Impress everyone by knowing nothing

Don’t let anybody fool you (including me):

You’ll never be able to read people.

The only thing you can do is second guess them.

The more I interact with people, the more I discover that I know a lot about people but I never know as much about these people as they do.

The world’s greatest authority on knowledge about who’s sitting in front of you is … most likely the person who’s sitting in front of you.

I believe that nobody knows yourself better than you do. And that this is true for most of us.

(Just before you let out the narcicist in you, keep the following in mind: no matter how well you are acquinted with yourself, you may always discover something new about yourself thanks to somebody else.)

As a marketeer and advertiser (or listener) it’s tempting to forget that. After all aren’t we the ones who are supposed to know what people need?

Yes we are, but in order to know, we have to ask them, don’t we?

But what if we have asked them? What if I have done my research?

Then we usually come up with models and segmentations.

Now don’t these contradict what I’ve said about knowing a lot about people but still not knowing as much as they do about themselves?

It tells you something about how these models and segmentations can be approached. You should use your research as a way to define who you should talk to and where, when and how you can approach these people.

But once you have done that then you’re barely halfway. Once you’ve reached them, it’s time for you to engage.

If you want to engage then that’s when you’re really going to find out what sets these people apart from everybody else. That’s when you’re going to discover whether you really know something about people and what I mean by writing “I never know as much about these people as they do”.

If you value and respect these people’s personal authority, chances are they’ll respect and value your knowledge and experience as well. Chances are they’ll reward you for your research since it may add something to that particular thing they are most familiar with, themselves.

And if it doesn’t, so be it. But by showing what you have in common – call it mutual understanding if you like – , you’ve nevertheless given them a strong reason to connect with you. You’ve proven that ‘we’ know what we are talking about.

So what’s with the headline then? You tell me.😉

Picture: “Body Language @ Nomad Gallery #5885.jpg” © amayzun

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