Tom, a champion of the knock-on-the-door and leave a brochure cold calling sales method, understands that his formerly fruitful sales tactics don’t work in 2017.

 He’s willing to exchange his brochure for video.
✔  He’s adopted digital and online marketing.
✔  He’s embraced change.

At a recent meeting, Tom told me he’s making videos to send to his new LinkedIn contacts. He’ll introduce himself and tell his online community who he is and what he sells. Afterall, starting with a me-centric message has always opened doors and built him a solid network.

But times have changed.

Throughout her book Coffee Lunch Coffee, Master Networker Alana Muller highlights the need to be them-centric in your business building activities. In her tips for making a great first impression, she states:

“Show genuine interest in your contact. Establish rapport. Ask questions and listen actively.”

When discussing the mastery of networking, Muller advises: “Lead with how can I help you?” and think “It’s not networking; it’s relationship building.”

In today’s global landscape of online and offline communication, business owners must be crystal clear on how to tell their story in a voice that resonates with the marketplace. Referral partners, vendors, customers and prospects should be able to identify with marketing messages that speak to their wants, needs and desires. That happens when you:

  • Offer products and services that target them
  • Respond to them
  • Engage with them, and, most importantly
  • Are inspired by them

Before you deliver your next sales pitch, develop your next relationship, close your next lead, make your next ask, first consider how you best serve them; is your message me-centric or are you growing your business with a them-centric mission?