When I was single I had this approach to dating that was incredibly successful so I thought I would share it with you in case you or someone you know are “on the market.” First I would take my date out to dinner where I would hit her hard with all of my redeeming features and benefits. I would tell her how kind and gentle I was, talk about the fact that most people found me to be very trustworthy, make sure she knew how fun I was to be around, then I would drop some of my political and current events knowledge on her. Bam! After I had explained why I was a great catch, I would take her home and go in for the goodnight kiss. How well do you think I did?
I’m obviously kidding. Rico Suave I am not, but I had more “game” than this! (Enough to get my incredible wife anyway.) How about our “game” in this industry when it comes to advertising our products? If we hit people with product specification, endless promotions with scarcity built in like “limited time and only a 9 left in stock”, followed by the constant beating of the price drum, do we really think that we are going to get that kiss at the end of the night? How about you manufacturers or suppliers advertising in the trades? Got game?
My point is that we have to create a bond with people in order to connect with them in a way that engages them to have a genuine interest in what we are doing. The top consumer brands do this all the time and so do the best retailers. Don’t you want to do business with a store that is owned by a family with a spokesperson that connects you to them, their company and their purpose in the community to serve you and help others at the same time? How about a brand that tells incredible stories about their products that speak to you on some meaningful level. Think about YOUR favorite brands right now. How do they get to you?
Connecting with people or creating a real bond with them is something you have to earn no differently than when you are on that first date hoping for a second. You have to show them a side of your company that makes them want to get a little closer. Of course your product has to be of good quality and priced right, but that only gets you so far. Your ability to be someone that they can relate to, respect and like, is what will transform your business from something that is transactional, into something that is built to last longer than one sale. Forget what you sold THEM; what can you sell their kids?
Okay retailers, go and open up your favorite trade publication and take a look at the ads and tell me what you see? Are manufacturers building a connection to you? Do you actually like them or are they just another company selling beds? Retailers, look at your own ads and put them to the same test. Do you create a bond with your potential customers based on what you’re saying in your ads? This works the same way for you sales people out there by the way. You have to build your brand with the people you are selling to so what is your approach?
Will you get that kiss at the end of the night, or a door slammed in your face? Do tell.