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Actions Speak Louder Than

Actions Speak LouderI’m a big believer in the power of words. But when words aren’t backed by corresponding actions, talk is cheap.

Have you ever felt a disconnection between what a company promised you in their ads and what they actually delivered?

I carry a list of companies in my head called the “Never Again As Long As I Live” list. I’ll bet you have one, too.

Was it the advertising of these companies that put them on our lists? Of course not. It was their actions.

One dumb decision can undo years of good advertising.

What decisions have you made that send signals to your customers?

“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

1. What are you saying in your ads?
2. Who are you being in your store?
3. Is there a disconnect?

A dog doesn’t have to growl to let me know it’s dangerous. Just bare you teeth, doggie. I’ll understand. This small, direct signal from the dog overrides all the assurances of its owner:

“He won’t bite, he’s a friendly dog. I’ve had him for 10 years. His breed never bites. It’s been proven. Here, watch this. See, he didn’t bite me and he won’t bite you either. What are you afraid of? Here are some testimonials from other people who have petted him. Did you know this dog was voted Most Pettable Dog of 2009? He won’t bite you, he likes you. Trust me. We care about our customers.”

What is advertising but the assurances of a dog owner?

Talk, when it costs you nothing, is cheap.

“Here are ten, hundred-dollar bills. Put them in your pocket. If this dog so much as snaps at you, they’re yours. He wasn’t baring his teeth to scare you. He was smiling at you.”

Wow. A smiling dog. I think I’ll pet him.

Actions are powerful signals when they agree with your words.

These action-signals gain credibility to the degree they cost you one or more of the following:

1. Material Wealth
2. Time & Energy
3. Opportunity
4. Power & Control
5. Reputation & Prestige
6. Safety & Well Being

What do your signals cost you? What are you risking?

Words that cost you little have little meaning.

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