Attack by Squirrel Inspires Marketing

I was walking by myself down a path along some woods this weekend when suddenly I was soundly thumped on the head by something from above. When I looked down to see what had stuck me, I found a black walnut the size of a golf ball on steroids. Luckily, I was wearing my favorite Tilley hat which cushioned the blow.

At first I assumed it was total serendipity and that the nut had picked that second to release from the tree branch. Then as I looked up, I saw some quick movement. "Assassin!" I wanted to shout. But, when I spied the furry gray tail I knew it was only a squirrel getting an early start on winter storage.

A number of profanities made their way to my lips but all that came out was a yell of "Nuts!" And, then I went on my way.

I had to admit that I was genuinely surprised by the interruption to my walking reverie. And, it was at that moment that I realized that we as marketers and sales people need to do more to surprise our clients and customers. I wrote some time back when referring to what Seth Godin calls permission marketing that you have to interrupt people at some point. You need to get their attention be it by blogging, authoring a book, giving a speech or learning how to yodel for the next customer picnic.

I think surprise is highly underrated as a method for both delighting your clients and also getting their attention which, if you keep pleasing them, will lead to the permission and relationship you want and need.

Here's an idea. You probably know that after Christmas, Halloween is both the favorite holiday and the one where people are willing to spend big bucks on decorations and costumes. Why? Well, for one thing it plays into our fantasies. And, secondly, most of us enjoy a great surprise. In fact we're delighted and will pay to be surprised at Haunted Houses and on Haunted Hayrides.

Why not use that love of fantasy, costumes and surprise in your business?

  1. You own a chain of pizza shops or other business where you offer free delivery. Why don't you have your deliver people dress in a costume. Imagine opening your door to find a gorilla or clown with your order.
  2. A bank can have their tellers dress in costume for each type of holiday. Elves for Christmas, hearts and cupid for Valentines and, my favorite, large rabbits with giant ears at Easter. Customers would be delighted. Provide a costume allowance for your team and I bet you'll also see some great teamwork come out of the project.
  3. You say you have a small company and work from home! No problem. Make those days when you are in costume time to get out and visit customers and prospects. Make sure you keep it a surprise. And, don't forget to have some small treat to give away as a tie in.
  4. After you've done this for a while, you can ask your customers to participate. Take photos of all of them with one of your employees. Make sure you give them a copy and post a copy at your location.
  5. Don't just go with the major holidays. There are plenty of others that you can use.
  6. Put all the photos on your website and blog. Have fun! There are no limits to the types of businesses and professions that can participate.

I can just see my doctor dressed as that gorilla during my next colonoscopy. Tell me that wouldn't be a great time.

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People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Since we can’t pick or choose the “type” of person we are most likely to trust and like right away, we need to learn how to effectively with everyone’s personality style.” Learn how in this report and start increasing your sales right away!

Selling To The Four Personality Types

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