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Romance Your Customers

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Romance Your Customers

Imagine that you decide that it is time to get married soon. You go out and buy a new outfit, new shoes, and expensive after-shave. You select a demographically-correct singles bar because this, you decide, is the place where the woman* of your dreams will probably hang out.


You sit on the deck, watching the beautiful sun slowly dip down into the horizon, and suddenly you spot a beautiful young lady that seems equally delighted by this magnificent sunset. You march up to her and say: “Hi, I’m Stan the Man, and I am the most successful and well-dressed rep in my company. That sunset that you were so admiring is caused by all the little particles of pollution that cause the deep red colour, and the light particles travelled more than 150 million kilometres to get here. That took only eight minutes, but without those rays there would be no photosynthesis for plants, and we would all die of oxygen deprivation and starvation in the next few months. By the way, will you marry me?”


You see the crazy look on her face, and decide maybe it would be better to move on to someone else. So you try another lady, and when you are rejected, you repeat the strategy for every other woman in the room. When that fails, you think that since you invested so much in the outfit, the shoes and the after-shave, perhaps you better start asking some of the men too. As you walk away, beaten and disappointed, you blame the suit, the shoes, and the after- shave.

But you never question the strategy.


Yet this is what I see most companies doing in their marketing strategy. “Let’s create some beautiful ads,” they say, “And then we’ll broadcast them as widely as possible, and see what happens.” And when it all fails, they blame the ads, and the sales reps. But they never question the strategy!


Imagine the same scenario at the singles bar, but this time you gently walk up to the beautiful young lady and say, “Isn’t this just breathtaking?” And as she looks at you, you follow-up by saying, “It’s so tranquil and beautiful I try to come here and enjoy it as often as I can. How come I’ve never seen you here before?” Better chance of success, right? And it improves as you put in more effort to get to know her better, to truly listen to her, to pay her lots of compliments, to do the things she wants to do, and to overlook the little idiosyncrasies.

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Last modified on Friday, 09 May 2014 08:43
Aki Kalliatakis

Aki Kalliatakis runs The Leadership LaunchPad, a business focused on customer loyalty and radical marketing that he founded in 1989. He helps companies to implement customised service and loyalty strategies and lectures at executive development programmes for a number of business schools of both local and international universities, though he believes practical ideas are more important than academic theory. He adds value at training programs in Africa and around the world.

Website: www.leadershiplaunchpad.co.za

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