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June 17, 2018

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida Business

Harness the power of curiosity and stand out in a crowded market

Ron Stein | 6/4/2018

I bet you remember walking into a cheesy department store and hearing someone on the loudspeaker shout, “Hello shoppers, for the next ten minutes you can find battery powered sock warmers for only $3.99 in aisle seventeen. Just look for the flashing red light.” That in-your-face promotional activity worked great back then.

The department store amplifiied its marketing message by literally blasting it out on a loudspeaker. But today, in the age of digital marketing, what is enough and what is going too far?

You know the problem -- with all the noise and various channels vying to grab your prospect’s attention, it’s hard to stand out. After all, we are bombarded with thousands of brand messages appealing to our senses every day.

It’s a war on our senses and a contest for our attention. Yet you can't force, or capture, someone's attention -- instead, you have to pique their interest, captivate them. Captivate — the action of attracting and holding the attention or interest of someone — is the higher road to take, one where you’ll win (most) every time.

So, how do you avoid creating louder and more annoying noise than your competition in your promotional activities and instead, truly captivate and gain the attention of customers?

An age-old problem in a digital world. There’s nothing new about the attention deficit mountain companies must climb to reach their audience. Sure, the “ease” of digital marketing has made this more challenging, however the psychology of grabbing your customers’ attention is still the same. Relevance, personalization, and evoking an emotional response are key, yet most marketers have figured this out. So, the problem really doesn’t go away -- because no one can be attentive to everything at once. It’s time to captivate your audience and fascinate them, to get and keep their attention.

Captivate your customer’s brain with curiosity. Excessive information and short attention spans is a toxic combination in today’s digital marketing age. For your outreach efforts to work, create messages, ads, and calls-to-action built around curiosity. Do this and you’ll break through the noise barriers by creating conflict and introducing surprise. Conflict is a seemingly hopeless contradiction between your future customer’s current knowledge and a new piece of information, creating an information gap. When this happens, our brain wants to know more and demands resolution. While surprise is a unique, even unusual and unexpected action or suggestion, causing a magnetic attraction. A normally familiar situation is turned upside down and the more curious we become. Your customer is captivated and becomes engaged.

How to captivate your audience. Conflict and surprise triggers a very precise response. If we can’t figure something out that affects us, people react in a very predicable way -- we find that interesting and our curiosity drives us to pursue the answer. It’s not enough to just offer up an idea that conflicts with our understanding on a topic important to us, and then try to learn why. We only become engaged if the situation can be satisfactorily resolved through a process of exploration -- and it’s relevant to us.

For example, a cybersecurity company named Eclypses uses an enigmatic pitch: “If data can be hacked or stolen, stop using real data!” When I hear that, I think, how is it possible to transmit or store my super-secret private data if I don’t transmit or store my data? I’m conflicted about how this works and curious to find out more. So I will ask Eclypses for more infomation, or click the link, or read on, until my curiosity is satisfied.

It’s a jungle out there. Everywhere you turn, online and offline, companies are fighting for your customer’s attention. It's important to use tools and sales pitches that will catch your buyer’s attention and draw them in with curiosity.

Harness the power of curiosity and stand out in a crowded market!

Ron Stein is founder of More Customers Academy, helping business leaders build strategic messaging and positioning that cuts through the competitive noise to grow revenue. Ron has developed his own highly successful 5-step Stand Out & Sell More approach to winning new customers as a result of his twenty-five years of business development, marketing, and selling experiences. He works with a range of businesses, from startups to large corporations across industries including technology and healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services and banking. Ron conducts workshops, leads company meetings, offers keynote talks, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or by email.

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