It's interesting how the English language works and how we hear phrases repeated a number of times in close order. The term 'walk the talk' has come up as a major topic for me this last week in several ways ...
Last Tuesday, I was taking my latest group of clients through an exercise to describe their vision for their businesses for the next three years. I used myself as an example and got around to describing how I wanted my team to look and behave.
In other words, what we teach our clients is what we should always do ourselves. Why is it that important? To build trust in us as people and credibility in our methods. If we role-model our method and get the results we want, our clients can have confidence that this will work for them too.
At my Asentiv Partners meeting on Friday, we were discussing our core values. One of my top 3 values I had listed was to walk the talk and made the point that as that was a core value of mine, I have a low tolerance for people who espoused one thing for others whilst consistently not applying it to themselves.
For instance, we give our clients, as we do, a clear message of "Don't sell to the room" when networking. If we then rock up to the next networking event and back the novice networker at their first meeting into a corner with a one-way conversation about how the many features in our programme can save them time and money then that's selling to the room ... something I never, ever do.
It's usually unproductive anyway, but when that person hears me or any of my team espousing not to sell to the room, they will recognise the discord and be wary of trusting us. If we offer to meet with them and help them get started to build their network then we are definitely walking our talk, and enhancing our reputation at the same time.
Of course, the headline news in Britain since Friday has been full of very little else than a feeding frenzy of the British media when it became known that Dominic Cummings had travelled to Durham apparently ignoring the rules of lockdown ... a message he helped to create.
If not ignoring them, at the very least he was re-interpreting them in a way no others have done. What became obvious in the baying of, "Off with his head" from the front cover of every newspaper was what incensed people the most: his failure to walk the talk; to demonstrate that he believed the rhetoric of social isolation is necessary.
To provide an exemplary role model and gain solidarity with others who had sacrificed much-needed contact with family and close friends at a time when they needed it the most. Whatever the truth of the matter it certainly was, and still is, a major PR own goal for the Government.
Firstly, it will build trust between you and your contacts and secondly, it will demonstrate the effective behaviours that others can emulate with more power than simply saying, "You should do ..."
Lastly, people will pick up on your behaviours in any case, so you can decide whether you wish those to be positive and leading to increased business for both of you, or negative, which leads to ... wherever you were going. Your actions, as always, speak louder than your words.
Time for us all to walk the talk.
If you'd like to learn more about referral marketing then do give me a call on 07970 638857 and let's have a chat and see how I can help you.