Independent Thinking Blog

Talking Enchantment: 6 Takeaways From Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki is a born marketer. But he’s also an entrepreneur who’s smart, personable, answers his own mail (and his tweets too), and is at times utterly enchanting.

Kawasaki came through Washington last week on his Enchantment book tour, dropping off books for everyone and sharing his tips for how to enchant people. He offered a lot of great advice–and I thought I’d share my top 6 takeaways.

1. Don’t under-dress or over-dress. Instead, assess the occasion and dress in a way that says “we’re peers.” (Of course, even if a company is business casual doesn’t mean you should show up in khakis for an interview or that first business meeting.)

2. Trust your customers. Amazon, for example, lets you return an e-book for up to a week. Potomac River Running suggested I take my new running shoes home and try them out on a treadmill. Guess where I don’t shop: companies that have restocking fees on returns.

3. Think mantra, not mission statement. When did you last buy a product or donate to a cause because of buzzwords and other blather? Kawasaki’s advice: use “short, sweet, and swallowable” language.

4. Nobodies are the new somebodies. I’ve quoted Kawasaki on this before, but it is worth repeating: you have to “enchant all the influencers.” Focus too much on titles, and you just might miss the person with the real influence.

5. It’s not about parts. Storytelling matters–and so does how you tell your story. Kawasaki pointed out that talking gigabytes is meaningless; telling me how many songs (or photos or videos) I can store provides context. I’m reluctant to purchase a Verizon mobile broadband plan, for example, because no one there can tell me how much 3 GB, 5 GB, or 10 GB correlates to how I use the Web.

6. Enchant down. Kawasaki said that you have to “be willing to do the dirty jobs” so others know you don’t think you’re better than they are. There’s a whole TV show built around doing the grunt work. Enchanting down actually goes hand-in-hand with #4, as they’re both about valuing people.

What’s your best tip for being enchanting?

Photo by Unlisted Sightings (Flickr).

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