Getting Attention vs. Getting Respect

March 25, 2009

respectMake an impression.  That is the goal.  Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a company, or just a person at an event or party.  But how?

Be different. I have referenced Seth Godin a number of times when I talk about the need to stand out and be different.  But it is very true, and he says it the best (and most often).  No one will ever notice you if you are the same as everyone else.

But here is the catch, there is a difference between getting respect and just getting attention.

Getting attention can help you get in the door. It can make potential clients and customers aware of your existence.  It can start a conversation.  But it doesn’t necessarily lead to success.

The guy who trips over the carpet in the middle of a crowded party might get my attention.  The company that offers a free car to the winner of a contest might get my attention.  But neither of those means anything in the long run.

Getting respect, in a business sense, means having a brand that makes people take notice. In a personal sense, it means that people genuinely understand you, and appreciate your point of view.

Getting respect leads to success.  It means, not only did you get their attention, but you did it in a creative and fashionable way, and you were able to keep their attention after the initial wave of awareness died down.

Getting respect means long term clients, it means brand loyalty, it means word of mouth marketing and referrals, and it means a corporate culture that stands for something.

Next time you have something to say, or you’re in a position to start a conversation, go for respect.  Start with something unique, something creative, and something that stands out.  But be sure to follow up with something real, something of substance, something powerful and meaningful.  The business, or person, that does this, will pave the way for lasting success.

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