One might argue that if your business doesn’t remain on the cutting edge of relevance, it’s doomed to extinction (or at least lackluster performance over time).
Taken directly from my book Radical Relevance, here are the 17 Rules of Radical Relevance. Don’t follow them at your own risk.
The shortest route to relevance is through an introduction from a trusted source.
Leverage the effectiveness of borrowed trust.
Give your clients a seat at the table.
Never develop marketing messages or client-service plans without speaking to some of your clients. This is how you guarantee relevance.
Value is in the eye of the beholder.
It’s your job to determine, develop, and communicate your value in a way that will resonate with the prospects who are a perfect fit for your business.
Meet your prospects where they are.
Without knowing the context, you will run the risk of being less relevant or, heaven forbid, irrelevant. Do your research before you meet with people. Learn as much as you can from your referral source.
Only differences that matter, matter.
Why is your differentiation important and/or valuable to your clients? What is the benefit that your distinction brings to your clients?
Differentiation for differentiation’s sake is worthless.
The goal of creating differentiation is to create both perceived and real value to your prospects and clients. Being cute might catch the eye but being clear and compelling will win you more new clients.
Market to people.
If you are contacting someone in a B2C context, then you address the challenges and opportunities for that individual. In a B2B context, you want to address the challenges and opportunities at the level of the business AND the level of the individual.
Think solutions and benefits before promotion.
Before you promote your solutions, first focus on the transformation your offer creates for your clients. Spend 70 percent discussing the transformation and 30 percent on how you’ll make that happen.
Relevance begins with client obsession.
Radical Relevance starts with your obsession for knowing your prospects and clients better than you previously thought necessary, and certainly more than your competition does.
Differentiate between your different “personas.”
A “persona” is a profile of your ideal client. Don’t lump all of your personas into one group. Segment your marketing message based on the personas you’ve identified rather than on your products/services.
Know your own client-focused “why.”
Why do you believe in your value? What experiences or perspectives drive you every day and how does that impact and benefit your clients?
Know your persona’s “why.”
What motivated them to meet with you? What are the critical problems and/or most coveted opportunities in their life? What motivates them to take action?
Use more client-focused messaging.
Do your best to shift from using words such as we, our, they, and their – to more personal messaging by using words such as you and your. Adjust your website and LinkedIn profile.
Your prospects and clients demand relevance.
You should never reach out to new prospects without putting some effort into making your message as personalized (relevant) as possible. Learn what you can before you reach out to them for the first time. If you secure an appointment or a second phone call, devote more time to learning even more.
Your prospects and clients aren’t mind readers.
Never assume a prospect or client can read your mind and take the action you desire. If you want them to do something, ask them to do it. Use a call to action.
Test, test, test.
You can make certain assumptions based on your own experience and/or intuition, and what other experts suggest, but you’ll never know for certain until you test your ideas.
Resist the urge to expand your target.
The more you widen your market to become more inclusive with your messaging, the less impactful and effective your messaging will be. Segment your messaging. See Rule #10.
If you aren’t Radically Relevant, you’ll be ignored.
(And no one likes to be ignored.)
Related: Asking for Referrals and Getting Referred up with Maribeth Kuzmeski, PHD.