At ‘humansbuyservices.honest’ we believe in aligning our marketing efforts to human behaviour and away from impersonal, corporate marketing where dialogue is stifled by lack of character. It’s part of our campaign to get businesses out of their comfort zones and into meaningful, truly engaging business relationships.
1. Teach me something new – the traditional view is that sevice companies are here to inform, educate and help their clients make solid decisions. The alternative approach is to use our expertise to teach our clients something new – for example how to get their boards’ support; how to tackle a problem in a novel way; how to draw out insights they wouldn’t have, without us and our specialism. The upside? Solid, lengthy relationships and greater value for all.
2. Storytelling is the only way – a typical way to communicate is – put simply – process driven. We think about the audience, their needs, what we have that helps, and then structure a message around this understanding. It’s a mechanical approach and well within our comfort zones, but does it cut through in a world where the power has shifted to the buyer? Going the story telling route gets better results, given that human beings love a good story. So why not use this technique to tell a business one, especially when persuading someone that you are better than the next advisor. The result – if you tell a story, you increase your chances of truly engaging and being remembered. That has to be good for business.
3. Visual intrigue equals retention – scientists show that if we only use words to communicate, people remember only about 10% of what we say. So one has to ask the question – why do so many businesses push out reams of words, relatively unsupported by images or video or multi media content?
“If we add pictures into the mix, then retention levels soar to 65%, so let’s major with visually intriquing content.” Terri Lucas, 2014
4. Passion – it is noticeable that those who inspire us the most usually deliver ideas with an impressive dose of passion. Ideas can be hard to come by but they don’t always have to be new for us to be convinced that a product or service is just what we need. If any idea is delivered with high energy, integrity and belief, the chances of convincing a buyer increases exponentially. Give it a try:
“Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent.” Larry Smith, TEDx, 2011
For example I went shopping for a car recently (a Mini Cooper), a model that has been around for a couple of generations. Somehow it is the passion behind the Mini that convinces me it is the car for me. Rationally I know I can buy a small car for much less, but the story behind its heritage, its packaging, its language and the passion with which it is marketed convinces me to buy. Oh and note how they thank you for your business – by a video message direct to my smart phone – to keep it personal, modern and direct to me. It nicely summarises how to market the human way, rather than by rote.
And readers – it’s important to stress these guidelines apply equally to business purchases. The only difference is that there aren’t enough service organisations who yet understand or believe that it is good for commercial results. And we should change that. Or should we?