Just as bad pickup lines heard at a bar become a distant memory, bad marketing messages ultimately meet the same fate. The way we interact with potential clients and customers will determine what type of relationship we will have with them. Ask for too much too soon, and you are left in the cold, or ask for too little and you are forever in the “friend zone”.
There are many valuable lessons that we can learn from how people date and form a relationship, as the same principles apply to both marketing and dating.
Asking For Too Much Too Soon
In every relationship there is a process that individuals go through, if you skip too many steps the relationship is bound to fail. Have you ever witness someone buy a person a drink in a bar, and expect that action entitles them for a night of non-stop action? Typically that interaction results in someone being labeled as a jerk at best! Yet, if you look at the marketing strategies of businesses online and offline, this is the exact scenario taking place.
Have you ever been on the end of a high pressure sales presentation that was all about you signing on the dotted line, and the salesperson didn’t even remember your name? This is very similar to someone asking you “Your place or mine?” 5 minutes after meeting them.
Instead of jumping in too quickly, you have to build a relationship. Obviously, you don’t want to wait too long, otherwise if the person has a need they will take their business elsewhere. You have to demonstrate that you care about who they are, and what their needs are. This is accomplished by delivering value up front prior to the sale. The more value you provide to your clients, the stronger the relationship will become.
Remember, if you build a strong relationship with your clients, you lessen the likelihood that you will get dumped for someone else.
Moving Too Fast or Too Slow
Have you ever seen someone in a relationship that moved too fast and it looked awkward? Or have you seen someone in a relationship that moved slower than frozen molasses? In either of these situations, the odds are stacked against people in these situations. When it comes to marketing, you have to understand at what pace your prospects want to move in a relationship with you and your business. If it is too fast, then they might feel pressured to make a hasty decision. If it’s too slow, they might lose interest and take their business elsewhere.
An effective way to create the environment for success is to establish the path ahead with your prospects. Give them a timetable on how and when things will happen. When you do this, you can gauge how they feel about it and make adjustments accordingly. There will be some prospects who will want to move faster, and then there will be some that will move slower.
One of the ways to minimize having a multitude of timelines that you are dealing with is to market to your ideal client. The more similar your prospects are to each other, the more likely they will want to move along the same timeline. This will aid you in your business tremendously.
Not Ending Up In The Friend Zone
The worst line anyone can ever hear from someone in that they are interested in is “Oh I think of you as such a great friend!”. In the dating world ending up in the friend zone is the kiss of death if you have hopes of making the magic happen. Often this is a result of someone not taking any initiative in showing that they are interested in being more than just friends. Have you ever watched someone who you knew was interested in a person but never took action?
The friend zone exists in business as well! It happens when business owners simply don’t ask for the sale. You can only court a prospect for so long before you must ask for their business.
If you utilize 5 – 12 points of contact as a baseline for when people make a buying decision, and you haven’t asked by then, then something has to change in your sales process. If you want to reduce the likelihood of your prospects utilizing your competitors services, then you must ask for commitment.
If you are afraid that someone might say no, keep this in mind. There are over 7 Billion people living on the planet today, with the vast majority of them unaware that you exist. The odds are in your favor that someone will say yes to what you have to offer.
Make sure that you are taking the right actions in your business to create solid relationships with your prospects. After all, you didn’t start a business to end up in the friend zone after all of your hard work!