Whisper When You Want to be Heard
The other day Mike Huckabee was trying to out “loud speak” Donald Trump. It seems that Trump’s shoot from the hip, no filter between brain and mouth style is being tried out by Huckabee. It didn’t go so well. I prefer the opposite approach, although I am certainly not a master of it.
Thirty years ago when I was living in Ross, Ohio, my next door neighbor was the sales manager for the largest Nissan dealership in Cincinnati. He was a very successful sales manager and had become that sales manager after being Nissan’s top producer years. The surprising thing is, he was a very quiet man. He was not the typical loud, gregarious salesman. In fact he was very soft spoken. So soft spoken in fact, that even as a young man with good hearing, I would have to stop doing what I was doing just to listen to him. Which I think may have been the tactic that made him so successful.
One day I mentioned to him that I was surprised that his quiet voice and retiring demeanor served him so well in his business. He told me something I never forgot. He said, Gregg, “Whisper when you want to be heard”.
This is, in fact, is very true (except apparently, for the 2016 Presidential Campaign!). Often you will stop what you doing and pay more attention to a whisperer. Those of you that know me personally know that I am not a “whisperer”, but I know many successful businessmen that are, and I do know that a loud presentation does not make up for a lack of content or delivery. I do, however, know many people who will agrue otherwise – and argue loudly, presumably.
I consider my marketing methods to “web-centric”. This is my version of the “whisper to get heard” strategy. When the Fort Myers Newspress, our local paper, had more four color full page ads for new real estate developments than I have ever seen in my life – any where, any time, at over $5000 a shot; I would “see” many of them every week, but more often than not, I didn’t even read them. In fact, I am certain that most people’s eyes glaze over when they see them. You see, theses ads SHOUT, they don’t whisper.
I had been thinking about this “whisper” topic for weeks now watching the drama unfold in the presidential race – every time I open Google News, or see the dozens of bill boards and the TV ads. I know they serve their purpose, but I also believe that a well targeted message with strong content and believable presentation is more effective, as least in the targeted approach of the web. In fact, the pros tell me that large white space around a small ad is more effective. Just look at Googles landing page – all white with just a space to type your search term.
Next time you are in a negotiation or a discussion, try pausing, lowering your voice a few notches, and quietly and with determination, state your case. I think you will be surprised with the increased attention and response you will get.