How can ‘Being Human’ in Politics have any relevance to ‘Being Human’ in our businesses?
I am a big fan of Jeff Jarvis, author of ‘What Would Google Do?’ and his writing on BuzzMachine – where I’m never surprised to find many interesting posts about a wide variety of subjects ranging from privacy, being human, politics, being public (publicness), and many more random issues (I like ‘random’).
On May 18th (2010), Jeff wrote a post on BuzzMachine about our new Prime Minister, David Cameron and the transition from campaigning politician to PM and how, if at all, DC’s online activities would change or cease now that his slippers are in the master bedroom at No. 10.
In “Human in the throne?” Jeff refers back to the past couple of years (or more) of many ‘home videos’ David Cameron made but now asks:
“but will he talk with the people from the kitchen, as he used to? His last Webcameron video asks people to vote (you’d think he’d at least have one saying thank you). We haven’t yet seen the PM buttering toast. Will he? Can he?”
Well we’ll have to wait ‘n see about that but let’s just think about it for a second. If DC stopped doing videos, stopped sending his messages out via the web and reaching the masses of people for and against the Conservative party and/or coalition Government, then is he being a bit ‘2 faced’?
We could easily start to think that now he’s got the public vote (well, kind of) and he’s ousted Gordon Brown from his armchair at No. 10, that he thinks he has no further need for ‘keeping in touch’ or ‘being connected’ – ‘being human’.
This is where we find a link to how many businesses work and how the web gives us the opportunity to continue being connected.
Don’t Become ‘Friends’ Just To Make A Sale
Becoming someone’s best buddy while offering a bit of advice which is all geared toward ‘the sale’ is all fine and dandy as long as that help and advice is being given completely freely and without strings. But what d you do after the sale? What about after the hot topic is no longer hot. What about when you find a new best buddy?
Forgetting about your customer can be a costly mistake – especially when the web provides easy access to your customer by your competitor – and it can make the customer think of you as nothing more than a ‘salesman’.
Okay “You got the sale and now you’re not interested in me anymore”… But someone else may be interested. Someone else may send me some interesting updates and keep in touch with me making me feel like a valued customer (or voter) and give me the confidence, the peace of mind, that they (he / she) is going to be there for me no matter what – even long after they got the sale.
In this day and age if you are not committing to remaining in-touch by sending newsletters, writing blog posts, giving customers and non-customers the opportunity to ‘subscribe’, facebook updates, tweets and enabling connections via linkedin and YouTube etc., then your only commitment is to getting the sale – getting the vote – and that is simply not enough. It is not acceptable and it certainly will be seen as such by your target market.
You cannot stop communicating!
Dialogue and interaction must be sustained. And that means, whether your objective is to sell widgets or move into Number 10, your commitment must be to achieve long-term ‘connections’, continue to be ‘human’ and ‘real’ – and this goes way beyond getting the sale.