What single word would you use describe a wildly successful party you attended? I was at one recently and the word I would use is satisfied. The party was satisfying or fulfilling or even better, cool. I find that there is much that can be learned about how to establish loyalty by evaluating the kind of time I have at parties. Think for a moment about the word you would use to describe what made the outing sensational. I can’t see your word, so let’s discuss mine for a moment. But please be sure to add yours in the comments.
“I was walking around feelin’ Satisfied. Can you imagine that?”
I felt satisfied because I was invited to participate in a round table comprised of people that not only shared my interests, but far more importantly, my approach to discussing them. Being in like-minded company is awesome; don’t get me wrong. But it sure doesn’t promise a sale and it’s a far way from making me a loyalist. I can get my stuff anywhere. Selling it to me doesn’t make me loyal to you. Being in like-behaved company however? Now that my friends is nirvana! Matching my enthusiasm is great, but matching my delivery always leaves me feeling like I belong to something only a few among us knows is cool and in turn, belonging to it makes me think of myself as cool too. Feeling cool by virtue of indoctrination is the best kind, of any kind of cool because others you suddenly admire chose you.
Love is the same way. Lloyd Dobler says of love interest Diane Cort, in the 80′s classic, Say Anything, “…I was walking around feeling satisfied. Can you imagine that?” Diane was an island that Lloyd earned exclusive rights to. In terms of courtship rituals, Bruce Springsteen called it the Secret Garden. And don’t be fooled. Courtship is fundamentally no different from the typcal sales progression. The people that welcomed me into the fold, made me feel cool for my brand of participation, not merely my participation alone. In sales, I became their buyer because I was attracted to their way more than their stuff. That I felt “got” caused me to feel beholden to their brand too and my loyalty to their brand was born. ain’t love grand?
Make it painless.
The best thing about this party was that it fulfilled a need that I never ask to have fulfilled. In other words, it was easy. We didn’t simply share common ground. We shared a common approach to delving into that common ground. And that made it easy because it was almost as if they were fashioning the dialogue to accommodate my preferences exclusively. Sweet!
We all know with whom we share things in common. I love the New York Jets for example, and have a friend who loves the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams play the same sport, in the same league and even wear the same color – green. But there’s something missing. I couldn’t care less about the Eagles, nor she, the Jets. At the party, I was already way down their sales funnel. In terms of the sales process, there was no persuasion necessary. No convincing to be done. I was their target audience and our love for the same thing, packaged in the same way, made it logical that I buy from them.
The party gave me more than it asked of me too. It painlessly spoke to my desires. The people I hung with satisfied my appetite to feel cool and this was achieved by the people I unconsciously indoctrinated into my church of cool. We formed a club. In social media circles we’d call it a tribe or community. Make it familiar and easy for me to buy from you and I will feel neither scared to join you, nor taxed in doing so. Forget what you need sold and share my interests and on my terms. Make me, your buyer, feel like choosing to hang with you (i.e., shop with you) is the logical next step in our relationship, not the sales process. Effortless, see? Soon you’ll both be deeply engaged in the sales process anyway and neither of you will even know it’s underway. You’ll both be too busy splitting the social atom to notice.
How do you make buyers feel cool? what sort of emotional incentives do you lay out for your prospects?