There was a time when enthusiasm was all you needed to get by. Things were less technical, then. Selling was done door-to-door. And “word of mouth” happened over coffee cake, at a friend’s house, or at the church social.
In those days, enthusiasm was the only thing you had to take with you on a job interview. A smile and a couple of “yes, sir’s” could launch a career on the factory floor, or the new car showroom, or even the Marketing department.
Career salesmen, at least the successful ones, took comfort in the law of averages, and lived (or died) by “the sales funnel.” And marketers sat in smoke-filled rooms, writing clever headlines and catchy jingles.
But things have changed. Today’s consumers see and hear thousands of messages every day. They take pride in knowing not-just-one subject, but many. They thirst for knowledge, and they drink often at the fountain we call “the web.”
Today, marketing means meeting the customer at every turn, suspected and not. It means learning to be comfortable in a world where the buyer decides when and how long he’ll engage with you. It means anticipating every question and every possible option a customer might require. It means arming yourself with a broad knowledge of the market space, and addressing each customer as if it were your only customer.
Today’s world is far more complex than anyone would have imagined before. And enthusiasm is still important… but it’s not enough. Not even if you have it out the wazoo.