Everywhere that I go I see people are constantly looking at these electronic notice boards called mobile phones. We use them so often that they are completely integrated into our activities, in some cases 20 out of 24 hrs in a day.
The lack of people interaction is getting stronger and stronger to the point that attempts to interact and begin a normal face to face conversation feels like an invasion of privacy. The effect of the mobile era has conditioned us to lose the art of live conversation with one another. Have you ever tried to speak to someone at a cafe? It feels awkward…right? At first I thought it’s just me, however speaking to many (Friends, family and members of my tribe) I get the same story.
This morning i was at the gym, in the spa and there were two people in there and one left a minute or so later which left a single person there (A young female) all of a sudden the awkward level went up a 100 fold. Attempting to get some eye contact happening which would lead to hopefully a brief conversation rather than sitting there in a weird silence was literally impossible as it felt as if she didn’t even acknowledge my presence. I know she knows I’m there, it’s the ‘If I don’t look at him he won’t talk to me” vibe. Now before everyone gets their knickers in a knot I understand that she may have felt intimidated or she could have been in her own space and simply didn’t want to talk etc etc…So I get it !! All I wanted to do is acknowledge that we are in the same space together and for me to simply say hi…That’s it.
BTW the same is happening everywhere, on the train, in a restaurant, at a park, in a club. It was previously reserved to the elevator but now it seems to have spread.
What I’m trying to highlight here is not that long ago when you met another you at least said ‘hello’ and then continued talking with wherever the conversation went from there.
Have we lost the ability for us to communicate and the art of civil communication?
Has the internet and the daily news subconsciously programmed us to a false state of alertness? Triggering a “What does he want and why is he trying to talk to me response?”
Now times this state by 100 and then add to the mix your attempt as a business owner to connect and communicate with your prospect to get them to take action and engage with you, automatically puts you in the tough position. See it’s usually not your product/service it’s the amount of offers online and offline we are bombarded with including all the emails we get and stuff in the mail etc people are just getting saturated, so it’s easy for them to be non reactive.
The common response along the lines of “ What are they trying to sell me now?”
So if you are finding it hard to get your offer out there and not seeing the traction you are looking for here are some cut through techniques that may be helpful for you;
Biggest need – Identifying how your product/service solves your prospect need and or creates an urgency to have that need met, this is critical. Example: If you sell Sunscreen and you had the choice to sell it on the beach or in the mountains which one would you say would have the biggest level of urgency and need? The beach right? I mean it’s not to say that the mountains don’t get any sun but the likelihood of the need being met by your product is exponentially higher. This leads to a higher engagement…Need is there product appears ( your product in correct market place ). Now how does that work if you’re selling sunscreen online not at the beach at that particular time ? This leads to the next point.
Connect deeper – How is it that you can get someone that is 180 odd kilos to take their credit card out at 1 in the morning and say to themselves after watching a 15 min infomercial “Yes I need to have that Snuggy” And part with 4 easy payments of $39.95 for a blanket with arms? The Reason? The prospect watching it feels connection. The commercial is designed to take people on a journey by asking the right questions example “Are you trapped under the blankets?” “Are you finding it hard to use the remote under the blankets?” Now if any of these scenarios have ever happened to you then you’ve just answered “yes” for two questions, and for the sales team standing by, that’s good news. But they don’t stop here , they demonstrate the “why” you need the product, the “how” other people just like you use it as well and most importantly taking you from “pain” to “gain” all the while subtly placing testimonial after testimonial to boot. They get you to connect more with the product on offer like and most importantly with others that made that decision just like you. Now if you don’t use infomercials, the key here is to begin the timeline of getting to understand your prospect and put yourself “in their shoes” so to speak. There is nothing worse than someone trying to sell you their wares and they couldn’t care less or they have no idea about what your needs are let alone what your pain is (All sales are at the bottom denominator based on problem/ need = your solution) So really, the deeper the connection, the more you show that you understand your prospect and do this on a regular basis through excellent, applicable content, the more the cut through as now you have ticked the “credibility” box. The higher the credibility the lower the resistance barriers to buy.
Delivery method – Using the example above, most people if they are heading to the beach will generally be prepared and would have shopped for the product prior. Not to say if you forgot your product you wouldn’t look for a shop close to the beach it’s the hassle of finding a shop, buying it, taking time out of your beach time etc is a bit of a pain. The delivery method is critical to how your prospects engage with you. Selling a sunscreen online is probably not the most common way your prospects buying habits are usually driven by, however samples in magazines, supermarkets and say Facebook ads leading to an opt in for a free sample would likely yield better results. Now this is not to say that if you were selling sunscreen on the beach itself (Legally not sure if there are any ramifications) this wouldn’t be a good platform, I believe in most cases people are already prepared. Beach = thongs, towel, sunscreen, glasses, umbrella. The question is “How is your prospect likely to engage with you?” Example product sales in supermarket deli area’s. When the smiling brand salesman asks “Hey, would you like to try some of these lovely pork and fennel gourmet sausages?” And you’re starving because it’s 5.30 and you’re in the supermarket. The formula is perfect. i.e need is high and product placement is perfect i.e the supermarket is the platform. Do you see how it cuts through all the other products at that time? You can’t be trying to communicate your product with the wrong platform.
Finally cut through takes time, you see something advertised once and you quickly forget about it. Even major events seem to fade from our memory super fast. The world is speeding up, information is 10 times itself on a daily basis. Communication is becoming more insular and the art of communication is following. Some pro’s will try to tell you “Make enough noise and people will hear you” and I have to agree to some point, however what they fail to share is that it takes continued persistence. Gary Veynerchuck shares in his groundbreaking book ‘Crush it’ that if you want people to pay attention it’s 18 months of vlogging every day with killer content and you’ll get noticed.
Business is a long term game and cut through comes from repetition and persistence. I wish it was easier but I don’t know any highly successful business that was an overnight success.
For me, I’m always looking to connect and converse with others. That’s what makes me happy 🙂