"Thank You." How 2 words earn Gary Vaynerchuck $60 million a year.
Here's me meeting Gary Vaynerchuk during a book reading at Kepler's in Menlo Park last week. I'm not much of an author groupie, but had just finished "The Thank You Economy" and was impressed enough to drive over and hear what Mr. V had to say.
I'm a big believer that someone's intelligence is never as evident -- or lacking -- as when answering questions from a live audience (case study: George Bush). And our audience was filled with Silicon Valley wunderkind asking all sorts of tough questions about SEO and local and "who has time to do all this social stuff and still run a business?"
Gary V. is good. Really, really good. He totally gets it.
He stayed on message, reiterating that if you game technology to get people to your site or to Like your Facebook page, you're playing at a losing game. Instead, companies must accept that there are no shortcuts. The only way up is to do the exhausting work of caring about every last customer.
Especially when your company targets women, caring cannot be outsourced, downplayed, or substituted. The book jacket itself reads like a fortune cookie for businesses who hope to capture female consumers:
Gone are the days when a blizzard of marketing dollars can overwhelm the airwaves, shut out the competition, and grab customer awareness. Now customers' demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents' day, when business owners often knew their customers personally, and gave them individual attention.
Or, as Gary Twitterized this notion even further: "Caring is the new battleground."
Those who care most, win. Those who don't, lose. Leaving just one question to ask your team:
Are we ready for battle? Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below, even if -- no, especially if -- you don't agree with what I've written.