What's Your "Wow"?
in Blog
By: Marissa Anema, NJCUL Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Kate Delaney WEBAs the head of our Emerging Leaders group (as well as an Emerging Leader myself), I’m constantly looking for people, places, things, philosophies, skills, tools, resources, etc., that will help aspiring leaders grow and gain success. Enter Kate Delaney (for whom I cannot take credit for – Yvette found her). She is a powerful and influential, yet practical and humble, leader who is a master communicator (a woman after my own heart) whose mission it is to empower others to find their “wow” factor, communicate it succinctly and passionately, and make an impact. 

I recently caught up with Kate to get a taste of her “What’s Your Wow, Clearly, Confidently & Concisely Communicate What Sets You Apart From Everyone Else” presentation at Reality Check, which I am SO looking forward to... 

Anema: Before we communicate our "wow," many of us may need help identifying it. What are some steps we as individuals--and credit unions as organizations--can take to drill down to our "wow"? 

Delaney: One of the best steps to take to uncover your "wow" is to simply ask the people who know you. Talk to co-workers, family, friends and even members of your credit union if it's appropriate. Especially if you deal with them directly and have for a long time. Use an open-ended question and let them tell you. In other words, don't goad them into saying what you want to hear. The intel is priceless, especially for the credit union overall. There might be something you are doing really well that you don't emphasize in your marketing that you'll be able to add. 

Another step is to practice answering the question, what do you do? If you're giving a job title and the credit union…you're not memorable. For example, if you asked me what I do, I'd say I'm an expert story teller who has interviewed 16,000 people. I'm either on a stage or behind a mic in a studio, helping people and businesses tell their stories to leverage what they do for closer connections and bigger profits. By the way, I am a speaker, media strategist, and talk show host. That can mean a lot of different things, my “wow” is more intriguing. 

Anema: Is the concept of having only eight seconds to make a good first impression still true today? How can we succinctly tell our story and make an impact?  

Delaney: Attention spans are ridiculous short as we are all so distracted by email, cell phones, and a myriad other devices…eight seconds to make an initial impression is still very true today. The idea is you really know what you do and what you offer. Once you've intrigued me, you've become memorable. This kicks the door open for future interaction.

Anema: What makes a story impactful and buzzworthy?  

Delaney: Huge numbers, incredible results, and game-changing impacts on someone's personal or professional life makes a story buzzworthy. I call it “story selling.” Find those stories; know the impact you are having on your members. 

Anema: I love that you encourage people to uncover others' "wow" to see if aligns with theirs. Tell me a little more about that process and its importance.

Delaney: It's important to know someone else's “wow” because it determines where the relationship is headed. You have to listen to what people are telling you. Otherwise you are throwing darts at a board. Everyone wants to be heard. The more you know about your members the better. Wouldn't it be great to have generation after generation coming to you with their business? People's business needs and lives change all the time. What if they truly aren't right for you? Can you refer them elsewhere? Are people and businesses referring you?

Anema: Why is it important for credit union leaders to get this information and what is the most important takeaway?  

Delaney: The biggest takeaway is to not miss out on connections that could be profitable both personally and professionally. Find your “wow” and listen for other's “wows.” Plus, the better you know the people who work for and with you, the more effective you'll be as a team. Knowing your internal “wows” and knowing the members absolutely leads to more profitability.

Join myself, Kate, and other dynamic speakers at CU Reality Check at the Borgata in Atlantic City February 18-20, 2019, which is hosted by the New Jersey Credit Union league, the New York Credit Union Association, and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. It’s a great opportunity to learn, network, innovate, and more!