Do you like when people pay attention to what you have to say? When they laugh at your jokes, looking deeply into your eyes and seemingly hanging on your every word? Well then, you’re someone who likes to be seduced.
On the other hand, do you like it when people spend all their time yakking about themselves? How about when they name drop, brag about their abilities or whom they’ve been hanging with lately? Do you like it when you’re obviously taking part in an one-way conversation?
If you answered, no, like most people, you’re not looking to be sold. And I’m guessing you don’t care for what largely passes as advertising from companies who should know better these days. So why do we marketers/advertisers continue to produce something we don’t personally care for as people and that we logically know isn’t going to effectively do the job?
Here’s where I pan out on that subject.
I think the large majority of advertisers do it because telling people all about their company and what they consider “selling” is easy. They think that people actually want to hear about the stuff that constitutes a one-way conversation. But seduction, well, that’s hard. And some marketers just don’t want to put in the extra effort. It requires time, patience, skill and a willingness to give before you get. Let’s talk about each one of these for just a bit.
Time is arguably the single most precious commodity in our lives today. We don’t have enough of it and the pressure to do more, faster and with less is the new normal and it isn’t going away. We live in a “has to be done yesterday” quarterly earning kind of world. That means Corporate America is entirely focused on hitting the earnings numbers, budget numbers or sales goals. And when companies and brand managers don’t see that line moving in the upward trajectory they want, they press down on the sales pedal just a little harder and churn out more ads – usually containing some kind of special offer or limited-time-only promotion – anything to sell consumers on the idea that they need our “best in class/state-of-the-art/revolutionary/etc.” products or services…and they need to buy it TODAY.
Which leads us to…patience. The best seductress is patient. She can sit unassumingly for hours softly indicating her interest. Maybe it’s is a fleeting glance that she knows catches your eye or gentle brush as she passes by you. With each step in the seduction she becomes bolder, more noticeable but at no time does she race to the finish line. No, the seductress is much smarter than that because she’s not playing for a one-night stand. She’s not thinking in a “lustful” transactional manner. She’s thinking long-term. She wants you to want to do something—a deal, a partnership or just a transaction (but it will be the first of many). To do that she’s got to really get you. She’s not looking to sell but rather have you aching to buy. And that, my friend, takes patience, a good bit of time, and of course, some serious marketing skills.
And speak of skills, take a moment and think about your friends, partners, clients and yes, romantic interests (today and in the past) and ask yourself how many true seductresses you know. How many of your inner circle can truly seduce and persuade? I’m going to guess that the number is pretty small and if you focus your thoughts on that small but select group, I’m guessing you’ll find one common trait amongst them. They are truly interested in others. They don’t feign interest. They are truly motivated by learning about others and using that learning to build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
And finally, seduction requires the seducer to give before they get. For any seduction to work, the seducee must feel special. What that looks like can range from privileged information or insight to an offer no one else is getting to. It’s that feeling that often pushes their ego to override logic and entice them to enter into transactions, deals and partnerships they otherwise might shy away from or ignore altogether. People want to see that you’re bringing something of value to their lives and that you’re making their lives better…not selling them something.
At the end of the day, you, your friends, your family members, your customers…no one is looking to get sold to. Instead, try being a bit less about you and more about the customer. It could be then that they’ll show you the love you’re looking for.