Renowned author, politician, diplomat, scientist, publisher, philosopher and inventor, born in 1706, perhaps Benjamin Franklin is best known as simply, a founding father.
Be it the respect of his peers or opposition, it’s what Franklin discovered about winning, that really makes the man a legend.
Accounts recall that when he was in the Pennsylvania legislature, he was deeply bothered by the staunch political opposition and honesty of another legislator. Franklin himself then explained how he successfully won his respect and even friendship:
“I did not, however, aim at gaining his favor by paying any servile respect to him, but, after some time, took this other method. Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately and I returned it in a about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death. This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”
Almost a century later, researchers Jon Jecker and David Landy set out to see if Franklin was right.
In one study, participants won some money from the experimenter in a contest. Afterward, one group of participants was approached by the experimenter, who asked them if they’d be willing to give back the money, stating it was his own and he had little left. Almost ALL agreed! Another group of participants was not approached with any request. All of the participants from both groups were then anonymously surveyed about how much they liked the experimenter.
Was Franklin’s strategy, as illogical as it sounds, supported? Indeed it was. Jecker and Landy found that those who were asked to do the favour for the experimenter rated the experimenter more favourably than those of whom were not asked to return the money. Why? We know from other studies that people are strongly motivated to change their attitudes in ways that are consistent with their behaviour. When Franklin’s opponent found himself doing a favour for someone he didn’t care for, he probably had to say to himself, “Why am I going out of my way to help this person I don’t even like? Perhaps Franklin’s not so bad after all. Come to think of it, he does have some redeeming qualities…”
Franklin’s strategy lends itself to managing relationships in a myriad of differentiating environments. To take one, often we are in need of assistance from a coworker or neighbor who, for whatever reasoning, may not hold us in very high regard. We proceed with hesitation thinking that if we ask, they’ll like us even less. So, rather than ask for such a favour, a more typical tendency is to put off that request, creating delays. The results of this experiment indicate that such apprehensiveness is unwarranted.
In the case of some objectionable people, asking for a favour may seem to be a rather brave thing to do. But consider the following: If you currently have nothing to show for your communications (or non-communications) with this person, the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll end up with the same nothing. Try it. You truly have nothing to lose.
Have you ever woken up from a dream and had a craving for something specific? It leaves you wondering, “why am I dreaming about this”? Be it food or a car, a person from Facebook, or even a service, there is a methodology behind what some would conceive as madness. This post will outline a few of the tactics marketers use to bury themselves deep within your subconscious; converting the weary consumer into a need-to-buy machine.
Every color represents an emotion. Red infers that something is hot or lovely depending on tone. Blue represents a calm, cool approach. Using color in your marketing, more importantly associating your brand with a specific color, will have the sandman whistling your jingle and the consumer wondering how they can be a part of whatever it is you’re doing.
It’s been proven that simplicity is the best course of action when attempting to garner an audience based on your content. Speak as though you’re conversing with a 6th grader, but do so in a manner in which you don’t condescend or sound unintelligible.
It’s a fine line, but if walked correctly, your potential clients will appreciate your approachable brand for that reason.
Video and Photographic Content
This ties together the last two as well as actually bringing your brand to life. Real situations are what people adhere to. They wanna see you, see your crew (branded up), being real people, who are doing amazing things. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely it will be that through that consistent recognition, the client will feel more at ease with you and your product, service…. brand.
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A common mistake businesses make is the tendency to minimize contact when a
customer takes a negative action, such as a bad review, returning a product, or even
something as simple as unsubscribing from an email list. In reality, these events are the perfect opportunity for you, the business owner, to follow up and nip the issue in the bud.
Bad reviews can seem like a small issue in the beginning, but by allowing them to
accumulate without any type of resolution can in the long run be the death of your
business. By immediately addressing these issues, you not only put the client at ease by letting them know that you genuinely care about their experience and opinion, you also
develop a rapport as a quality business owner within your own niche.
With product returns, utilise the same methodology as dealing with a bad review.
Nordstrom for example, allows customers to return any item at any time, for any reason.
This return policy is highly compelling and makes purchases feel less risky. When Nordstrom follows up with customers who make returns, it confirms the positive experience that those customers had with its return policy.
When a customer unsubscribes from your email list, firstly respond to their perceived
negative actions, by unsubscribing him (give them what they want!). Then send them an unsubscribe confirmation that lists other ways they can engage with your brand, such as your social media or brick-and-mortar stores. Remind your client that you’re happy to communicate with them in the place that best fits their needs.
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