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American Marketing Association - Cleveland Chapter. The premier association for marketers in Northeast Ohio.

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Market Yourself As A Great Listener

Josh Womack

Anyone who watches a lot of college and pro football frequently hears the broadcasters say: "This quarterback makes everyone around him better." Every time I hear this I ask myself, "How does this carry over into careers outside of pro sports?"

As we all get older we realize that it's less about us and more about the impact and legacy you leave. For your 2016 New Year's Resolution, why not try to pass on the knowledge you've gained in your marketing career to empower a newbie just getting started. Here are a few things I have learned and continue to learn along the way.

1) Take An Interest In Your Colleagues - Sometimes your best qualities don't show up on your LinkedIn profile or your annual review. That's OK because some of the great things you bring to the workplace are the intangibles. Being the first person to say hello or asking about someone's weekend probably won't get you a raise, but it will build trust and likability with your peers. Chances are you’re around your co-workers for at least 40-45 hours a week so an investment of interest in their lives is always a sound decision.

TIP: A lot of people have mixed feelings about Facebook and if you should send friend requests to your peers. As long as you’re not constantly posting drama, political comments or anything that could be viewed as controversial, I say go for it…after a few months. Your intuition should tell you which colleagues are likely to be on Facebook and respond to your friend request.

People love posting about pictures of their kids, family and what not. If you see something on their page over the weekend, compliment them on Monday.

“Jim, great video of your kids putting ornaments on the tree…I laughed when your son tried to put the star on top. He was determined!”


“Sue, great picture of your family on Facebook, the background was beautiful! Where was it shot?”

I know this sounds a little corny, but people post these types of visuals because they crave attention and affirmation. Indulge them.

2) Cite a specific attribute - The more specific the better. My previous supervisor told me that I had the ability to make people feel at ease very quickly. Whether it was at a coffee shop with a client or a board meeting with the bigwigs, she said I was valuable in the room because I came off human and somewhat flawed. I took it as a compliment!

Imitation is the highest form of flattery and when people feel comfortable around you and feel free to joke around, that's a good sign.

I work with someone who does an excellent job communicating day in and day out deliverables on projects. I told her that I admired how she left zero gaps in communication and that it was an asset that went way beyond the resume.

2016 is a good a time as any to take an interest in others. The best conversationalists are the ones who ask the right questions. What questions do you ask?

Josh Womack is the Co-Founder of Laugh Staff, a company that uses stand-up comedians to help write wedding toasts, dating profiles and engaging content. He is also a Copywriter at Progressive Insurance. And no, he hasn’t met Flo.