Nobody wants to be dry chicken.
What do I mean?
Well I’ll tell you a quick story if that’s okay. I went to a wedding recently, it was a lovely wedding. Everything was perfect, absolutely perfect. The cars that the wedding party arrived in were really fascinating and amazing and different. The location was superb, again slightly off piste but traditional enough that it just was a beautiful setting. The weather was great. Everyone looked absolutely amazing, of course. The party favors on the tables, the order of service, everything, every little detail had been considered and thought through and taken care of.
But the reality is the one thing everyone will be talking about for years to come is the dry chicken.
And when the dry chicken landed you could see it on people’s face. If I’m honest it ruined the wedding. (I do worry that the bride and groom will see this, and if they do it was a lovely wedding, it was great, it didn’t ruin it terribly. But it is the one thing that most people will remember and you should give the caterer a slap. I think a few of us mentioned it to you after the event.)
The problem is, that you can be awesome at what you do, everything your business does can be perfect – it only takes one thing to let yourself down.
You have to watch out for what lets you down.
Ultimately in business, your job as a business leader and a marketing leader, is to watch out for the dry chicken. There’s always going to be dry chicken. It’s gonna rear its head. You have to really focus and look and check the engagement points that your business has with prospects and customers. You have to really detail if possible the processes by which you engage with your prospects and customers. And then at every stage in that process, you have to ask yourself;
What’s happening here?
What communication are we sending out?
What messaging are we using?
It could be a tiny faux pas that’s created.
Now in other blogs, just to clarify, I talk about not getting trapped in the paralysis of perfection.
This isn’t about perfection.
I don’t think a single typo in the middle of a twelve-step marketing campaign is going to necessarily cause you a problem – unless you are the type of business that really shouldn’t have typos.
For example a law firm shouldn’t have typos in contracts – clearly. I would be less likely to work with a law firm that has typos in contracts. A law firm might compromise in other ways, there may be other failure points that I would dismiss more easily in a law firm than a typo.
But in my world if there was a typo in 1 of 12 marketing interactions, I’m not gonna sweat it too much.
The point is you have to watch out for what lets you down. Ultimately there’s bound to be a dry chicken moment in your business. You’ll know when you reach the dried chicken moment because you’ll feel really good about things in the marketing context, you’ll feel like you’re speaking to your prospect and you’re working really powerfully with them, you’ve got great customers coming on board. And then you will get either notification there’s a problem from a customer or you will find it.
Obviously in a perfect world, we want you to find it. In a perfect world, you will see it before anybody else does, you’ll correct it and no one will ever know it’s there.
You have to watch out for what lets you down.
It is going to be there somewhere.
You’ve got to walk through the processes, walk through the messaging and make sure that you don’t miss something really obvious – I’m not talking about the tiny little details, I’m talking about something really obvious.
If that caterer at that wedding would have made sure there was a testing process to taste the chicken before it went out, they would have spotted the dry chicken. At that point they may have found it too late to do anything about it. But they may have solved it in other ways. Maybe they would have added more gravy, because to be honest there wasn’t that much gravy. And the dry chicken really stood out because it was dry chicken. So maybe they’d have swamped it with a bit more gravy, maybe instead of dry chicken we’d be asking what was with the gravy soup!
But to be honest I’d rather be talking about too much gravy than dry chicken.
So in marketing and in business it’s your job to make sure that nothing lets you down, that you’re engaged enough with your clients through the processes and messages that you are leveraging to the marketplace so that you can ensure that there’s no dry chicken, and that there’s plenty of gravy (if the situation deserves it).