Gary Vaynerchuk, a digital marketer, entrepreneur, and angel investor, gave the realest speech at the Synergy Global Forum this year. Launching into his topic on how salespeople, and for that matter, anybody, can tell their story clearly and engagingly in what is indeed a noisy world, Vaynerchuk offered no secret bullets for success. Instead, he honed in on 4 key traits that any human being in any industry can cultivate: Patience, Empathy, Humility, and Attention.
“You want to be a great salesperson?” he asked. “Think like the other person. Have empathy for what they care about. Put yourself in their situation.” The end goal of selling a service, a product, or a brand is often to make money, to prove a point, or to be better than the competition in some way. It is to benefit the seller with more of something. But Vaynerchuk says that’s not where you make the most money. “All the money is in being selfless.”
Empathy is a big part of being selfless and it is also part of what helps demand respect and trust for a brand. It is much easier to show respect to someone when you’re in the same room with them. But the internet provides multiple opportunities for people to speak their minds. Respect behind one’s back is what Vaynerchuk calls reputation. “Your brand is what you will trade on for the rest of your life.” This idea makes a good point about life in general. So often, people make comments online thinking no one will see it until someone actually does. It becomes much more difficult to defend or even live up to, hence, Vaynerchuk urged to, “Live your life on the record. Every action in today’s digital world is on the record.”
Sorry, grammy’s world was 50 years ago and what she may have gotten away with, we certainly won’t.
In such a technologically advanced society in which an effort is being made to integrate emotional intelligence, empathy is the cornerstone to getting and keeping an audience’s attention. “There is only one currency,” Vaynerchuk said, “And it is attention. Attention is the currency you’re trading on. Attention is the asset and then understanding how to communicate in the context of the asset becomes the game.”
Content is what everyone is after. The more content gets produced, the more opportunities there are to grab people’s attention. However, care has to be put into the way content is developed. It is no longer write, print, and deliver in 5 business days. It is now write and publish immediately within minutes. Vaynerchuk told the audience that content creation must be unique to grab the reader’s attention. Therefore, content must be created and recreated for different mediums. “The best hand sits in Facebook and among Instagram influencers. If you want to be successful in the coming months, wrap your strategy around these platforms.”
“The internet is the single biggest land grab moment of our time,” he said. “About 75% are underestimating this way too much.” The tactics used to get the information we need and to produce the information that other people want to read and watch are a commodity. “The mindset and the macro strategy of what is actually happening — that’s the punchline.”
But no one gets to reach the right audience deeply without humility and patience. “Never ever get high on your own supply.” Too many people want to get to success so fast to prove a point or to make fast money that they never really put in the necessary effort to get there and to sustain themselves if and when they get there. “Every time you try to do a move that’s fast,” Vaynerchuk warns, “you’re one inch closer to not getting there in the first place.” He added, “Build on legacy and deploy patience and you will have a disproportionate chance to win.”
Content creation, sales, marketing, storytelling, really anything in life requires a level of hungriness, hard work, humility, and patience. “The key to feeding yourself is patience,” Vaynerchuk said. “When you’re patient and realize you’re running a marathon, your perspective changes.”
In the game of sales as it is in the game of life, everything takes time, but time nor outcomes are our real responsibilities. “The work ethic is the punch line. The game is the lambo.”