“You like me—you really like me!”
Contrary to popular belief, Sally Field never actually uttered this oft-repeated catchphrase during her acceptance speech at the 57th Annual Academy Awards in 1985.
Accepting her second Oscar for Best Actress, for her performance in Places in the Heart, she ended her speech thus: “But I want to say ‘thank you’ to you. I haven’t had an orthodox career and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me! Thank you.”
This blog post is not meant to discuss how, or why, public figures can be so easily misquoted. Sally Field’s famous Oscar acceptance speech was a sincere expression of gratitude to her peers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For the second time in less than a decade, they had bestowed their industry’s highest honor upon her, and she basked in the glow of their approval, and their respect.
When we work hard at something, praise and validation from people who do what we do (and understand our commitment) not only makes us feel good, but also fills us with even more dedication to our craft. This tends to be true regardless of our company or industry. And when the praise and validation take the forms of official endorsements or industry awards, the credibility of the recipients is often strengthened in the eyes of the customers they serve.
3 Ways to Personalize the Impact of Your Innovation
Along with my colleagues at JConnelly, I have assisted clients in the financial technology (fintech), financial services, wealth management, and asset management sectors write many nominations for the veritable alphabet soup of awards sponsored by industry associations and publications.
1. Highlight Your Product’s Impact on Customers
Perhaps the most helpful tip we can offer for increasing a nomination’s chances of victory, or at least landing on the shortlist, is for nominees to do more than just list the technological innovations, operational efficiencies, or product launches/enhancements. Although nomination forms frequently restrict responses to only a few hundred words, nominees should use the limited space to explain the impact their software, platforms, investment strategies, funds, etc. have had on their customers—and the clients their customers serve.
2. Explain How the Technology Improves Daily Workflows
Don’t just write that your firm launched a new edition of a technology application, or expanded the selection of strategies on your platform. Explain how the upgraded version of your application improves daily workflows or facilitates scalable growth for financial advisors, or improves the mobile banking experience for consumers, or helps investors achieve greater diversification and income, etc.
3. Provide Quantitative and Qualitative Results
If possible, provide quantitative measures of the impact of your innovations, such as the average amount of time or cost savings your end customers have accrued. If nomination forms allow you to submit customer testimonials, take advantage of the opportunity and reach out to receptive clients well ahead of the submission deadline.
An Award Win Can Boost Your Credibility
If you win, the boost in credibility among your customer base can translate to big dollar signs for your business. Historic research (cited by Mind Tools) indicates companies that win awards can potentially elevate their stock price by 44 percent, and their sales by 37 percent.
Placing “two-time Academy Award Winner for Best Actress” ahead of her name in movie trailers and ads only boosted Sally Field’s marketability to moviegoers, and Olympic medals usually lead to lucrative endorsements for athletes.
When going for the gold, remember to crystallize the personal impact of your achievements, products, services, and innovations on your customers, and their customers.
If you’re the lucky recipient of an award, don’t let it collect dust! Click the link below to find out why you should promote your industry awards.