I just sat down and watched “Air Bud" for the first time with my oldest son. I know. I'm WAY behind the times. So sue me.
You may know the story. A new kid in town, boy-meets-dog tale of friendship, trust and camaraderie.
So what does a boy named Josh and his dog have to teach us about marketing and customer care?
Plenty. But lets get an overview of the specifics of the plot that are relevant:
Buddy, the dog, is a runaway. He was abused by his previous owner, and newspapers were the object of abuse. As a result, every time a newspaper was delivered at his new owner's home, Buddy would bury it in the back yard.
When Buddy makes headlines in the local news as a b-ball playing miracle dog, he old owner, Norm, comes to reclaim his dog “with papers to prove it". The heartbreak begins for both Buddy and Josh.
Josh finds a way to liberate Buddy and they are reunited again for the final game of the season. But in the court room later on, there is a custody dispute over who rightfully owns Buddy.
It is decided to let the dog decide, and Norm and Josh are placed at opposite ends of a field, instructed to call the dog, but not to move toward the dog. When Buddy moves toward either of them, that will establish ownership of Buddy.
So as the calling begins, Norm pulls out a newspaper and begins calling to the dog, enticing him with what he THINKS will encourage the dog to draw near to him.
But what actually happens is a telling story of how we as marketers can sometimes think we're giving what our customers want, but in reality we're simply not paying attention.
As Buddy watches Norm with the paper, that tired old message rings in his ears. He begins to get angry with Norm, and as he approaches his former owner, he attacks the paper, rips it to shreds, and ultimately ends up on the other side of the field with Josh.
Are you beating your prospects over the head with a tired old message that they don't want to hear? It might work for a bit. It might even keep them “in line" for a while. But when the opportunity presents itself, they'll be gone just as fast as a basketball playing, golden retriever named Buddy.
On the other hand, are you demonstrating true concern for your clients? Are you actively involved in helping them find solutions to their needs, desires, and concerns? Are you providing aid and comfort in a time of storm? Or do you continue to pelt your prospect list with the same old stuff on a different day?
It's been said before: People don't want to be sold. People like to buy. Stop trying to sell prospects with your “newspaper approach" and become their friend. It takes more work, but the value of the loyalty you'll receive in return is the best thing you could ever “fetch" in return.
After nearly 10 years in Direct Sales, Lisa Young stopped listening to her up-line and started seeking professional sales and marketing wisdom from the far corners of big business. Today Lisa offers ready-to-use insights, tips and inspiration to others in the Home Party Plan community looking to run their business like a business and achieve success. Lisa's free monthly newsletter “PartyOn!" features articles from a business perspective designed to help MLM reps reach their booking, sales and recruiting goals. You can sign up for the newsletter at http://www.HomePartySolution.com