Are your arms too long?

Despite all the tools and tactics that have evolved over the years, most deals are closed because there is personal chemistry between the parties. The buyer simply likes the seller. Yes, even in the “sterile” and prolonged B2B buying cycle, closing deals usually comes down to the personalities of the individuals involved. So why, then, do so many business people keep their personality out of their marketing? Why do we feel the need to keep our prospects at arms’ length?

The company line certainly has its place in marketing and branding, but marketing today, like so many other facets of our culture, is becoming less formal. Most Westerners have become comfortable with a somewhat casual approach to business. Did you know that just 6 percent of American male workers wear a tie on a daily basis? So why are B2B marketers so rigid in their customer-facing communication efforts? When it comes to social media, this is a sure recipe for disaster.

Look at commentator Andy Rooney, columnist Dave Barry and social media entrepreneur Peter Shankman. They’re endearing because they expose their genuine personalities. The same will hold true for your tweets, blog posts, comments and online content.

Social media demands not only transparency, but authenticity. And while guidelines for blogging and other social media activities are fine – and even necessary – I’ve never seen regulations that excluded personality.

My Twitter bio reads, “B2B PR pro, former journalist, highly skilled curmudgeon, dad.” Only one part of that lines up with Schubert’s company brand as a sales-centric marketing agency. But it is who I am, and ultimately that will sell the agency when the time comes to close a deal.

Don’t keep your prospects at arms’ length. Open up your marketing persona and you’ll be hugging new clients.

Rich CarangoCarango_color is president of Schubert Communications. Starting at Schubert in 1994, Rich now heads the agency in creating effective IMC campaigns, PR campaigns, advertising, brochures, direct mail, logos, websites, multimedia and content. Rich holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in design from American University. When Rich is not in the office he enjoys spending time with his wife and children and is a huge history buff.

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