This week, for me, and I believe the whole of America, has been cold.
We have had an Arctic Storm come through from the West coast of California and head towards the East (Florida) where I live.
Today is December 25, 2022.
Merry Christmas to those that celebrate the holiday.
To everyone else, happy Sunday.
Of course, by the time you hear this, it will be Monday morning.
For most of you, this is another day off, being that Christmas fell on a Sunday.
Though, some may have to work to support hospitals, fire stations, the police force, and other critical functions.
And don't let us forget our store clerks and managers that keep us fed, day in and day out.
One and all to this week's podcast.
Last week we talked about stories…
And the fact that…
We looked at it through the lens of Avatar 2: The Way of the Water.
Next week I'll be seeing two new movies.
Number 1: “The Whale”, a movie about an obese man, nearly 600 pounds, played by Brendan Frazer. This movie has mixed reviews.
Number 2: “Whitney Houston” - I wanna dance with somebody.
I may talk about the stories that were told and the impact they had, or did not have.
But for today…
I want to talk for a moment about understanding our customers or our subscribers if you still are not monetizing your content, product, or service.
I am presently reading Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why”.
I'm just getting started with it.
I came across something that he (Simon Sinek) says at the beginning of Chapter 2: Carrots and Sticks.
Under the subheading “Manipulation vs. Inspiration", Simon says, and I quote:
“There's barely a product or service on the market today that customers can't buy from someone else for about the same price, about the same quality, about the same level of service, and about the same features. If you truly have a first-mover’s advantage, it's probably lost in a matter of months. If you offer something truly novel, someone else will soon come up with something similar and maybe even better.
But if you ask most businesses why their customers are their customers, most will tell you it's because of superior quality, features, price, or service. In other words, most companies have no clue why their customers are their customers. This is a fascinating realization. If companies don't know why their customers are their customers, odds are good that they don't know why their employees are their employees.
If most companies don't really know why their customers are their customers or why their employees are their employees, then how do they know how to attract more employees and encourage loyalty among those they already have? The reality is, most businesses today are making decisions based on a set of incomplete or, worse, completely flawed assumptions about what is driving their business.”
End of Quote
Simon goes on to help us understand the coercion that companies both on and offline use to make money.
They use promotions and fear to manipulate prospective consumers.
Even parents use fear to raise kids.
However Online - fear is used so often that it is many times described as FOMO.
Fear of Missing Out
“Hurry, only X amount of this or that is available.”
“Get yours today, before the price increases.”
And exactly how long has that mattress company been going out of business???
Just another form of manipulation.
Even "The Shark Tank" uses manipulation to force an offer made by a shark. "after 5 seconds, the offer is off the table".
Sinek goes in to say that there are times when some forms of manipulation work.
Such as, if your company does not desire customer loyalty and instead only wants one-time sales.
However, if your company DOES want a customer base that is loyal and you would like to have repeat sales, then manipulation might not be the best way to interact with them.
For me, my mentor, and I hope, many of you…
I am more interested in creating happy customers.
My interaction with prospects is different.
In a World full of people who manipulate at every turn, BEING DIFFERENT just feels good.
And when I say being different…
I mean, not lowering our standards.
Not showing countdown timers in emails or on landing pages.
Not using fear to force a sale that may not have been desired.
Not manipulating prospects' feelings, forcing them to feel even worse than they already do, just to sell a product that they may not have normally needed.
Manipulation mostly feels icky.
Who wants to feel icky?
I know I don't.
And when you do want a product, but find out how expensive it is, and then are confronted with FOMO, by way of a technique involving scarcity, or immediate price increases, your prospect now has to make a decision.
Buy NOW or wait and pay more.
They also may not have enough funds to make an immediate purchase and are left feeling either sad or angry.
Sad because they really want it, but must admit they don't have enough money to purchase something they may vitally need.
Angry, because you FORCED them to purchase immediately. Especially when they find out next quarter that they could have waited all along. The item was just part of a standard promotion and happens all the time.
More and more companies and online businesses are deciding to do things differently.
They are choosing to forgo the usual manipulation, opting to be completely transparent with prospects and customers.
They are choosing to give rather than take.
They know those happy customers are far more likely to purchase more than once.
And they understand that most all customers who purchase after a promotion do so within 60-120 days (or longer). In contrast, many other customers that purchase immediately or within the first few weeks would normally do so. For them, no coercion is required.
We have come to understand that manipulation does not help increase sales over the long term.
Any business desiring repeat business should begin NOW to understand how to develop a relationship with its customer base.
Creating a relationship that rewards both the customer and the business is best for both the long term and the short term.
As I continue to go through this book by Simon Sinek, I will continue to share glimmers of truth.
No matter what, being either profitable or not, depends on the relationship you have with your customer base.
Take time now to learn how to develop a healthy and profitable relationship.
You will be glad you did.
Talk to you again next week.
Bye for now.
James "Creating Happy Customers" Brown
P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.