My 16-year-old and 14-year-old both think they're smarter than me. My 9-year-old probably is.
My middle daughter, Shelby, has the voice of an angel and I love to hear her sing. Unfortunately, while she routinely sings for others, she rarely feels like singing for me. The other night at dinner, after learning she had been accepted into an honors choir, I asked her to sing something for me. She refused. I begged. She refused. I pleaded. She said no. I reasoned and argued and made the best case I knew how. I gave her all of the reasons why she should sing for me. It was quite logical and altogether unconvincing.
"Why won't you sing for me," I asked? "Will you sing on my birthday?" Finally, she agreed to sing for me on my birthday.
A few minutes later Darby, my youngest, began to quietly sing a song they had all performed in a recent play. Almost immediately Shelby joined in. A minute later Darby stopped singing and let Shelby continue on alone and then she smiled and said, 'I knew I could make her sing."
My two girls are quite competitive with each other and Darby knew that Shelby could not stand to hear Darby sing alone. She understood that by singing a few lines of a familiar song, Shelby would soon join in and give me the gift she had been denying. It was so smart and so easy.
How many times do we make my mistake as marketers? We try to convince people to buy your stuff, we argue, and bargain, and make special offers when all we had to do was lead the way through our own actions.
How can you convince your customers to sing? Stop trying to convince them and try leading the way with your own behavior and see what happens. Spread the fire. GS