MESH Interactive Agency Blog

Connect with Prospects Through Charming Content

Prospects act on your content if they like you enough to say “Yes”.

Sitting atop a rocky shore enchanting sailors’ ears with a siren song isn’t for everybody, but as a marketer, you also lure and coax your clients through each step of the sales funnel.

The advantages of connecting with prospects through charming content are vast. There are also many techniques you can leverage to do that.

What I mean by getting your buyers–ideal or otherwise–”to do what you want” is the end goal (booking, demo, reservation, sale, etc.). After all, you do need to guide your buyers toward a desired action, regardless of what it is. In other words, you leave a trail of breadcrumbs for them to follow.

Whether it’s keeping your current clients or trying to secure new business, the role charm plays in connecting with prospects is too important to ignore.

But how do you measure charm?

After all, even Peter Drucker, the central figure of modern business management, once said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

If that’s true, you can’t improve charm.

via Tenor

It’s a soft skill.

There are no reliable metrics for it.

That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t work on getting better at connecting with prospects. What Drucker meant was that unless you have measurable goals, you won’t know if you’re making progress.

Instead of obsessing over the best way to measure charm, focus on metrics that do improve as a by-product of that charm. An example of such metrics might look like sealed deals.

Although charm by itself does not factor in when winning someone’s business, it does make it easier.

So How Do I Become More Charming?

Even though you can’t measure charm against solid statistics like conversion rate, you can measure customer experience. Here’s where Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, enters stage right.

Book cover for "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

The very first tip Carnegie offers that directly relates to what I’m talking about is located in a section titled, “Six Ways to Make People Like You.”

He suggests:

  1. Take an active and vested interest in other people
  2. Have a friendly demeanor–smiling works best
  3. Use a person’s name well and often
  4. Get people to talk about themselves and really listen
  5. Speak a person’s language–use terms familiar to them
  6. Genuinely make people important to you, and let them know it

Precisely speaking, Carnegie mentions that the first step in making people like you is to “become genuinely interested in other people.” This means there is a difference between real interest and dishonest interest.

Take for instance those in customer-facing roles, you know that smiling is crucial–it establishes that everything’s okay for the customer, that they can trust you. Smiling primes a prospect or customer for what you want in an interaction.

Priming is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when another person is influenced by a written or visual cue, such as a smile. If you prime someone by smiling, they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say.

But there’s a “right way” and a “wrong way” to smile. A “wrong” smile, also known as a “fake” smile, uses different muscles than a genuine smile. That’s the reason why we’re able to tell when a person’s smile is misleading.

This goes hand-in-hand with other concepts Carnegie laid out, such as “using a person’s name well and often.” Coca Cola enjoyed tremendous success on that front with their iconic “Share a Coke” campaign in which bottles were personalized with different peoples’ names on them. The idea was that you buy a Coke and share it with someone who has the same name.

The point to all of this is that it’s hard to connect with prospects if you aren’t interested in them.

The Power of “Yes!”

It’s true, though–it’s harder to get others interested in what you want if you don’t care about anything important to them. And if the research is true that people tend to agree with those they like, there’s absolutely a way to get people to say yes through written communications.

And that’s the cue for master copywriter, Joseph Sugarman. He wrote about something very similar in The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook. According to Sugarman, the primary reason why you want to use “yes” in your messaging is to initiate a future commitment:

A good example of this can be seen at a car dealership. The salesperson tallies your purchase, gets approval from the general manager, and then has you sign the paperwork. As she is walking away to get the car prepped and ready for you to drive away, she turns to you and says, “And you do want that undercoating, don’t you?” You instinctively nod your head. The charge is added to your invoice. “And you’ll also want our floor mats to keep your car clean, won’t you?”

…and you end up ordering more.

Cited as psychological trigger No. 15 in The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook, Sugarman implicitly uses yes messages in his example. What it means is that you want your customers to nod their heads in agreement.

Joseph Sugarman's book "The Adweek Copywriting Handbook"

An example of what head nods might look like in the digital age would be how people engage with your content online. A Facebook like or reaction doesn’t require any effort, apart from a click, in the same way the head nod serves as an acknowledgement.

This means if you want those digital “nods” try to stay relevant and share images and videos that matter to your audience. This way, you’ll be sure people have seen your content and that they like it, which, in turn, will make it easier for them to like you.

For what this might look like in a real-life marketing campaign, look to “Our Food, Your Questions,” led by McDonald’s. Here, prospects and/or customers would ask questions about McDonald’s food, and the brand would answer honestly. There are few things more relevant to a customer than what they put into their own body.

via GIPHY

What you can learn from this example is that if you’re upfront about your product or service, people appreciate that honesty. In fact, that was Sugarman’s style of advertising: pointing out the imperfections, and explaining why they don’t matter in the long run.

People like honesty, even from a psychological standpoint. Organizations can garner respect and admiration for speaking it. Honesty is one way to get people to say yes.

Author and a guru of written persuasion, Arthur H. Bell, shares a tactic for getting people to like you. It mostly involves saying “yes” yourself:

At least half of all letters and memos written in business carry good news to the reader: yes, we have the products and services you need…

The key to successful good news communications lies in using them to build goodwill. Readers are pleased, after all, to receive your “yes” message. What better time to nurture a good business relationship through well-chosen words of goodwill!

The power of “YES!” has successfully been leveraged in marketing campaigns for a major brand. For instance, Heineken released a series of advertisements in summer 2019 aimed at promoting their “Say Yes” campaign.

It involved playing up different occasions in your life where going alcohol-free isn’t such a bad idea, such as “a mid-week get together with a Birra Moretti Zero,” in an attempt to reach a different audience: young people.

The point is that Heineken attempted to get a different slice of customers to say “yes” to buying their product, which involved a series of written “yes” messages.

Heineken, being a major alcohol brand, saw an opportunity to cash-in on the booming no-alcohol category by adjusting their offerings accordingly. The main takeaway for you, as a marketer, is that it’s easier to get people to do what you want if they like what you’re saying (in Heinekin’s case, what they’re doing).

But liking is a complex beast. It can range from measurable social interactions to harder to spell-out real life situations, where you must be sincere and forthright. Whether you follow Carnegie’s, Bell’s, or Sugarman’s advice on how to get people to like you, one thing is certain: if you want other people to do what you want, say yes to being relevant to them.

How have you been getting “digital head nods”? Are there other strategies that work well for your team? Tell us about it in the chat below.

Jayme Severance

As the Junior Copywriter at MESH, Jayme brings a quality craftsmanship and artistry to assignments he creates, as well as a bit of motion to the office as a freestyle dancer.

Marketing Agency

MESH is a digital marketing agency that has pioneered Account-Based Marketing via our proprietary Outcome Driven Marketing (ODM) methodology. We keep our focus on tightly integrating (or MESHing) lead generation, inbound, and outbound methodologies. We help you understand the hidden levers that impact your customers’ buying decision process, develop the right marketing strategy for your unique business case, and effectively execute and measure all aspects of your Account-Based Marketing program.