Monday, April 10, 2006

The ABC's of Networking: C is for Creativity

Best-selling author Tom Peters said it best; "You are either distinct or you are extinct!"

If you want to stand out from your competition you have to be creative. Too many people think that if they just do a good job they will be rewarded. These days doing a good job is just the price of entry.

To be distinct you need to look at what others in your industry are doing, and then do something DIFFERENT.

Many years ago there was a regional law firm who garnered national attention with their successful print advertising campaign featuring the managing partner's bull dog. It was so good that everyone inside and outside the legal industry knew about this firm and their not so cuddly mascot.

The response of their competition? Dozens of law firms immediately began having pets in their media. One firm announced they wanted to do something different with their ads. They wanted to feature the managing partners cat!!!

Do not just do what everyone else does. Look for new ways to entertain your clients in a manner they will always remember. One successful sales person who routinely brings clients to Broadway Shows always mails the tickets to the client with a copy of the musical CD. Lot's of sales people send many add in the gift of music? Who will be remembered?

Punch your way out of the box and find ways to be creative.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer


Jim said...

This could also be a "D", Differentiation. If you look at truly great organizations you see that there is something there that differentiates them from the competition. Differentiation in almost invisible, hard to replicate, and at the same time makes a significant difference. Look at Southwest Airlines. From the outside it appears that it hires “funny” employees, but if you dig deeper you’ll find that they have a culture that supports people being themselves, that’s the differentiating factor. Look at Nordstrom’s. Their employee handbook is four words long. “Use your best judgment”. Nordstrom’s isn’t the great company it is because of that handbook, it’s great because it has a culture that supports having a handbook like that. That’s the differentiating factor.


Jeremy Postal said...

I'm not sure that we can use creativity and "being different" synonymously?? Different seems to suggest "not related".
I agree that creativity is essential in networking but I don't think creativity means different. Perceived difference doesn't mean different.

Pure origniality is very rare (or non-existent); creativity is simply taking an idea and tweaking it to make it better so that it mak look, feel, or act different.

By way of example: sending tickets to a musical or sending music and tickets to a musical are really the same thing; Client appreciation. Different? No. A creative twist that highlights apprectiation a perceived difference? Yes.