Selling the Authentic

By February 9, 2009blog

I’m starting a new rule for blogging – if I have an epiphany that is supported by three independent unsolicited conversations, then I’ll blog about it.

The epiphany in this case is about connecting/resonating with our prospects and customers on a level that goes WAY beyond just providing a product or service…

#1 A good friend of mine from college created and built it into a 200 employee company that REI fears. He did it by connecting with customers in a way that has LESS to do with the gear they sell, and EVERYTHING to do with interacting with some REALLY funny guys who have have pretty much the same products as everyone else. Go to the site and read as much of the text on the site as you can, and try not to laugh. We just met with them for two full days to figure out how to apply the same theory to (which I’m an investor/adviser).

#2 One of my all-time favorite copywritters, Gary Bencivenga, wrote this and I just stumbled across it:
” In your copy, especially your Welcome Letter, never be too timid to say with clarity and boldness what you believe and specialize in. Like the original IBM, have a company religion and evangelize it with zeal. Wear your colors proudly.

I call this the Credo Technique. Credo (pronounced CRAY-doe) is Latin for I believe. But it is much more than a technique. It is an expression of your most strongly held core values which serve as a clarion call to gather the like-minded faithful of your marketplace.

You will find that when you clearly stand for something, you will never stand alone. Indeed, standing for something special in your overcrowded marketplace sets you apart from armies of me-too competitors who strive to be everything to everybody, and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.

Using the Credo Technique is the surest way I know to attract and bond with your kindred spirits, your true believers, your most loyal comrades in arms, your best clients and friends, as I hope I have found in you.”

He’s talking about going BEYOND our products to connect on a DEEPER level with our prospects and customers by being REAL. Let them FEEL who we are.

#3 I just came across this TED video last night. And it explains why both #1 and #2 makes MORE sense today than ever. It looks like a technical, boring video at first, but just stick with it, it’s brilliant!…

AND, as I reflect back at RegOnline, a couple of the things that we got the BIGGEST response from our customers and had NOTHING to do with our software service.

  1. Our company holiday cookbook
  2. An email that I sent to all of our clients that said “We love you, we really do”
  3. Building a support team environment that REALLY cared about the customers.

SO, the epiphany/paradigm-shift/new-information-has-come-to-light-MAN is THIS… show some fricken personality and let your prospects and customers FEEL why you care about being in the business that you are in. As consumers we WANT more than nice products and services WE WANT to feel and have more AUTHENTIC experiences in the process. So GIVE the REAL deal inside – it’s more fun for everyone!

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