Customers by nature like to be romanced. They like foreplay, but even more they like their entire buying event to be seducing, lulling… the wine, the lighting, the flowers.
Every good dancer likes to be in the skillful arms of another equally good dancer. In ballroom dancing, the man leads and the woman follows. I’ve asked many women over the years about this relationship, and I have yet to find one who feels “less than” in the relationship. On the contrary, almost all have shared the many ways they communicate and “help” guide their partner!
On the other hand, no dancer wants to feel like they’re being dragged around the floor by a dominating and boorish lead! In sales and marketing, this Maxim requires us to create the impression that we are a skillful participant with our prospect, not an opponent trying to nail them, or “close” them on the sale. Give them the chance to dance with you. After all, that’s what they want to do… we just need to respect our “partner” enough to give them the opportunity to say…”Yes!”
To put it into the context of a marketing piece, your customer likes the game… the personal nature of the mailing, the printed blue signature, and the bogus check that looks oh so real. They like the little lift notes… the little discoveries they get to make. They know the check isn’t real, the “personal” lift note was mass-produced, but they love to play along. They love to believe the announcer is sincere when he says, “Order before midnight tonight!” And when they call the 800 number, they want the person on the other end of the line to continue the illusion.
In the online world, the play is a little different. When they come to your website, they like to feel they are really doing “due diligence,” as you lead them through the pages of copy. It is important to consider what they are wanting to accomplish, versus what you want to accomplish while you have them as an audience. What is your prospect’s primary reason for coming to your site the first time?
To check you out!
They want to see if you’re real, if you can be trusted, if you carry the products or services they want, if your prices are reasonable, and more. I call this the “Due Diligence” dance. They want information, yet most ecommerce sites put little or no importance on this. They prospect comes to your dance, and you don’t want to dance. You want to jerk them around the floor and close a sale!
Your customer may actually want to come for the second reason, but don’t expect them to flock to your site just to be sold. You’ve got to add some meaningful depth to your site, building the sense of relationship, of community. Include testimonials and resources that fulfill their need. Provide them tips and assistance… be their partner! The sales will take place if the sales copy and graphics are allowed to come in “under the radar,” instead of in their face. And when you do it right, you’ll collect a significant number of names of your visitors… a database of incredibly qualified prospects for ongoing sales.
Your site should be simple and easy to navigate… allowing the prospect to explore the nooks and crannies anonymously, and giving them the chance to follow your lead, and register. It’s not rocket science, your customer simply likes to dance. So dance with them a little, and watch your sales go through the roof!
This Maxim is Number One for a good reason: it is the most important of all of the Maxims. Everything else in the communication you establish with your prospects and customers revolves around this on fact: they want to dance with you!