Mark Modesti

In any engagement, your client each pay a price for success. Your price is paid with labor — theirs with dollars.

The first task for a marketer is to find out what success means to the client.

Often it involves finding more of their best customers. Or, they may need clarity about how and who they serve in order to better communicate their value offer.

Whatever the case, they are paying you for an outcome, not expertise, time, or effort.

The price of success for you is to determine and deliver the optimal outcome for your client and keep it front and center throughout the engagement.

How effectively you uncover and execute the outcome is what will determine whether the client sees you as an investment or an expense.

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Common parlance says to live in the now. but it’s our abiding anticipation about the future that really propels us.

And our self-chatter gives away our predisposed attitude about the path forward.

Be wary of stuck-in-the-present words like “should” or “never” or “always.”

Avoid stuckness phrases such as, “I don’t know how.”

You can’t “know” your way into the future.

The language of the future is question-based. We ask our way forward with questions that prompt action despite uncertainty, such as:

What’s working?

What’s not?

What needs to change?

What are my limiting beliefs?

The best way to learn a new language is to practice it — preferably with those for whom it is their native tongue.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

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Tiny words can be huge levers.

For example, when your to-do list morphs into a not-getting-done list, your self-talk can turn on you and become a tangled knot of negativity around the word “can’t”.

“I’m not getting the important stuff done” becomes “I can’t do important stuff.” And, the knot gets cinched even tighter when the narrative shifts to, “I’m not enough.”

The irony is you can begin untangling those knots of negativity with another tiny word:

“Try.” As in, try something different:

Set a timer and knock out as many tiny tasks as possible.

Call a friend and ask about their problems if you’re tired of yours.

Take a long walk.

Write about what’s most important and why.

We all get stuck now and then. The point is to watch your words carefully — even the tiny ones.

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Are you in the business of changing people’s minds?

If so, it means you see something they don’t. Otherwise, why try to persuade them to change?

It also means you disagree, so your challenge is to become an effective contrarian.

Just as you can’t afford to ape your competition, so you cannot afford to agree with every opinion your client has.

In fact, you have an obligation to disagree.

They called you because what they’ve been doing up to now isn’t working as well as they’d like. So, assuming you’re qualified to help, make your opposing point(s) clear.

Rehearse your contrarian ideas and assert them tactfully.

Your clients deserve it.

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It’s one thing to have problems — we all do — but it’s another to decide which to engage and which to endure.

As soon as you take the trouble to engage, you face the challenge of mitigating your desire for ease and distraction.

Meaningful accomplishment is difficult. It’s the universe’s way of refining your motives.

The secret is, once you engage, you’ll eventually settle in. Like the youngster who loathes chores but soon begins whistling while she works.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

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It’s not them, it’s you.

There could be any number of reasons for a breakup with a client.

Scope creep.

They didn’t appreciate your work.

Disagreement over deliverables.

But when it boils down to it, there’s only one reason.

You.

You’re the one who initiated or accepted the invitation to be a trusted advisor. If you didn’t manage to earn and keep that trust, it’s on you.

Maybe the chemistry was off, or maybe there were external factors beyond your control.

Even so, it’s on you to clearly identify them and see to it you don’t miss those indicators next time.

Of course, all those reasons for the breakup are mere course correction signals, if you’re on a mission to serve your best-fit customer.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

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Evidently, marketing can be led in any number of ways.

Growth led

Product led

Sales led

Customer led

Purpose-led

Story-led

But first, shouldn’t we ask why grow? And grow what?

How about service-led marketing? How about first putting our heads together and deciding what kind of growth is most helpful?

Increasing sales revenue may be the default for what’s meant by “growth’” but it’s not always the default for what’s best.

Genuine organizational growth is inextricably tied to the people it serves — internally and externally.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

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Two authors whose work had, arguably, the biggest impact on the workplace in the last century are Frederick Taylor and Douglas McGregor.

Both their books were written more than 60 years ago, but their theses are evergreen.

Taylor and McGregor’s theories straddled opposite ends of a spectrum of organizational behavioral theory.

McGregor’s book, The Human Side of Enterprise (1960), introduced the X and Y theory of managing people. He espoused the Y theory, that people want to self-actualize, so appeal to that desire.

Taylor’s book, The Principles of Scientific Management (1911), took the opposite view. That is, people must be supervised continually and manipulated because… well… they’re lazy.

Modern Marketing operates on the same spectrum. Manipulation and control of the buying process vs. self-actualization of the buyer.

Same game.

Go with McGregor.

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