I called and she picked up. “Hel-lo”
She sounded shocked that I was calling. Then she said, “can you text me instead?”
When I asked why, she said she didn’t like talking on the phone — it was weird :/
… I never texted her back after that.
Whether you’re trying to set up a date or you’re trying to get a potential client to sign up for your services, it’s almost always in your best interest to take the path of least resistance.
Why didn’t I take the path of least resistance and text her back?
I don’t know about you but I’m not particularly fond of awkward IRL dates so I cut my losses.
But there’s an important marketing lesson to be learned here.
Seth Godin talks about Pattern Matching on his blog today. He says:
You have two choices when you want to move forward (grow a business, sell an idea, get a ‘yes’):
1. Have such an insight and deliver such innovation that people will choose to make a new decision, adopt a new habit or otherwise get smarter.
2. Provide an option that matches a decision they’ve already made. No new decisions, merely new information.
Ms. Investor, you already invested in companies A, B, and C. We match that pattern.
Movie executive, you made a lot of money on three comedies for the young adult audience. We match that pattern.
Hey kid, you love to buy new flavors of chocolate bars, here’s a new flavor.
Most of the time, we look for patterns that match our habits. When we find a pattern match, we can embrace it without re-evaluating our beliefs.
In the 21st century, it’s habitual to text rather than call. Calling makes us re-evaluate our beliefs. Whereas a decade ago calling was the norm, now texting is option one.
The important marketing lesson here is you should use pattern matching to your advantage.
Godin shares some examples in his post, but I found Frank Kern to have the best practical advice on this subject.
Kern has been experimenting with having his readers text him when they’re interested in buying one of his products and it seems to be good for business.
Can you imagine?
Instead of you having to reach out to warm customers to buy your products, you flip the table and have your customers contacting you to buy your products.
Kern outlines his 7-Step plan for how he pulls this off in this video.
The plan goes as follows:
Step 1: Send your customer an email acknowledging/teasing them about a particular behavior. For example, after a webinar, email everyone who attended but didn’t buy, use a Subject line like this “NAME, I see what you did :)”
Step 2: Explain what you’re acknowledging in the first sentence. “It looks like you just checked out [Product/Video, etc.]… but you didn’t take me up on my offer.
Step 3: Absolve. Say something that tells your customer they’re not crazy for behaving this way. “That’s pretty normal, actually… most people usually have questions they’d like answered before they order.”
Step 4: Instruct: give number. “That’s why I’m available right now to help you personally. If you’d like to talk to me personally, just text “QUESTIONS” to [NUMBER].”
Step 5: Reassure. “That’s a real number and it comes straight to my office.”
Step 6: Explain. “When I get your text, I’ll text you right back and help you with your questions… or even call you (if you ask me to).”
Step 7: Sign off and PS: Resell the click.
“Rick James Esq
“P.S. If you have questions about [OFFER], just text “QUESTIONS” to [NUMBER].
“I’ll text you back and help you out. Oh! And if you’re one of the first X people to respond, I’ll even give you a special prize.”
Frank Kern calls this approach INBOUND TEXTING. The last step, adding an incentive to the CTA, is optional but its purpose is to add urgency to your offer.
What I like about Frank Kern and Seth Godin’s advice is they’re choosing to take the path of least resistance because they know it leads to faster results.
I’ll conclude by sharing a quote from an interview Jack Canfield did that I believe summarizes this subject nicely.
In the interview, Canfield — author of the 250+ Chicken Soup books series — was asked out of all the things he’s learned what was the #1 one thing. Could he summarize his biggest ah-ha?
Canfield replied: “Seek first to understand, second to be understood.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts or experience with Pattern Matching. Reply in the comments.
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