Monday, June 6, 2016

A Shark in Sheep's Clothing

Sharklike companies scare clients off.

So it's heartening to see a venture capital firm so self-confident it's willing to empathize.

Rare for the breed, First Round telegraphs amity at every juncture.

The firm, for example, advertises on its website the 80 events it sponsors every year.

It doesn't push a calendar of dates and locations, but instead explains why events have value:

Starting a company is lonely, and founders have to make difficult decisions every day with imperfect information. In our experience, the best safety net is the advice and experience of fellow entrepreneurs.

The firm's gentle touch then assures sheepish clients participation will pay off:

Whenever we get members of our community in a room, magic happens. That’s why our Knowledge Program’s robust events—ranging from cozy dinners to major summits—are designed to get real, vulnerable conversations started. People leave with new ideas and actions they can apply immediately to keep growing and getting better. You won’t find any stick-on name tags here—we hate them.

How about you? Is your website all facts and mission talk? Or do you show clients you understand their fears?

When you evidence a bit of empathy, you boost your effectiveness. As direct marketer Hershell Gordon Lewis advises:

"If we can avoid becoming so wrapped up within the cocoon of our organization’s purpose, goals, and means of recruitment, effectiveness has to go up. So as best you can, you should apply this litmus test to any messages you’re considering sending: If I were receiving this message, not sending it, would it motivate me to respond? 

"See how easy? See how rare?"
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