Have you ever felt bad or unusual when one of your close colleagues would get a lot of attention during a meeting? I’m sure all of us do feel that way right? We all do need attention at some point in time, don’t we?. A guy/girl needs attention from his/her partner. A kid wants a parent’s attention. A businessman wants attention from his potential customers. Similarly, we all expect the right attention which is a natural human tendency!
Now the question here is, how to get people’s attention drawn towards you? What are the things or habits that can be adapted to get attention from people whom we desire?
Well! We tried to have a conversation with Tony Chapman who is basically a Canadian, and one of the passionate and youngest individuals who got accepted into the Marketing Hall of Legends. He is considered as one of Canada’s influential leaders on customer engagement and brand strategy who also founded, built, and sold two international communications agencies, and a renowned research firm which is a testament in itself.
Let’s take you through the journey with what Tony Chapman had to say regarding how to get your business the attention it deserves, people-bond-connection, being nice in business, and why people are scared of being too nice in business.
Avi Arya – Tony what makes a small business special?
I believe that the days of having something unique, what we used to refer to as a USP (unique selling proposition), and being the only one with it are over. Those days are done because there’s so much out there. There are so many ideas and what makes you special is not what you do, but what you matter. I’ll explain that!
See, I believe that the world has moved away from small business owners and entrepreneurs being the heroes and we want to think of ourselves as the next ‘Elon Musk’. That’s not our role!! Our role is to be more like Yoda.
If you watched Star Wars or read a story as kids about Cinderella, someone that helps others get to where they want to go. And if you think about it, if you think that your life calling, your purpose, your business, your passion everything that the end of a good day’s work is to help somebody get to where they wanna go, identify something that was bothering him/her, fulfilling an unmet need, making them feel more confident, making them feel like they’re standing on firmer ground, giving him a product that one would feel healthier for. That’s it! That’s your calling and that’s a good day’s work which has nothing to do with money.
I’ll answer this in another way. I’ve always said this to everybody I’ve interviewed with, everybody I’ve talked to. There are three kinds of wealth in this world
If you go outside in this world to chase just financial wealth, you’ll never find it! Because you’ll never be wealthy enough, but if you chase intellectual wealth (a stimulating environment, curiosity, and hiring people smarter than me) and emotional wealth (I like being around these people. I’m serving others and helping them) and get those right, all the financial wealth you could ever dream of will come pouring to you. You cannot just start with money.
Avi Arya – So, when you say to surround yourself with people who are better than you, have a company of people who will never let go of your dreams and desires. Is it everything about people who you are around?
Absolutely! David Ogilvy, who is a very famous entrepreneur in the advertising space which is very ego-driven where you can meet the creative director wants to sound the most creative person in the world. They have a huge award competition and all those stuff but what David Ogilvy said was, “Hire giants, you will become a gigantic company!”. He used to send Russian dolls to his new hires and he said, “You’re not at the top, you’re the little doll in there to make others big”.
It was a powerful statement because we get so caught up especially when we are entrepreneurs and people start writing articles about us, and we’re on podcasts, and magazine covers, and that we really believe it’s us. The best entrepreneurs realize they play a very important role when it comes to vision, animating the vision, their ability to raise capital, etc., but it’s the team that they surround themselves with are the bigger ones.
Avi Arya – Is it okay to be nice in business?
Oh absolutely! You need a higher purpose than thinking about just profit. Have to believe that you’re gonna make a positive impact. It could be a neighbor next door, could be the main street that your business is on, it could be a community, it could be the planet or it could be just people that come to work for you.
Well, Steve Cadigan was on my podcast the other day and he said “You know, think about hiring an employee and when they leave, don’t get angry! Think about when they come there, how can I make them a better employee when they leave me. Change your whole mindset! It’s not about what I’m gonna get from you while you’re here, it’s about how I can make you a better employee so that when you leave, you can go to a better place.”
That’s where nice comes in. A ‘nice’ is not about “I’m gonna try to be nice and smile at people and get to know their names”, nice is actually to care about every employee and you know when you start your business at the beginning, you would know every employee, their names, their spouses, name of the kids, and you’re probably a godfather to them and you would go to their weddings. But, as a company gets bigger and bigger, you eventually ignore the needs of some of those employees you’re not quite sure about because it has got big so fast.
Now that’s your ability to say in front of an audience “I love the days when there were ten of us and I knew everybody and their spouses, but now we went from 70 to 90 in the last month and I just can’t keep up. I just wish I could, but I would like to make a point that anytime you like to come by my office, the doors are open. Stop in! I don’t care about what you’re doing, I care about who you are.” and when you start having that interconnection with people, and you’re involved in who they are and where they’re going in life, that’s not just being nice, that’s being a human being!
And then, you start seeing a person as a human being not just an employee, that’s to me what being nice is.
Avi Arya – So what’s your take on people feeling scared of being too nice in business?
You got to hire people that have a soul! Whether you’re nice or not, if you hire somebody that’s gonna run over you, they’re gonna run over you one way or the other. They will steal from you, take advantage of you, discredit you, and will leave the company.
Hiring is the most important thing you can do even more important than raising capital or finding customers. Think of a restaurant. They might be the best person in the dish pit. They are so good and make sure every plate is beautifully cleaned. They take pride in their work. A very important part of your operation is that if a dish comes out dirty, your restaurant fails. But it’s the ones that you bring on your team that really are adding value, they’re feeling part of their dream.
Avi Arya – What is growth in your terms? How do people grow in business?
Well, the first mistake that I see a lot of entrepreneurs make is they think their time is free. People don’t wanna hire somebody because they think it’s gonna cost them money. So what they do is, they start going from when they had all the time to envision the idea in trying to execute the idea, and now they get themselves so buried in their own nutshell because they are afraid to invest in other people and that’s the first mistake.
So the first thing is you gotta hire talent! You have to find a way to have the courage because growth is also somebody seeing something that you didn’t even see. The sooner and closer you get to your idea, the more times you pitch it with your capital, the more times you show your revenue line and you just believe that’s your business. The business is a living organism and the beautiful thing about a business is you can have other people come in and help shape it.
Avi Arya – What is the advice you want to give to the budding entrepreneurs on how to get fired up/pumped up and keep their energy levels high?
It is such a great question! People will join you because they want to be led with positivity. We are so missing Gandhi, we are so missing Nelson Mandela in this world. We’re so missing these leaders who decided that we can win in the middle ground with peace and passion. We don’t have to push people. You got to be that. You got to be in your own little world.
What Gandhi did to unify your country. What Nelson Mandela did for South Africa. He could have easily come out and said “I’m gonna destroy every white person in South Africa for what they’ve done for me.” But he said, “No! We’re gonna work together and build a better South Africa”. Be that person in your own little world.
Storytelling is an art form that is used to attract and engage potential clients and get the desired attention.
Because it brings people together and keeps them engaged and intrigued, storytelling can bring your business to life, whether you’re selling vehicles, training tools, or apparel. An engaging story will keep your audience’s attention and etch your brand more clearly in their thoughts. When told correctly, a story can help you capture the attention of customers and keep them coming back.
Please share your valuable comments in the comment section and let us know how this article has helped you in changing your perspective about small businesses and the attention they deserve.
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