What is the single best piece of marketing advice you have ever received?

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trust jump
Ken Larson
Ken Larsom

Now, that’s a question — and you can see some rather intriguing (and a few off-the-wall) answers in this Quora.com thread.

Ken Larson, a small business consultant serving clients seeking U.S. federal government contracting work, so far has received the most votes for his answer, where he advocates looking closely at the values and interests of your potential clients, and making sure that any of your marketing and business development work aligns with these values. Even if you have a better mousetrap, you won’t get very far until you can connect with your potential clients, win their trust, and then show you how what you have in mind associates with their inner values.

He wrote:

I had the privilege of experiencing a professor who conducted a course  on managing people for three days to our corporate management group.

For  those three days the instructor did not allow us to use the word, “Problem”. His message was that there are no such things as problems –   just situations that threaten or further peoples’ (or the corporate  culture values).

The Quora thread -- with several intriguing answers to the question
The Quora thread — with several intriguing answers to the question

Through a series of exercises, mock situations late into the night,  critical negotiation teams and value determination exercises he  demonstrated that his theory was absolutely correct and that if one  determines the values involved in a challenging situation, then develops  solutions that threaten or further them, one will motivate people to  take action.

I  used not only his theory, but his mode of presentation successfully   for 25 years thereafter. I never conducted a lecture course again,   interacting with business audiences perpetually instead, on a   participation and question and answer basis, and staying away from the   word, “Problem” like it was the plague.
Find what your management or those you are trying to influence value, present  a plan to threaten or further those ends and you will get action.
I used his advice and developed a program many of my clients use:

Value Based Marketing:

5 strategic questions:

1. Who is your client? (personal traits and proclivities)

2.  Where  is your client located in the organization and what role and authority does he or she hold?

3.  What  are the driving factors that will motivate the client to make a buying decision in your favor?

4.  How to best lead the individual client to the conclusion you wish them to make in buying your product or service?

5.  Why is your product or service the best to further the client’s personal value system and motives?

Now, in a practical sense, this form of marketing reaches closer to the business development level — you are focusing on individual potential clients and seeing to develop rapport and trust. Yet these concepts have validity when you think about the bigger picture of how you will approach and connect and introduce your product/service or concept to potential clients, even if they are so far outside of your direct vision.
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