Pay attention to earn more attention


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kelly on human attention
Creative Commons License photo credit: Will Lion

Today I wanted to do a bit of a reprise of an old post: Is your marketing both interesting and interested?. If you haven’t seen it then do check it out.

Anyway, the reason that I wanted to do this was twofold:

  1. Seth Godin posted this the other day: Interesting & Interested. I think it’s great when you see similar ideas talked about and spread by great commentators such as Seth.
  2. I was giving a talk (sharing a few stories) about networking to a bunch of entrepreneurs and professionals on Monday and we were discussing the best ways to network and build relationships. This is where the Interested and Interesting dynamic came up again most recently.

What were talking about was how to build better relationships with your network, your customers, your suppliers or partners and how you could combine offline and online activities and tools to help.

In his pithy post, Seth says that it helps to be both interesting and interested if we are to earn someone’s attention. But then goes on to ask, if it’s so obvious, then why is it so difficult?

For me, one of the key components to being interested in someone, such that you gain their attention and trust, is that you have to really listen to them. But, therein seems to lie the problem. if we think about how we are taught…….taught in school, taught how to market our businesses, taught how to network, as Martin Hill-Wilson across at BrainFoodExtra in his Customer Listening series asks:

“Can you remember ever being taught how to listen?”

It’s a great question and I’m not sure we are taught how to listen very well. Looking up ‘listen’ in the dictionary shows that a key component is ‘to pay attention’. Therefore, it seems that in order to earn attention we have to pay attention.

I mention this in my talk on Monday and a couple of the entrepreneurs and professionals piped up and asked for some tips on how best to do this. Here’s some ideas that I’ve used in the past that have helped me:

  • Whoever you want to build a better relationship with…… some research on them
  • Find out/Think about what they might need or what challenges they might be facing
  • Find, share or produce something that they will find useful and send it to them saying ‘I saw this and thought of you’ or “I saw this and thought you would find it interesting’
  • Ask their opinion on something and really pay attention to what they say, understand from what they say if there is anything you can do to help them further and, if there is, do something about it
  • Introduce them to someone that you think they would find useful
  • Invite them to an event that you think they would like.

Can you think of other ways to pay attention that has earned you attention?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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