Attracting customers to your business – post 6 of 6

This is the final post in this series focusing on the ethical use of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ described by Professor Robert Cialdini. It brings us to the last weapon which is Scarcity.

Many businesses get this wrong. They market themselves as having infinite capability and capacity, they pursue as many leads as possible and their attitude is that they can never have too much work. The problem with this is how it is perceived by prospective clients. As a buyer, if I think that there is infinite supply, why do I need to make the decision to buy now? Unless I have to make a purchase, I can put it off because I know there will always be supply when I do actually need to buy. Any discretionary purchase can be delayed. There are so many suppliers of mobile phone contracts that I don’t need to make any decisions until the point at which my commitment to my current supplier needs my attention at the end of the contract.

scarcity creates demand

Cialdini tells the tale that people genuinely believe that the biscuits in a jar where just a few are available taste better than those from a full jar. Scarcity not only encourages people to decide to buy now, it convinces them that the item in scarce supply is more desirable, of better quality and brings with it a cachet of ownership that will reflect favourably on them.

Find ways in your business, not just your marketing, to emphasise the scarce nature of your goods and services. If you also manage to restrict your product or service offerings to a well-selected but limited range, this makes scarce the range of choices open to customers. I recall an example of a restaurant with two different menu offerings. Menu A had an enormous range of dishes to choose from, covering the cuisines of several countries over several pages. Menu B was a short, well-selected list of six dishes on one page. The vast majority of customers chose to order from Menu B, identifying it as less confusing and easier to choose from.

Menus_thick menu_elegant_short2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Implementing all of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business requires diligence, determination and a systematic approach. The Congruent Client Attraction System™ provides the framework you need to implement effective attraction marketing in your business in an ethical manner. http://bit.ly/1xwcAXV

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Attracting customers to your business – post 4 of 6

The next Cialdini Principle of Influence in this series of 6 blog posts is that of Liking.

LikeAs a rule, we agree to the request of someone we know and like. Most people will be familiar with the Tupperware® party. The use of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ at the Tupperware party is fairly easy to identify. Reciprocity is applied by playing games before the buying begins – games that result in everybody receiving a gift. Commitment and consistency comes from each attendee being urged to describe how great the Tupperware is that they already own. Once buying begins, social proof is used to underline that each purchase is very similar to purchases made by other attendees. The genius of the Tupperware party is in the application of the principle of liking. The request to buy the product is not made by a stranger; it comes from a dear friend of everyone in the room. She is the party hostess, who has called her friends into her home for the demonstration, providing hospitality and refreshments. Everyone knows the hostess will profit from each item sold at her party. She is their friend. She is their hostess. She is liked by them. Who could say no?

Tupperware partyApplying liking to your business development activities involves creating the sense within your customers and your prospective clients that you and your company are genuinely likeable. You will have your own unique ways of creating this sense of liking. Every interaction with a customer, a prospective client or anyone at all who experiences your business must enhance the sense of liking. For me and my service business it is key that everything is congruent. This congruence is a recurring theme throughout my book ‘Dance with the Elephants. In marketing terms, and in every other aspect of your business, all your activities should enhance the sense of liking.

Implementing all of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business requires diligence, determination and a systematic approach. The Congruent Client Attraction System™ provides the framework you need to implement effective attraction marketing in your business in an ethical manner. http://bit.ly/1xwcAXV

Attracting customers to your business – post 3/6

This third post in the series describing how to implement Professor Robert Cialdini’s six ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business covers Social Proof.

social proof1Social proof relates to our tendency to behave as pack animals. In many circumstances we do what others do, we want to fit in and we don’t want to be seen as radically different. Cialdini offers a very apt quotation. ‘Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.’ This is another manifestation of people acting on autopilot much of the time. Often we mimic the actions of those around us unconsciously. One of the most ridiculous examples of the use of social proof is the deployment of canned laughter. Logically we know it is canned, it is not genuine and it is a device. But so often we play along laughing in unison, particularly when in group situations. We know full well that the hilarity we hear has been created artificially by a technician at a control board and not generated spontaneously by a genuine audience. We know full well that this is a transparent forgery. Yet we laugh along – it works on us!

Social-Proof2Applying this principle to your business involves reassuring prospective clients that doing business with you makes them part of the crowd, that they belong, that such behaviour is completely normal. One small example of deploying this principle is illustrated in the following scenario. Suppose you are a service business and you are promoting a series of workshops to attract new customers to your business. Showing the number of people who have already booked to attend your workshops on your website or, even more powerfully, identifying them by name, provides reassurance for prospective attendees that they will be joining like-minded people at your event. ‘It’s okay; lots of people just like you will be attending!’ How about a scenario for a product business? You are about to launch a new product, having previously done some pilot testing. Again you have a website. Putting several testimonials from those who were involved in the pilot on that website will provide social proof for prospective buyers.

Client testimonial1Implementing all of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business requires diligence, determination and a systematic approach. The Congruent Client Attraction System™ provides the framework you need to implement effective attraction marketing in your business in an ethical manner. http://bit.ly/1v8ibFv

Attracting customers to your business – post 2/6

The second in a series of 6 posts outlining how to implement Professor Robert Cialdini’s six ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business covers Commitment and Consistency.

Comm and Consis v1We humans like to see ourselves as predictable, that our actions are consistent with our principles, with who we are in ourselves and with others in society. In most circumstances, consistency and predictability are valued whereas inconsistency is generally thought to be an undesirable personality trait. Individuals whose beliefs, words and deeds don’t match are seen as unreliable, two-faced or devious. This second of Cialdini’s six Principles of Influence requires you to have some knowledge of who your prospective clients are because you need to have a degree of understanding about how they think and what they value. One of the benefits of focusing your business on well-defined niche markets is that it can improve your knowledge of the prospective clients in those niches. What you are looking to do is answer the question ‘what are the prospective customers in my niche market committed to?’

Applying this principle to attracting prospective clients to your business requires you to help them connect what you are asking them to do with what they are already committed to and believe in. For instance, if you know that your prospective client has previously bought organic foods, choosing to pay a premium to do so, you can deduce that they are committed in some way to organic foods. Your task then is to present your request in such a way that identifies for them that agreeing to your request is entirely consistent with their commitment to organic foods.

Comm and Consis v2If your product or service has some Unique Selling Points, identify the commitments that underpin those USPs. For example, if you sell fashion accessories that are animal friendly, items that are completely cruelty-free, you should emphasise to your prospective client that buying a product from you as a gift for an animal-loving friend of theirs is entirely consistent with that friend’s commitment to animal welfare. You can also point out that buying your product demonstrates that your prospective client is emphasising their commitment to their friend’s passion. As the graphic above illustrates, all you have left to do is to make it convenient to take the right action.

Implementing all of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business requires diligence, determination and a systematic approach. The Congruent Client Attraction System™ provides the framework you need to implement effective attraction marketing in your business in an ethical manner.

 

Attracting customers to your business – post 1/6

This is the first in a series of 6 posts explaining how to implement Professor Robert Cialdini’s six ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business. We begin with Reciprocation.

reciprocating-boomerang

The rule of reciprocation says that we try to repay, in kind, when someone else has given us a gift or kindness. If somebody does us a favour, we try to do something for them in return. If a friend buys us a birthday present, we remember their birthday and reciprocate with a gift of our own. If we are invited to dinner, we will invite our hosts for dinner at a later point. This is a very powerful principle that can significantly improve the attractiveness of your business to prospective clients.

Reciprocity2

The principle of reciprocation leads to the giving of ‘free samples’. The beauty of the free sample is that it is also a gift and, as such, can entice the receiver to reciprocate. Perhaps the most prevalent free sample now is ‘Give us your email address and we will send you this wonderful free report’. One interesting aspect of the principle of reciprocity is the tendency towards spiralling escalation. A small initial kindness can produce a sense of obligation to offer a much larger return favour or gift. Thus, giving your prospective clients a free gift, particularly one that has genuine worth, can induce within them a sense of obligation to return your kindness. While genuine worth is advantageous, it is not always necessary. How many times have you been given a free pen, for which you have very little use or need, and then found yourself giving a charitable donation in return?

There are many ways to enhance the power of the principle of reciprocation. Combining this principle with other techniques can be particularly effective. For instance, once your prospective client has accepted your first small gift, in return for their email address, it may be that you offer them a more valuable gift in exchange for more information about them – information that is more valuable to you than their email address. Once you have established this dialogue in the form of ‘offer, accept, provide’ you are starting to build a relationship with your prospective clients. This relationship gradually builds in value and, over time, increases their sense of indebtedness and therefore their propensity to buy from you.

Reciprocity3

Implementing all of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business needs diligence, determination and a systematic approach. The Congruent Client Attraction System™ http://bit.ly/1pSMfCH provides the framework you need to implement effective attraction marketing in your business in an ethical manner.