The Laws of Attraction: dating your customer
You are probably wondering, “What the heck does dating have to do with my customer?” Well, surprisingly, good marketing is a lot like dating. It’s not just about capabilities, it’s about personalities.
In basic Dating 101, your goal is to find a like-minded person with whom you mesh, to make the other person like you, and hopefully establish a long-term commitment.
When you are trying to gain new customers or reinvigorate the existing ones, the process is amazingly similar. So now, the tricky part: how can you use marketing to make that happen?
FocusFirst, recognize that whether dating or courting clients, you have to accept that not everyone is a prospect. Sure, anyone with a pulse might be a possibility, but if you define the characteristics for an ideal match, your chances to hit pay dirt increase exponentially. Otherwise you might be spending a lot of effort barking up the wrong tree.
So, now that you have identified who would make a good fit, how do you attract those prospects?
Make your prospect want to know more. If you push yourself or your company at someone, they tend to back away. Conversely, if you tantalize them with an interesting tidbit of information, they will be drawn toward you and want to know more. It’s simply human nature: you want something more when you pursue it, than when it pursues you.
Here are a couple of examples. Raise you hand if you have sat through either of these scenarios:
- You are on a first date, just there for a scratch-and-sniff to see if there is any potential. You open with a little small talk and before you know it, the other person is verbally downloading, nonstop, their entire life story, including shoe size!
- You are sitting through presentations to select a new vendor. After introductions, the presenter fires up a 25-slide Powerpoint and shares every conceivable factoid in mind-numbing detail about their company and how they do things. He or she has not asked what your needs, wants or challenges might be before launching into the presentation.
In either case, is your first reaction is to:
1) Excuse yourself, run out the room and keep running.
2) Hope you don’t snore when you fall asleep with your eyes open.
3) Take another sip of Red Bull and say, “Oh, no, don’t stop now, tell me more.”
(If you picked number three, stop reading now. You aren’t my target audience.) If you picked numbers 1 or 2, you know what it is like on the receiving end of bad marketing.
So, when it comes to dating your customer, identify the right target and remember Less is more. Don’t think of your prospect as a receptacle for everything ever known about you or the company. Don’t force-feed; entice. Let the other person reach out to know more and give back information of value that will help you better serve them.