Illustrated by Elly Walton
Door-to-door salesmen have a few things right. It’s hard to say no to someone who’s standing on your doorstep with a rusty Dodge in your driveway and a “Baby on Board” sign in the window. “I’ll listen to what this guy has to say,” you think. An hour later, there’s a new vacuum cleaner in your living room.
More than that, door-to-door salesmen don’t walk up with the new Power-Hoover-Sucker-Upper-in-Titanium-Blue and say, “Look at this vacuum cleaner! You totally need one! Everyone else has one, shouldn’t you?!”
Illustrated by David Flanagan
Recently, Amanda discussed on the Swipely blog how the business applications of “Big Data” is a concept that has been getting a lot of attention in the media during the recent election season. Big Data – or a massive set of data that can be too big to handle, interpret, and read without the help of technology – can also provide tremendous insights and opportunities.
Why is this important, and what can you do with the data once you’ve collected it? Thinking about the psychology and science of behavior (in this case, spending habits), is one way to use Big Data to make connections that will be useful in building loyalty in your business.
I didn’t want to touch the Twinkie/Hostess thing, I really didn’t. The politics and opinions surrounding the demise of our favorite childhood golden treat is almost as bad as the election’s negative ads.
But Harvard Business Review (disclosure: Harvard is a client) posted something that I think is so important:
“Hostess established a relationship with us as consumers, but over time that foundation didn’t do enough to keep us engaged.”
Illustration by Nick Palazzo
Around midnight last night, when our power came back on from Sandy’s passing, I thought to myself, “Are there any scheduled tweets in my Hootsuite account right now?” Thankfully, the answer was no, and my feeds had been silent as long as our busted generator had been.
But a glance on Twitter showed that I wasn’t the only one thinking about how stupid a scheduled tweet might look during a crisis.
Even worse, hurricane marketing became a fad over the past couple of days. The word-of-mouth era isn’t exactly the greatest time to make a bad decision, because there’s no such thing as a “quiet mistake.” You can’t accidentally tweet from the wrong account, and you most certainly can’t try to make a dollar off of a Hurricane. Even if half of the Northeast were making jokes about it a few days ago and posting that tired photo of the tipped over lawn chair.
People often sell products and services better than websites do. That’s why automated systems don’t do telesales and why door-to-door salesmen can still make a living (once you let them in). It’s also why video marketing is successful.
Transacting with a real human not only reduces the chances of rejection, but it also induces the fuzzy feeling we get when we talk to new, interesting strangers.
Would you like to be a new, interesting stranger? You do if you have a product or service to sell. After that stage, you want to be a loyal friend who always has the best answers and is willing to bend over backward to make their friends happy.
Customer service is an art form that local mom and pop shops and independent small business have perfected.
Here are a few ways that you can start humanizing your business today, right now, right this minute.