We’ve all heard that it takes seven touches (marketing messages) before a customer actually buys. Why is this? It’s not because people need convincing from seven different messages. It is because they need to actually pick up the message on their radar. It takes repeated exposure until a message becomes familiar enough to our subconscious to get past all of the filtering our brain does of the irrelevant data we are exposed to every day. Our subconscious has to say, “that looks familiar,” (relevant to my life) before the brain will even bring it to the conscious mind for processing. Humans have survived this long by being able to filter out massive amounts of irrelevant information and focus on the most important for survival. Eons ago survival depended upon the brain’s ability to recognize a subtle the difference between bushes blowing in the wind vs. the movement of a saber toothed tiger (irrelevant distractions had to be filtered by the subconscious to ensure survival). Today it’s the ability to recognize patterns in data and make business connections that ensure survival (or at least prosperity).
To make the sale, you need to get on the radar of the decision maker.
Bo Eason, a former NFL football player, is an example of one way to prospect effectively. Here’s his story.
Eason suffered a tragic knee injury that ended his football career. As he was carried off the field, he imagined his future. In his words, he saw himself in an orange jumpsuit in prison due to his life’s passion and training– to aggressively hit people. He was scared. Then he saw another image; he was on the stage channeling his energy and physical prowess into acting.
Eason enrolled in acting school. While there, he asked his classmates, “Who is the very best actor?” They said, “Al Pacino.” Eason replied, “I’m going to talk with him and learn to be the best.” They of course laughed, but a week later he got the appointment and pulled up in front of Pacino’s house to chat. Eason asked Pacino if he got requests like this all the time. Pacino said “No,” explaining that everyone else only wanted the name of his agent or an introduction to get a part. “No one wants to know how to be the best,” said the great Al Pacino.
Many months later Eason had a profound “I made it moment” when he looked down from the stage and saw Pacino sitting in the audience. Their eyes met, and Pacino simply nodded his approval at Eason. This was the highlight of Eason’s career.
What’s the lesson?
Give successful people what they want most — knowledge that they are making a difference! That means more than any networking trick. It means reading what they write and listening to what they say, then letting them know how much it meant to you.
Talk to decision makers and influencers about what they care about. Now let’s discuss how to speak and write to a stranger so they actually care about what you have to say.