content into more frequent, shorter emails. Thus allowing members to quickly read and take action on what is of value to them and discard what isn’t.
Her follow-up question to my advice read as follows: If we break a lot of content into many emails, how can we judge how much is too much? I get too many emails as it is. It was a legitimate question, which she concluded with a personal opinion statement. My response to the first part was to review the open rates and click-through statistics of the frequent emails. If more people are reading more often and taking more actions, that’s a prime indicator and the best way to “judge” that results are good. Do more based on facts, not conjecture. Conversely, if statistics and response CTA rates (Call to Action) decrease overall with more frequent communications, then and only then can we “judge” that she is in fact communicating too much. In which case she would logically throttle back—not to the previous once-a-month-frequency—but to the volume where she was getting optimum results.
Broad Range of Experience
I’ve encountered similar scenarios in all variety of businesses, be it selling, generating leads, or calls to action. Never fails. The advice is both accurate and useable. “Useable” 100%. Heck, following this advice doesn’t even require learning a new skill, increasing costs, or working more hours. Not even improving the content—all of which have value if the client accepts the initial advice and is then willing to learn or hire additional expertise.
The second part of her question, I get too many emails as it is is a statement of personal opinion. This indicates that this person is biased and subjective in her marketing judgement—a costly perspective to practice. It has no relationship or relevance to her organization achieving better results and being of greater value to its clients.
Let’s Consider the Facts, Not the Personal Bias
Imagine the unexceptional results a professional coach would have IF he asked, “How often should I have my team exercise, run plays, and review film? And how can I judge when it’s too much?” (A good question) followed by the statement, “I don’t like to exercise; it makes me sore.”
Regarding her comment about getting too many emails, I tactfully encouraged her to simply unsubscribe or block those she no longer found value in receiving.
I get similar questions from my private clients and mastermind groups less frequently. However, you guessed it — I deliver a dose of “tough love.” We consider the facts and where the profits are found, not subjective opinions.
Using all variety of jargon, most self-improvement books underscore the immense value of positive self-talk and maintaining a positive mental attitude. The late, great, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was spot-on when he spoke about the cost of “stink’n think’n” and getting “a check-up from the neck up.”
One of the most valuable tools taught in the practice of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is the principle of Accurate Thinking. Accurate, useable advice, received by someone willing to change their mind in a positive way IS the key to greater profits. It’s the only way progress is made. Our minds are like muscles: when exercised, stretched, and nourished, they grow strong and increase in ability.
Masterminding, the combining of two or more uniquely talented minds working in harmony with singleness of purpose, is the fastest way to achieve results and “see” opportunities and resources you may have otherwise never discovered. Seek a mastermind partner and you’ll gain a broader, clearer perspective of where you need to be and what you need to do to attain your goals.