As I jockeyed the talk radio stations and perused the news stories this morning, I noticed that our wonderful national leaders were meeting in an extended overnight session last night, debating the Iraq war policy. In what appears to be little more than a Democrat inspired promotional stunt, the Senate talked, debated and as usual, accomplished little, if nothing at all.
Talk has to mean something. Conversations must be inspired. Participants must be motivated. In true conversation, each party must put aside personal vendettas, self-interest and pre-conceived notions if there is to be true communication and a worthwhile end result. It is rather obvious that this seldom happens in the political arena. Perhaps Congress should adopt an Age of Conversation mentality, involving all media and individuals with something to contribute. We have a lot to say!
As with politics, successful business transactions require successful communications. Salespeople and entrepreneurs need to be paying attention, listening to their customers, prospects and marketplace. We need to become active listeners and participants in conversation, asking the questions that will enable us to better serve our customers. We simply cannot throw information out into the market via web sites, direct mail and brochures and expect sales success. We need to be personally involved with our market and our customers.
Seth Godin wrote today of Letters, Brochures and Email, each serving a specific function in business. He states, "Direct mail has a job to do... you send the letter and you get the sale (or you don't). Brochures rarely lead to a sale. They lead to a sales call. Email (sent with permission) has a different function. Its job is to get a response. To move a conversation forward." The email is the personal aspect of the campaign, relying upon some established relationship to instigate action.
Utilize the marketing tools you have designed to get your message out to the marketplace, while using the art of conversation to sell and close the deal. Like politicians, if we stop listening and act upon our own agenda, little will be accomplished.
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