Excuse Me, Can I Have Your Money?
Asking your way to millions
What does creating a million dollar business and dating have in common? Let’s take a look:
Getting Married, The Wrong Way
Imagine you’re trying to get married. You decide the quickest and most efficient way is to thoroughly impress the first pretty girl you see, then ask for her hand in marriage. So, you go to the tailor and get a custom fitted suit, you buy the freshest cologne, you get a new haircut, and you even hire an expert who knows all the best bars in town to help you prospect for women—you have to go all out, you only get one shot.
You pull up to the club thinking “There is no way I’ll get turned down in this getup. I’ll be way more impressive than ever other guy there so she’ll have to say yes.” You walk in and see a pretty girl sitting at the bar, you walk up to her and propose. She says no..surprise surprise. You immediately blame the tailor, the cologne, and the expert. You go to a thousand different bars and after spending loads of money, resources, and time, you finally find one person crazy enough to say yes.
Getting Married, The Right Way
Instead of going for the first-time-impression approach like above, you take a more tactful approach—dating.
You find a pretty girl and you impress her just enough with your wits, talents, and looks, to go on a first date with you. A first date, after all, represents a big investment in time, money, and ego, so there has to be a big enough reason for her to take that risk. On the first date, you reveal a bit more of your personality and charm so that she will agree to a second date.
If the second date goes well, you go on two more, then five more, then thirty more. Soon enough, you will meet her parents and things will get much more serious. After 6-8 months of dating, you have gained enough trust, familiarity, and approval with one another that you ask her hand in marriage, and guess what..she says yes!
I know the two scenarios above are pretty obvious to almost every person alive. But what’s funny, is that it applies directly to marketing, and it’s hardly obvious to anyone doing it…
Interruption Marketing vs. Permission Marketing
Going for the shock-and-awe approach to getting married is parallel to Interruption Marketing, and it’s how the majority of businesses market. It includes:
- Spending large amounts of money on flashy advertisements, promotions, and offers that interrupt a large mass of people in hopes a few of them say yes.
- Reach instead of frequency (going for as many people as possible instead of repeatedly targeting a small audience).
- Focus on building brand recognition and trust through PR, publicity stunts, and mass media.
Permission Marketing is dating your customer. It turns strangers into friends and friends into lifetime customers.
- Spending a small amount of money to catch the consumer’s attention in order to get their permission for another date. Not to purchase your product.
- Frequency instead of reach (frequency causes the consumer to focus on the message you’re trying to get across. Just like repeating yourself to a three–year–old makes it more likely that she will understand, or repeated commands to a horse to train him, repeating yourself to a target consumer greatly increases the odds your message gets through).
- Focus on building trust and permission with each customer through continually rewarding them for giving you more permission.
5 Steps To Dating Your Customer
1.) Offer the customer an incentive for volunteering. Offer something that makes it interesting enough to go out on a first date. The bigger the incentive, the easier it is for the customer to volunteer (information, entertainment, or even outright payment for their attention).
2.) Once gaining their attention, teach the customer about the product or service over time. The permission marketer knows that the first date is an opportunity to convince the customer to go on a second date. Every step along the way has to be interesting, useful, and relevant. Since the prospect has agreed to give you their attention it is much easier to teach them about your product. Instead of trying to fill each message with flashy offers, the marketer can focus on the real benefits and the specific ways the product will help this customer.
3.) Reinforce the incentive. Just like any date will get bored with going to even the most expensive restaurant over and over again, your incentive to your customer will wear out. But the amazing benefit of permission marketing is that you have a two-way dialogue with each customer which makes finding new incentives that meet each customer’s needs extremely easy.
4.) Increase the level of permission. This is where you gather all the information about the customer as possible. From data about their personal life, personal interests, to their habits. This permission can be used very widely to sell a variety of products and services and is only limited to the relevance of the product or service to the customer. You can use this permission you’ve obtained to change the consumer’s behavior, that is, to get them to say “I do.”
5.) Leverage your permission into a profitable step for both of you—marriage. You have the most valuable thing a customer can offer: attention. You can use it to gain more customers, more permission, and more profit. Nothing good is free, and that goes double for a customer’s permission. It is an investment that will pay big returns.
Overall, who even likes being interrupted? I know I sure hate it. With time being our most valuable asset, getting interrupted for something we don’t care for or need is starting to get old. It’s back to the old days when the baker had to gain the trust of everyone in his town for them to continue buying his bread, or how the bookseller had to read every book in order to recommend it to his frequent visitors, or the local cheese merchant who would happily offer the taste of a new cheese to a customer in order to keep him coming back. It’s back to honest, high integrity marketing—permission marketing.
by Chad Holmes
Owner of Value First Marketing
Chad is a direct response copywriter and marketer who specialized in social media marketing strategy. He focuses on Value First Marketing, which is building trust with your customers, establishing yourself as THE authority in your market, and 10 X-ing your marketing efforts by giving value BEFORE selling.
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