Dangling conversations

27Jun08

Seth Godin published an interesting post on what every good marketer should know called “What do you know?” I particularly like the 8th bullet point: Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.

As a solo librarian I work hard to maintain networks with others like me, so we can compare and/or share resources, ideas, service we’ve received from our vendors. These are the conversations that our vendors should be ensuring are the “right sort”, that is, passing along how great we think they are, and how they’ve gone above and beyond in some way. Sometimes they’re not. We’re human; sometimes we criticize the messenger just because we don’t like them or the way they do business.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s not our fault: there are those vendors who just don’t get it. They want me to purchase something they have to sell, and the pitch becomes all about them and not about me. Make it about me, and I’ll be far more receptive to your message. Now there’s a conversation I’d enjoy having!

Brenda says that “Seth Godin’s writing challenges me about to think hard about customer service. Sometimes the dialogue is awkward. Or there is misunderstanding and that is okay. What is important is the exchange of ideas and really listening. Listening is a hard skill to acquire because our own egos are interfering. We are often not really listening and understanding the underlying message from the other person. I would love to hear Godin speak in person and see if he is a dynamic public speaker. Not everyone is.”

Well, Brenda, I can tell you that after listening to Seth as the closing keynote speaker at SLA 2008, I would have to say he’s easily as dynamic in person as he is in print. His presentation was entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. I left thinking about all the things I do right, as well as being ready to brainstorm how to improve some of my weaknesses.

Now, who should I start my next conversation with?…

~ Karen

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