Welcome to episode 9 of Dreamchasers! Pavlos Rizos has launched a fresh brand for himself in marketing, with a special focus on leading with culture.
Pavlos is deeply passionate about a set of Nordic values, ” values like openness, respect, creativity and sustainability are important in business too. Throughout my 13+ year-long experience in business & marketing, I found out that these values can help a business grow sustainably.”
We talk about a simple, 3-step process to get away from price questions, and go more deeply into who your clients are, where they want to be in business, and how you help them get there.
Most importantly, we talk about owning your unique contribution. Instead of being ‘just another marketer’, how can you use your personal culture to connect with the kinds of clients who are eager to build long-lasting working relationships with you.
Dreamchasers is the interview series for people who want human marketing on a zero budget. I’m your host, Dominic de Souza. Listen in for tips and insights, for 15 minutes a week. It’s the dreamers who make the future. Chase yours.
Summary & Notes
Behind problems are people. To understand and solve the problem, we need to dig deeply into what they feel and think. Even if you’re working from home, you can find out what you need to know from your clients.
While face to face is always better, of course, because it includes body language, video chats or chatting in general can create a context of trust. People need to feel that they can trust that their feedback will be received well.
Without trust, you’re stuck with a barrier against fruitful discussion. There’s no way to connect with people. You need to break the ice, and allow them to learn more about you. Before meeting with people, try to find out about them, what they think and feel.
Feelings define our actions. We jump to conclusions, and then think our way through them, or decide for or against them. An environment of trust speeds up the pace of decision making.
Trust-building questions: what are your pains around this problem, and what are your dreams?
People are the most important assets in your brand. Pavlos deeply believes in focusing on people first; honesty, transparency, diversity, respect for others,
These values come together to create trust, so that everyone feels able to be themselves, and be understood so that they can work together. His recent re-branding into the ‘Nordic Marketer’ is really about bringing more of himself into his work, not a persona, but his actual person.
Pavlos worked for over 12 years in large corporations, startups, local and national businesses in all parts of the world. Being extremely creative, he’s chosen to come full circle and realize that he can bring out the best in himself, and in others, through marketing.
He has chosen to create a brand that people can relate to, and that is a point of connection through his humanity. Many marketers don’t put out their real selves, and hide behind a brand name. Such relationships are rarely long running and true.
He does more than sell a service, but sells culture.
People who are already of that culture will more quickly engage and reach out. Leading with culture is a way to ‘short circuit’ how a solution solves a problem.
Many marketing companies are simply a logo and tagline, and a skill set.
Focus instead on creating and identity and culture, and the services help keep building that in the world.
Pavlos has a 3 step process; pain, dream, and solution.
After identifying the pains and fears, the next step is #3- talk about the future. Talk about the dreams and hopes, and how we want to solve our problems and lives.
If you know what is stopping them from solving their present situation and reaching their dream, you can can make them happy.
Key question: What is stopping you right now from realizing your dreams and your hopes?
If you can understand that with your client, then everything becomes much clearer, and the course of action often becomes evident.
Usually, an emotional bond is created after cultivating this kind of conversation. Pricing should be the last thing that you discuss, not the first. It’s more important to understand their context, and their goal, if even for their own clarity.
Sometimes people self-qualify themselves based on price. And if they like the rates you give them, they may decide to go with you.
But the problem is you have no sense of whether your cultures will go well together. It may be a terrible working relationship.
So when someone starts by asking about price, Pavlos steers the conversation in different direction: “Let’s not talk about price just yet. Let’s talk about whether we’re a good fit for each other, whether our cultures work. You need to really understand what I offer, and how I offer it, before deciding to go with me. “
This is how you build sustainable relationships, from the business and personal point of view. Think of the long term without compromising your present needs.
Start the conversation, and then focus on listening to the client. Most of the time, consultants don’t listen actively, but passively. They’re waiting for their chance to speak.
Listen carefully, trying to find out as many things as you can about the problem. At the end, you’ll result with an actionable shortlist to help them realize their dreams and their hopes.
Many consultants will jump in with a solution without even listening. How can you propose a solution if you don’t know what the problem really is?
Focus on the present situation, talk about the dream situation, and then identify in detail the barriers holding them back.