Where Leadership and Marketing Meet

What does your business do to connect with current buyers and make inroads with prospects?

One of the maxims described in John C. Maxwell’s best-selling The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is the Law of Connection, in which Maxwell asserts that leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand. Upon re-reading that powerful piece of advice, I immediately made a connection between good leadership practices and successful marketing initiatives. This connection is described quite succinctly by Mark Coudray, a long-time contributor to Screen Printing magazine, in an article he wrote for the December 2006 edition of the magazine (click here to read it).

The article offers the following counsel to print shops that want to position themselves as leaders in very specific markets:

People are often emotionally connected to what they believe in.... The people who buy products in a niche market realize the product and the value of the product are aimed specifically at them. The value to them is clear, and they reward the niche marketer with better profit margins because their emotional wants influence them to pay a higher price for goods and services. Psychologically speaking, you're satisfying the need of the market for recognition, and you're providing the communication vehicle they'll use to show the world exactly what's important to them.

Coudray then discusses the value of donating portions of proceeds from garments designed for niche markets directly to non-profits that are active in those market spaces:

One thing about local donations is that when you get going locally with a nonprofit, you'll develop a powerful grassroots referral and advocacy for your efforts. The more third-party endorsements and testimonials you develop, the more you'll sell to your specialized market. Keep track of your donations. They can become sizable, quickly giving you added marketing clout. When you say that combined sales of your graphics have resulted in local donations totaling more than $10,000 last year, you get the attention of anyone even vaguely interested in raising money. You can then leverage the efforts to create seasonal editions.

Both of these excerpts demonstrate the power of touching a heart before asking for a hand—particularly when asking for a hand filled with money. What does your business do to connect with current buyers and make inroads with prospects?

View more from this Screen Printing issue