Money can’t buy it.

The Clintons learned a lesson this week. It’s a lesson that every business needs to learn: it is far more important what others are saying about you than what you have to say about yourself.

Bill and Hillary tried to play the race card. Bill and Hillary tried to paint Obama as inexperienced. Bill Clinton used the tactic that always worked for him in the past. He plants a seed of negativism and doubt followed by a generous helping of empathy and “I’m here to save you”. It blew up in his face. The Clintons now look like carpet baggers, hustlers. The Clinton campaign appears tawdry, dirty. And I suppose, it is.

The pundits would have us believe elections are about money. It takes a pile of it to make a run for the White House. True enough. But the money is only valuable to distribute the message. Money can’t make people buy the message. Hillary’s war chest can’t overcome the wonderful things Ted is saying about her opponent.

If quality, customer service, teamwork or follow-through is poor at your business, word will get around quickly. If you want to see how powerful the internet is, do a Google search for “Dell Hell”. Then compare the company’s performance over the course the “Dell Hell” era. Dell’s marketing millions couldn’t pull the sales up after the Blogger posted his horrific experience with Dell’s support. Only after doing everything possible to make that single customer happy and totally changing their approach to customer service did Dell begin to recover. They may never recover fully.

Many businesses today are wasting marketing dollars trying to sell a message that isn’t being bought. If a business spent 1/3 of it’s marketing budget improving things their customers talk about, the desired results would come.

Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
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