You may know a few vampires. You know - the people that seem to suck the energy out of a room when they walk in leaving everyone feeling depressed. You probably also know people who, "light up a room" when they walk in. You might describe someone you just met as "rubbing you the wrong way" if you found yourself irritated with them and you just didn't know why.
As someone trying to market a small business, your #1 job is to make your customers and prospects feel good about doing business with you. Sure, you are going to use every marketing tool in your disposal, and you understand that people ALWAYS buy on emotion and then justify with logic.
Everybody who's not insane enough to be locked away or has some other mental pathology is, to some degree, "role adaptive". Observe how your own behavior changes when you are talking to a toddler, or when you are talking with your friends, or talking on the phone with a sales person. You will notice that your voice, body language, inflection, word choice, pace, all change. You take on different roles that are more or less appropriate for the situation.
Human beings, as a species, have survived so long by being social. Compared to large predators that might have eaten our ancestors - we don't have sharp claws or fangs, can't run fast, don't climb well, and have poor night vision. The two things that we have going for us are living well in groups and making tools.
Think back to that person that rubbed you the wrong way. You may not be able to place what it was about them. We respond to very subtle and unconscious social clues like body language and tone of voice. We respond very efficiently and very quickly on an emotional level. What’s on the inside shows on the outside even when we aren’t consciously aware of it.
An experiment was conducted where women of varying relative attractiveness were sent to draw samples of blood from guys. The men didn’t know that the blood was tested for testosterone levels – to see how sexually 'turned on' the guys were.
Two major observations were made:
- Guys get turned on by being in the presence of attractive women on a hormonal level.
- The female researchers could accurately predict the guy’s testosterone levels just based on their body language and behavior. Keep in mind, the guys weren’t in a bar trying to pick women up – this was a clinical setting.
The lesson is: people are generally very good at sniffing out what you’re up to. We train from birth to know what people are feeling – anger, deceit, euphoria. We also know that generally people are more comfortable being around people they are like. People form clubs and interest groups or, in extreme cases, become bigots.
What's the marketing lesson? You, and everybody who’s involved in your business, must be convinced to the depth of their being that you are going to deliver on your promises. You must be enthusiastic about what you sell, or you can't expect your customers to be. You don’t want to totally mismatch a customer by being happy if they are angry, but you want to gradually move them to a happy place.
You must communicate intentionally. Do you yell at your employees and then send them out to serve your customers? Do you get angry with your customers? Do you show up sleepy and lethargic? Think of emotion like a virus, you can pass it to your employees, and they can pass it to your customers.
What would your business be like if your customers just emotionally lit up every time they saw you? If every time your customers deal with you they get a shot of happy, they are going to want to deal with you again. They are also more likely to refer more business to you.
Take a close look at how you and your employees come off to your customers. You may have to do some training to get out of bad habits – but it will pay off in bigger profits.