Friday, September 09, 2005

Getting Down to Their Level

Oh, I know, it's so comfy in our soft swivel chairs behind a big wooden desk with a view out to the cars parked around the corporate headquarters. Here's where we feel confident of our positions in our careers.

We've made it. People will now listen to us.

Not so fast, Sparky.
If we are going to create passionate customers who keep buying, upgrading and renewing instead of cutting back, switching, leaving ... then we have to get into the conversation at the level of each customer.

I said a few days ago that we're really just storytellers. I think that's true. But stepping up a few feet higher, we're really teachers who tell stories. The more conversational that talk is the more likely we are to connect. Formal, high-fallutin ads mean less today that between-the-eyes, casual talk.

We need to be more like teachers than preachers. But if we talk like PhD academics with formal, stilted text and jargon, we will leave most of our prospects in the dust.

Teaching has its apex in grade school. That's where we learn the basics of life. After that it is just adding detail and style. The techniques used by grade school teachers are what we should be practicing every day when we make pitches to prospects.

I watch my daughter who teaches art to kids in grades 1 - 6. She gets down on their level. Physically. She's down on bended knees, looking them in the eyes and showing them how to create art they didn't believe they could create. They feel her passion and look forward to her class.

Why can't we capture this style when we are teaching our prospects about how our products address their needs and interests?
Get from behind our desks and down to their level where they can feel our passion, and better yet, take on our passion. It all starts with the word "you."


At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Tyler said...

I can completely appreciate what you mean about “getting down on the customers level”! I think this is so often overlooked (especially in the world of Technology)! If marketing strategist would take a moment, look at the actual public they are trying to target, and arrange the message accordingly, they would be far more successful! I, for example, am not what you would call a “technologically savvy” person and I need some serious help in understanding products that are. If a company is trying to sell me something of this sort I would feel more inclined to purchase it if I understood it. I need them to sell it to me in a language I understand and relate to. (This may also relate to your posting on “Customers Will Hear What They Want to Hear”.) As a customer I want to know that the company understands where I am coming from and what I, and others like me, need from their product. If I feel they are talking over my head with as you said, “…like PhD academics with formal, stilted text and jargon…” I will probably not purchase their products or use their service, when I might have been inclined to had they connected with me on an even level. Your right, we need to go back to the idea of being teachers! If we are passionate about our product, or service, we should go out and teach consumers why they should feel the same way, in a language they understand, on a level that is their own! Thanks for a great post!


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