A few years ago, a friend recommended that I read a book called ‘Sticky Marketing’.
It tells how, in the age of the empowered customer and two way mass communication, customer behaviour has changed … and so, obviously, marketing should change too.
I was so bowled over by the book, that I went to see the Author, Grant Leboff, when he was speaking in the area … and I’ve been a fan ever since.
So, when I started working on ‘Slow Selling’, I approached Grant for some support and advice … and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
Recently I asked him to talk with me about Sticky Marketing on my podcast.
And here are some of the points he mentioned.
- Customers are now much less reactive: if they want something, they go and search for it: so you need to see and describe yourself though your customers’ eyes. What are their challenges and issues … what are THEY trying to achieve for THEM?
- Then ask yourself: what can I bring to help them? What would lead them to me?
A key principle is CONTEXT:
- For example: Grant said that he had 4 children: if one of them comes to him and asks him if he thinks they could get Mum to do do something for them: he may say something like: ‘Don’t ask now, Mum’s busy … a better time to ask might be after dinner’. I.e. The context of the asking will determine the likely success rate of the request!
And, of course, it’s the same in business.
- A Recruitment Company isn’t dealing with recruitment, it’s dealing with problems because a key member of a team has left, or pressure because a business is growing and needs more people to cope with the demand …
- An Accountant isn’t dealing with Tax Returns, it’s perhaps all about a new start-up that needs support to see the wood from the trees, or an established Company that has been let down by an existing supplier or has a specific specialised problem to solve.
Context can change because of external changes: for example the recent success of Zoom, due to the pandemic.
So it’s vital to always be looking for and understanding the context of your customer and their needs.
When I asked Grant how he thought businesses can keep aware of the contact and keep sharp, he gave the following advice.
- Every conversation is an opportunity: have conversations, listen to your customer and for their needs and context: be interested and be curious
- Get advice from colleagues or advisers: tell them: ‘These are the problems I solve .. what are the contexts that these problems occur?’
- Always keep asking, listening and honing: context is vital!
This is relatively easy to do when you’re very small or just starting up, but, as your business grows, it can get much harder.
So, in order to be able to listen properly, and make sure that your customer knows you’re listening, you need to ensure your people are empowered to listen, solve at first point of contact and feed back to the management.
We discussed different examples from the Airline Industry, and how one Airline stands out as excellent in this area in Grant’s experience.
And lastly, in this age of hyper communication, the most precious resource is attention: it’s limited and finite and ever harder to get.
So you need to be sticky in how you attract it, sticky in how you convert it and sticky in how you solve problems … so customers want to come back to you and recommend you to others!
The best way to learn more about Sticky Marketing and to contact Grant is to join the sticky marketing club at www.stickymarketing.com or buy his books and read them!
I strongly recommend that you do.
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