Ever get sucked into an infomercial? Â It’s okay -you can admit it. We’ve all been there. You are minding your own business when all of a sudden you’re hooked. Â Whether you were watching a new towel that could absorb Lake Erie or a way to cut your pet’s toenails, you watched some part of that commercial. And many, many people then buy the item too. So what’s going on? Â Unlike other purchases, infomercials target customers when they AREN’T looking for a solution to a problem. Â In fact, in many cases they didn’t know they HAD this problem – I mean, did you know your blankets are disfunctional without sleeves? Did you?
An infomercial is so different than the type of marketing we all do every day. Â We don’t get to talk to people who don’t even realize they have a problem or even who know they have a problem but haven’t focused on it to find a solution yet. We are talking to people every day who know their problem intimately, know what solution they want, and know what they don’t want. So what do we do differently than the guy selling the chopper that requires you to be a body builder to operate?
Traditionally we have tried to convince them that we have the solution to their problem. We have tried to convince them we know what they don’t want and we don’t do that. AND we’ve tried to convince them that we will fix it. This kind of discussion put the customer and the sales person on opposite sides of the issue. Â The prospect still had the problem and it becomes almost a game of tug-of-war; give it to me! I want to take it away!
Now, with the new tools available we have the opportunity to show people we really mean it. We are on their side, we arent taking things away, we’re making them better. And we show them not when we interrupt what they were doing that was important to them – we get to tell them when they come looking. Now, we are like the person at the front of the store who hands the person walking in exactly what they came to buy. Wahoo!
Granted, selling through relationship-building takes a lot more time. It is time-intensive in fact. Â In prepping for the economy to come back, what are you doing with your time? Â Doesn’t it seem like a good way to spend some of the time you have now in building these avenues? Â Start by determining who your target customer is or the Customer Persona as David Meerman Scott calls it. Once you understand that person, make sure you are where that person will look when they are ready. Can they find you? Does the information that comes up reflect who you are as a person and company? Because I promise, when they are ready, they will come looking and when they do, you will be better than a ginsu knife!
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