During the holidays, I always think about Santa Claus and what a huge job he has every year picking out and delivering the right gifts to the right kids.
His sales territory is vast, the timeline aggressive.
Think about the pressure he faces each season as he leaves Mrs. C. and the elves behind, harnesses Rudie and the reindeer, fires up his sleigh and flies off to unload his bag before kids wake up on Christmas morning.
Even with the help of those elves, you have to figure that he’s a pretty stressed-out guy
Santa juggles multiple priorities, yet he meets the challenge year after year.
He’s timely, stays on top of deadlines, works efficiently and sustainably; minimizing his environmental footprint.
Like many of us, Santa is an entrepreneur; he has run his own successful enterprise for years. He’s stayed on top of his industry, adapted with the times and retained his position as a thought leader.
Santa’s apparently a great boss because he’s kept the same loyal team for as long as anyone can remember. We never hear of discord, threats to unionize or even of any turnover among the elves.
We could all take a page from Santa’s marketing plan:
He listens to make sure that he fully understands what each child is longing for. As business owners, listening to our clients is the most important part of our jobs. Forget about endlessly rattling on about your products and services because no one cares. Instead, identify that elusive pain point and your solution.
Just as Santa looks forward to the cookies and milk that we leave him each year, we should be doing something to show our clients how much we appreciate them. Think about little things. Forwarding an article that’s particularly relevant. A birthday card or Paperless Post. Handwritten thank-you notes. Being thoughtful never goes out of style.
Consistency and credibility.
Christmas is about believing, and Santa has raised the bar. He shows up every single year, regardless of weather, natural disasters, politics or illness. His indelible brand is that of trust and reliability. As a result, he’s killed the competition. Year after year, he’s the one kids turn to when the holidays roll around.
Keeping up with technology.
I don’t know how he does it, but Santa stays on top of the trends. It may be his holing up at the ‘Pole and carefully reading heartfelt letters from millions of kids that helps him stay current.
He has Facebook and Twitter pages, knows that savvy kids may have less interest in books and dolls when they can be playing with budget-busting digital and artificial intelligence devices.
In the same way that Santa Claus stands out from the crowd, we need to help our clients gain their own competitive advantage.
Just like Santa, our goals should be building customer loyalty and accountability. The great thing is that if we’re successful at helping our clients grow their businesses, we also will be growing our own.