September 20, 2014

Persona Based Leadership

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The best reality show on TV right now for business owners is Undercover Boss on CBS where the CEOs of big companies are learning some valuable lessons by interacting with their rank and file while in disguise.

As a business owner, you have a leadership style. Unless you've worked at crafting your leadership style with training and intention, it's quite likely to simply be your natural style based on your personality type.

So, what's your personality type? Do you know it? I've been using a personality-based approach toward marketing for my clients for the past 6 years. We based our messaging and strategy around what we know to be true of people's decision making styles. We anticipate their questions and their actions.

Turn it around and point it back at yourself as a leader and you'll quickly uncover your strengths and maybe some areas where you are failing and don't know it yet. Yes, you'll identify your blind spots.

Bruna Martinuzzi has shared some great advice for leaders based on their personality preference for Extraversion or Introversion. (If you don't know your personality type try this free test. You're looking for the first letter in your 4-letter type…E or I.)

Martinuzzi's advice for Extraverted Leaders:

Circulate information ahead of a meeting. Provide as much written information as is feasible before a meeting so that introverted team members have a chance to reflect on the material in order to give you their best thinking.

And for Introverted Leaders:

Beware of voids created by non-communication. A void will be quickly filled by rumors, misinterpretations, and grapevine musings. Take the initiative to share information. Be inspired by Seth Godin’s exhortation that “the less people know, the more they yell” and make sure that you communicate early and often.

The entire article is a good read for a business owner. It gives 6 good tips for both types of leaders.

Prosound: On-Hold Messaging for Smart Business Owners

We launched a new client web site last week for ProsoundUSA.com, a company that specializes in improving the phone experience of your customers. Instead of just providing "on-hold messages" and those automated attendant systems that we've all come to hate, ProsoundUSA owner Chester Hull makes it his business to learn about yours BEFORE attempting to tell you what your message should be.

Chester-HullIn fact, he takes it one step further and will evaluate how your living, breathing, real-life staff is doing on the phones. His phone evaluation service costs just $149 and if it saves just one sale, would be worth it to most businesses. Followups include not only his message writing and production, but customized phone etiquette training for your staff.

I don't normally gush like this about clients, but Chester is a kindred soul to those of us who believe that building a brand is more than just a cool logo and a funny ad. Chester knows that a brand is built only at that place where the customer's world intersects with the business's world. The phones are often the very first point of contact.

If delivering an outstanding experience to your callers is important to your business, Prosound is your first stop. Take a listen to his on-hold message samples and you'll understand how he's different. And, be sure to subscribe to Chester's on-hold marketing blog, he's got a lot to say about your phones.

About the web site…

Chester hired Wizard of Ads Partner Paul Boomer and I to re-design his old site from the ground up using our Persona-based approach. As Chester will tell you, the effort of putting up a site using this methodology is about 80% under water.

That is, we spent a great deal of time getting to understand Prosound's customers and their motivations…what points of information are important to them and in what order. Only after we understood his business, could we begin to map out pages, sketch out designs and get to the point where most web developers begin their process.

Kinda sounds like the same approach Chester takes, huh?

Here's the "after" shot of Chester's site:

Prosound-After 

And…here's what it looked like before:

Prosound-Before

Ok…let's roll the credits:

PRO Convention in Portland

I_am_the_internet I just finished a week in Portland, Oregon delivering 5 presentations to the Photographic Research Organization’s convention. What a great group of dedicated retail store owners. I absolutely love the passion that locally-owned stores have for their customers. These folks get together each year for a very fast-paced meeting full of educational sessions, product information and a buying expo with all of the big manufacturers in the digital photography industry.

I gave presentations on Buying Word of Mouth, the Advertising Performance Equation, Persuasion Architecture and threw in a few fun tidbits as well like my Ad Budget Calculator.

I got a real kick out a TV campaign put together by Jerry Sullivan of Precision Camera in Austin. The ads cut to the heart of the challenge these people have in convincing us that they are the best places to buy today’s digital cameras. Have a look. The series of 5 TV spots spoof the "I’m a Mac" campaign. They’re all on YouTube.

Call To Action Seminar

Unbelievably, there are still a few open seats at next week’s Call to Action Seminar at Tuscan Hall in Austin.

I’ll be there and I hope to meet you there.

All of the details and a link to registration are after the jump.

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