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Winning Hearts and Minds

Winning Hearts and Minds

Focus on “just the facts” and you just might miss the point. Especially in a consumer business that competes with often unpatented commodity products or services, focusing equally on rational and emotional factors is key.

It takes both rational and emotional connectors to move us ('us' the human species) from talking to doing. As a supplier to your client, or boss to your team, you can't be fully effective unless you consider both.  When working with retailers and suppliers, I build engines for profitable growth, and fuel a passion for success – I align and win “hearts and minds”. Think about winning hearts as sincerely as you do checking facts and winning minds, lest you appeal to emotions insincerely and allow a lie to destroy your reputation and your business.

A year ago I conducted extensive retail research across the U.S. and factory research up and down the east coast of China. I delivered a presentation of the “riddle solved” – a rational business model with all six sides of the rubix cube (product function/style, price/margin, consumer needs/wants, retailer demands, factory capabilities, and logistics parameters) magically aligned. The client was impressed. A significant business was born. Action points were clearly and logically expressed. Then action stalled.

Until we focused on fueling a passion for success. Just when we aligned internal cultural needs with the business model, and overcame fears and made people feel confident about next steps, the new business became reality at warp speed. Now, the rational business model found its way into the human nature and hearts of team members, and buy-in ignited the business for take-off. Now, a staggering amount of containers are flowing through retail stores into consumers’ homes.

Next time you focus on “just the facts”, remember that business is all about aligning both worlds (the head and heart, the analytical and creative). Some excel at the mechanics, others understand how people behave and feel – to succeed in consumer business surround yourself with people who master both.

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