From the May 2012 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

April 25, 2012

Guy Kawasaki on `Enchantment’

In his book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, bestselling business guru Guy Kawasaki says that if you want to get people on your side, you have to enchant them.

How? Through likeability, trustworthiness and greatness. In doing so, according to the former chief evangelist at Apple, you will transform skeptics into believers and the undecided into the loyal.

What does that mean for financial advisors? A lot, it turns out. Here’s how Kawasaki connects the dots.

— Ellen Uzelac

 

The pillars of enchantment — likeability, trustworthiness and greatness — describe the very best financial advisors. How do you achieve that?

Likeability is fundamental: accepting other people, having a great smile, a good handshake, and defaulting to a positive “How can I help?” attitude. Easy to say, hard to do. Trustworthiness is about trusting others before you can expect them to trust you. This isn’t chicken or egg — there’s a definite order. And greatness is about creating an outstanding product or service, one that’s deep, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant.

Once you achieve a state of enchantment, what’s the outcome: the loyalty of the client?

The outcome is that you’ll be able to influence and persuade people, but you should never take this power lightly. It comes with huge moral responsibilities. And if you want the enchantment to last, then you must always be thinking of the best interests of the client.

How does the advisor align internal identity with external image?

This may sound silly, but the only way to align internal identity and image is to have a good reality. That is, if the internal identity is crappy, it’s close to impossible to make a good external image. For sure it’s impossible if you want the identity and image to match over the long run. So the key is not to put lipstick on a pig, but to not be a pig.

To what extent is employee buy-in important?

It’s essential. A company cannot expect employees to enchant customers if they are not enchanted themselves.

What are some of the challenges to staying on message?

The biggest challenges are solutions du jour where someone hears about a new approach to management or customer service and jumps on a new bandwagon — though admittedly, you can claim that enchantment is a new bandwagon. Assuming you get past this, then implementation is hard. And assuming you get past implementation, then just about the time when things are starting to gel, companies often get bored and want to remake or redo things. How many times have you seen companies change a logo just as people were beginning to identify it? The same thing can happen with staying on message.

Some folks talk about how important it is for the advisor to be true to his or her core, ideals and principles in order to be successful. How does this factor into your recent thinking?

It depends on what the true you is. If the true you is a crook, I suggest changing it if you want to succeed. If the true you is good, moral and focused on the customer, then by all means be true to yourself as is.

How critical is social media today when it comes to marketing your service or product?

Social media is becoming more essential every day. For a while it was something weird companies did. Then it was for innovators. Now, social media is part of mainstream marketing. Pretty soon it won’t even be a specialty; it will just be marketing. Think back: for a while a website was an experiment, then it was cool, then important, and now you don’t even think of not having a website. Social media will evolve in the same way.

Think about your own financial advisor, assuming you have one. How does he or she demonstrate a state of enchantment when it comes to your own relationship?

I do have one. What I want more than anything from a financial advisor is an expert in managing what I don’t know I don’t know. I want him to ensure that my overall portfolio, which includes my job, my investments and my stock options, are not all in one sector. I want him to tell me to save more and to establish 529s and do things that I wouldn’t think of or know how to do.

Finally, what’s your best advice for building brand?

My best advice for building a great brand is to have a good reality. That is, to have a good product or service. It’s easy to brand something that’s good.

 

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