I had a couple of experiences this week that I wanted to write about but struggled with how to tie them into one subject. Then I attended a Bay Area Consultants’ Networking (BACN) meeting and had the pleasure of hearing Jeff Slayter and Kane Minkus speak about the “7 Attributes of Highly Successful Consultants”. One attribute they talked about is Congruency and how, as business owners being congruent in our actions is essential for getting prospects to trust us enough to want to buy from us.
Do Your Actions Match Your Words?
Congruency is about matching. And in terms of marketing and business success it’s about our words matching our actions and behaviors. We’ve all heard that only about 7% of communication is the words that we speak, so the rest is how we say it (tone), our facial expressions, eye contact, how we sit or stand (i.e.: whether or not we fidget (I’m guilty of this one) or stand or sit solidly), and dozens of other physical actions.
So now, armed with this new re-learned term – “congruency” – I can share with you my experiences and let you decide – do these business owners display a sense of trust? Are they exhibiting congruency?
1. I was at a local restaurant with an entrepreneur who sells water filtrations devices for your home. His marketing strategy is to enlighten people about the dangers of city water: it’s full of chemicals and contaminants that cause a plethora of horrible diseases and it’s completely horrible and unhealthy and we’d be better off drinking lead paint than unfiltered city water. I noticed that during our meeting he drank 2 cups of coffee and half a glass of water – tap water. Hmmmm, how bad is our city water again??? I felt like offering him a bite of my Phthalates –rich handbag to wash it all down.
2. I received an email from another local entrepreneur who claims to be an internet marketing expert. The intent of the email was to ask if I’d give feedback on an upcoming ezine he’s publishing about how to use internet marketing to grow our businesses and make more money. A few details about the email: a) it was addressed to “dear friend”; b) the first line of the email read, “you are receiving this because we met at a networking event, we’ve done business together, or have partnered in some way; c) and the kicker – every single recipient of this email was listed in the “To” field- so much for privacy! As a marketer I was embarrassed for this person. This email broke every rule of effective email marketing.
3. Another business owner stood in front of a group of about 50 consultants to announce an upcoming social media class. She said, “Our next class starts in June. There is a waiting list, but we have a few seats left.” Wait a minute… if you have a waiting list, how can there be seats left? Well, this incongruence happened to be by yours truly. 🙂 And what I said isn’t what I meant and I’m sure that little inconsistency came across as dishonest to some.
Trust = Consisitency
So, what’s my point? My point is that besides being entrepreneurs, businesses and brands, we’re human. And being human, we’re full of inconsistencies and contradictions; some are minor blunders, slips of the tongue, some are a bit more deliberate and manageable.
These experiences, the lesson on congruency and my own lack of it really got me thinking: how often am I sending the wrong message to prospects and customers? When are my actions not matching my words? I’m taking a hard look at how I interact with prospects and customers to make sure my integrity, passion and honest desire to help is what is conveyed, not only in everything I say but more importantly, in everything IDO.
Where are your incongruence’s? Have you noticed them in others and if so, what kind of impression did it leave on you about their credibility?
I look forward to hearing from you. Please click here to leave your comments. (And then scroll down to the comments section on the bottom of the page)