The art of meaningful conversation.
Stop! Collaborate and Listen this coming jolly season.
December can be a busy time of year. Christmas is fast approaching and often cause for many events, as is the coming new year and looming deadlines for tasks we may have imagined finishing in 2017. For many of us, the calendar is filled with extra activity and certainly more networking than usual.
Thanks to The Collective Hub for the inspiration for this article “When was the last time you felt happy and fulfilled by a conversation? Even if you’ve had one good chat lately, you’ll probably agree that most of your conversations leave you feeling nervous or hungry for more meaningful interaction.”
This might seem super obvious, but try to really listen. Be present. Don’t multitask or look at your phone, around the room, or at anyone other than the person who is speaking. Try to not think of your rebuttal or follow up questions and just focus on what the person is talking about.
Stop talking about just business
Finding common ground builds rapport quickly and helps to make meaningful connections. Ask about their other interests, what they are looking forward to or goals for the future. You might even find there is space to add value by offering contacts or help.
Be mindful of the time you are talking about yourself, ask open-ended questions of others like:
“How did that feel?” or “What do you think of that?” or “Why did that happen?”
Have patience while other people speak. Slow down for that moment and enjoy the conversation. Learn to tell stories that engage: context, key characters, linear storyline and explain the conflict.
I always love to take a look at some of the world’s most valuable brands list, produced by Forbes every year… what they’re up to, what these super brands are focusing on, how they’re improving their brand and the customer experience, how they’re presenting their brand to the consumer and what’s changed over the twelve months.
The Forbes 100 Most Valuable Brands list for 2016 is interesting. The article talks about Apple’s dominance on the brand value front, all while revenue and growth has been coming to a crashing halt (I mean, we are talking about revenue of $50.6 billion here?!). The brand has dominated the ranking for six years straight. Go Apple.
Here’s a summary of the Top 25 Most Valuable brands for 2016, as listed by Forbes.
|Brand Value Rank||Company Name||Brand value ($)||1 Year Change||Company Ad Spend ($)|
I’m always interested though to see how else the data can be interpreted. So, I did a little number crunching with the top 25. If you look at the Company Advertising Spend, as a percentage of the total Brand Value – the list shifts significantly, with Oracle, Facebook and Cisco taking the top three positions.
|Brand Value Rank||Company Name||Brand Value ($)||1 Year Change||Company Ad Spend ($)||% Ad Spend vs Brand Value|
So what do you think Oracle, Facebook and Cisco doing to get better bang for their buck? They’re spending significantly less (as a percentage of their total brand value) on advertising – in fact all less than one percent – with Facebook gaining a massive 44 percent increase in value in one year alone…
What does it say about the advertising investment needed for B2B brands verses B2C, when ultimately, the top three are all focused on B2B?
What’s in store for Louis Vuitton in 2016/2017? Spending over 16 percent of its brand value on advertising? Or is that what happens when you’re a B2C brand? How do other luxury retail brands compare? It’s the only brand within it’s category to make the list – so that’s a good thing, no?
It’s all in the interpretation of the data.
How do you see it? Who do you think lands on top? I say this, typing onto my MacBook Air, with two apple keyboards and an iMac, an iPhone and an iPad all within reaching distance…
Let me know what you think!
The Measured Marketer