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Intimacy

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By the time you read this, Barack Obama will have announced his running mate for the upcoming presidential election. What’s interesting is the way he’s supposedly going to do it: with a text message to his supporters.
Does this seem impersonal and ineffective to you? Think again: the voters who signed up to be the first to know think this is targeted, timely and intimate.

Politics aside, there’s a lot we business owners can learn from this red hot campaign. Its plain spoken, transparent language is authentic and easy to understand. Whether you agree with what’s being said is a completely moot issue: just listen to the style.

“I’m going to take my coat off here, I don’t want to look too stiff!” Barack told a crowd in a machine shop room at a community college. If you don’t like Obama, maybe you’ll like the apostle Paul’s words: “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Both men understand the importance of adapting to their audience.
What do religion and politics have to do with marketing? Recruitment. And successful recruitment begins with intimate relationships.

How can you be intimate with Ms. Jones … beyond using her name in the salutation on a direct mailer? How about a handwritten note? A birthday card? A personal call before a big sale? Remembering her kids’ names? Walking her to her car?

How do you adapt your personality to hers? You can’t fake it and become something you’re not, but what can you do? What cues does she send that you grab and run with? What do you do when you just can’t connect?

Would Ms. Jones vote for you?

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