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Marketing Success Is All About Good Social Skills

I talk about the importance of using marketing to create connections all the time. But I suddenly realized that if you don’t have good social skills, creating connections and enjoying marketing success is pretty much a mission impossible.

 

What is marketing success anyway?

 

This could be a long-winded answer involving strategy, your target market, product fit, brand messaging, various channels, sales goals, margins, acquisition costs and so on. So I’m going to revert back to basics.

 

Marketing success means you are building trust with your ideal client. Once people trust you, they will buy from you, talk about you and recommend you to others. Those solid relationships are priceless.

 

Once those relationships are in place, the social proof (in testimonials, case studies, mentions) will propel your company’s growth and fuel your sales and revenue.

 

It all starts and ends with creating connections. Which brings me to my next point.

 

The building blocks for social skills

 

Some people are born with social skills, but many of us aren’t. Social skills can be learned, you just need to have the awareness to realize, oh wait, I need to learn this. This is tricky, because self-awareness is a hallmark of emotional intelligence (EI), and you must have strong EI to have strong social skills.

 

So, let’s begin our discussion with EI, the building blocks for social skills.

 

The grandaddy of EI is Dr. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and prolific author who is widely recognized as the foremost expert on EI. He breaks EI down into five complementary categories:

 

Self-awareness

 

Self-awareness means being able to identify your emotions and why you feel the way you do in any given situation. I only developed this skill nine years ago, at the age of 37 (better late than never!).

 

Having self-awareness has been life changing for me. I no longer get angry or upset for minor reasons. I stop, assess the situation and then respond appropriately.

 

The first time I realized I was self-aware was when my kids woke me up one morning to tell me they spilled milk all over the carpet while they were watching cartoons. Instead of freaking out and yelling at them, I said, “Well, let’s clean it up then.” And that’s what we did.

 

Self-regulation

 

Self-regulation is an extension of self-awareness. You not only understand your emotions, but you can manage them as well.

 

In my story above, you can see how I was able to self-regulate. At work, it’s important to apply self-awareness and self-regulation to developing and maintaining relationships with prospective clients and current clients. If you are challenged about pricing or receive an angry email from a long-time client, you’ll be able to respond with a level head.

 

Motivation

 

Rather than external motivation (like money), Dr. Goleman talks about internal motivation with respect to EI. In this case, it means you are self-motivated to create or continue projects.

 

This is another important trait for all business owners and leaders to have, not just when it comes to marketing. Money will only drive you for so long. Once you have, say, plenty of money in the bank for retirement, you could quickly lose interest in work, keeping your clients happy and finding and delighting new ones.

 

Empathy

 

Unfortunately, empathy is in extraordinarily low supply in our society. It means tuning into others’ feelings and giving them the space and understanding to respond. (This short video from Brene Brown does a beautiful job illustrating the concept.)

 

When you employ empathy with clients, it means you understand why your client sent that angry email. On a marketing level, empathy allows you to put on and walk a mile in your clients’ shoes. In other words, it allows you to connect with others on a deep level.

 

Socialization

 

Socialization describes how you manage relationships and navigate social situations. It means you understand how to get where you want to be with other people. (This reminds me of Dale Carnegie’s classic business book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which I talk about below.)

 

This is so important for marketing. You need to know how to build those relationships. Without socialization, you’ll be surrounded by abandoned, tattered or weak relationships.

 

Now that we’ve covered EI, let’s move onto the social skills

 

The social skills most relevant to marketing

 

Marketing begins by creating a connection and grows into building relationships. So let’s talk about how to make friends.

 

Listening

 

Dale Carnegie writes about how important it is to ask questions, listen and mirror others (both the words they use and body language they display). We are own favorite subjects. Tap into that!

 

Listening uses self-regulation to take in information with reacting. It uses motivation to get started, and it uses empathy to understand where the other person is coming from.

 

I can’t emphasize how critical listening is for marketing success. You can help others if you don’t listen for the need first.

 

Showing up

 

If you’re going to make friends and develop a relationship, you need to put yourself out there. As an adult, this could mean chatting with neighbors, taking a class or joining a club. If other people show interest in you, follow up.

 

Self-awareness informs how you feel about making friends and why you want to do it. Motivation gets you to take action. Empathy allows you to connect with potential friends, and socialization ensures you manage relationships.

 

In marketing, find out where your clients are hanging out, and spend time there. Start conversations. When they show interest in you, invite them to a Zoom or in-person coffee. Show up, and follow up.

 

What other social skills do you think are critical for marketing? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

In the meantime, if you are struggling to build and maintain relationships with your ideal client, drop us a line. We can set up a 60-minute consultation and talk through your challenges and potential solutions. You can reach us here.

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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