The secret of making a lasting impression on people and building brand YOU
Nothing is more disarming and meaningful as a sincere hug. Perhaps you know that Americans are among the most hugging folks around, but normally we reserve this for family members and friends. Why are you not hugging your customers, vendors, and employees though? If loyalty and a personal brand is what you are after, then you do need to read and think a little more about this.
You think I am crazy? Perhaps that is so, but I know of at least one business leader who successfully embraced the concept of hugging all his stake holders. I have had the pleasure and honor meeting Jim Gilbert from Wheels and Deals in Fredericton Canada. At a minimum he and his associates behave in a hug-worthy way; all the way to a big hug.
So what is it that makes this hugging concept so powerful? Here are five snow globe stirring trains of thought:
- Hugging disarms. Personal contact is exactly that. You have got to feel pretty comfortable in your own skin and abilities for one. On the other hand, you have to have respect for the other person too. Finally, it needs to be a mutually felt sentiment in order to be genuine.
- Hugging builds trust. Repetition is king here. Hug someone once is one thing, do it over and over again, and you build a lot of trust. When you build trust you pave the way for predictable outcome. It totally rocks in our social and business setting.
- Hugging shows empathy. If you “mean” your hug (oh yes, you can sense this one) than you will not be able to help yourself. You will feel empathetic about the other person and your thinking and reacting pattern will have changed with it.
- Hugging forms a deeper connection. The deeper connection paves the way for a long lasting, sustainable, and more loyal relationship. Do not trust me on this, listen to Jeffrey Gitomer’s points here (Video, watch out for sec 57). His book “Customer satisfaction is worthless , customer loyalty is priceless” ; I highly recommend it.
- Hugging sets you apart from the competition. Here comes the part where you can totally make this concept your own. Will this work in any given market or industry? I think so, but you will need to make sure that it is genuine. At this time – although the concept is anything but new – you can own the market with this. In fact your marketing manager (in your social setting that is you) will love the concept: it is a great market differentiator.
I sure hope you get to meet Jim and his folks sometime. If not, I owe and offer you a free hug. I have become a hugging convert. Think about how much loyalty means to you. Long term, organic, and sustainable relationships start with a hug and they build your brand like nothing else.