Earlier this week, I attended a session at Hubspot’s INBOUND conference hosted by Peter Shankman. Peter is an author, entrepreneur, speaker and worldwide connector, and also happens to have clinically-diagnosed ADHD.
So it’s fitting that his session was titled “Staying Relevant in an ADHD World.”
Peter started off his session by sharing these facts with us, and went on to discuss his early business ventures (selling Titanic-themed t-shirts in Times Square) and hilarious anecdotes about poor customer service experiences (see: Peter and Hertz and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Bad Customer Experience).
But one of the most valuable things I learned from Peter is that while it’s hard for companies to stay relevant in today’s oversaturated and chaotic world, all it takes is some sincerity. Four nuggets of knowledge from Peter’s session are below.
- Your brand is your lifeblood. Tie everything you do back to your brand because otherwise someone will steal it. Peter spoke about a great YouTube video he made that was a huge hit—and that was ultimately shared by Lance Armstrong. But he didn’t give himself credit anywhere on the video, so while it went viral no one knew it was him. This face-palm lesson is one that all companies can use: if you have a valuable product or piece of content, make sure to give yourself credit, because no one else is going to.
- The average person has a 2.7 second attention span. Although Peter took it as a compliment when we kept our heads down on our phones or laptops (because he figured it meant we were tweeting what he was saying) he also brought up the fact that we are constantly multitasking. When was the last time you didn’t have 10 computer tabs open and music playing and the television on while doing work? There are so many different ways to get information. Make sure people are getting your company’s message in a relevant and unforgettable manner.
- Reach out and expect nothing in return. One way to unforgettably relay your company’s message is by being sincere. Treating your customers like actual people will make them like you. And when a customer likes you, they’re more likely to buy from you, or at least remember who you are. You have the ability to be top of mind every single day. Checking in with prospective (or existing) customers with valuable resources or articles, or just to say hi, will go a much longer way than you may expect.
- Trust is the only thing that can counter the “ADHD customer.” The “ADHD customer,” the one with the 2.7 second attention span, is all of us. When your company can build a positive rapport with existing customers, trust is built as well. And when a customer trusts you, they are more likely to recommend you to others. Trust breaks through the clutter and keeps you relevant.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Peter, and recommend you check out his website for more on his speaking and advisory roles.