If swapping out just a single word in your vocabulary would create enormous positive change in you and those around you – massively shift attitudes and perspective for the better – would you do it? It will take discipline and consistency to normalize the new word, and it will feel awkward at first. So…would you make the change?
You just need to start using the word for in place of other prepositions like in and to.
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For example, when composing your team or company mission, you might be tempted to write something like “Our goal is to be the best digital marketing company in the world.” This may sound positive, but inherently it says there is a contest out there that we will win…we will be recognized…. we will be respected. Being the best in the world….is about you.
But with one tiny change, your goal becomes being the best digital marketing company for the world. It becomes about them. It morphs from self-aggrandizement and recognition to generosity and service.
All day long, sales teams and the in-house marketing, technology and client service folks who support them focus on building and delivering the things that we can sell to the customer. Small wonder that so many sellers feel a sense of creeping unease in their customer relationships; who wants to be thought of as a seller when selling seems to mean taking?
With the same tiny language change, we turn the whole thing around. Instead of selling to the customer, we’re selling for the customer…. building for the customer… creating for the customer. The relationship is no longer a transaction we hope to win, no longer a beauty contest in which we hope to end up with the crown. It becomes about the work. About deserving the client’s trust, respect and – ultimately — their investment.
In an age of ubiquitous video and visual overkill, this focus on words may seem dated. But words matter. And in the culture you’re aiming to create and the career you are aspiring to enjoy, your words will either work against you…or they will work for you.
This Drift was inspired by my good friend Charlie Thomas, legendary seller and digital sales executive who has always been a great source of inspiration and ideas.