Monday, February 4, 2008

Teach a prospect to fish . . .

The old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” has applicability to the attraction and retention of customers through your marketing communications. Instead of selling a fish, education your prospect about fishing. Instead of pushing for a transaction, offer a relationship.

Communications aimed at “selling a man a fish” are often based on hype, hyperbole and focused on the fish at hand. He gets his fish, and when he wants another one, he’ll get it from the nearest pond.

Communications aimed at “teaching a man to fish” are based on solid information, offer to give something to the man first, and are focused on building a relationship.

  • Putting an unbiased “How To Shop for Widgets” section on your website
  • Offering a free booklet on the Bahamas with your travel business mailing
  • Offering a first-time-buyer discount

Working a communications program of attraction rather than promotion invites your prospects into a relationship rather than a drive-by purchase.