Marketing vs. Manipulating

What should you base decisions on? Your objective research, or your emotions? And as a marketer, which behavior should you seek to foster?

One of the biggest problems with society today is the tendency to base decisions – important decisions – on emotion. As Rick Green says, “People vote for people they like, and they like people who are like them.”

So, the goal of marketing – whether it’s products, ideologies, etc. – becomes to create that perception of likeness, to establish emotional connection, to build trust. In our eagerness to sell, we cater to mankind’s basic weaknesses. Is this wrong?

Not necessarily.

Where you meet someone isn’t as important as where you take them.

Techniques to establish rapport and build trust are simply tools to help you, the marketer, speak your customer’s language. It’s a gesture of respect to meet them on their level.  Once that trust is built, you have a powerful influence over them.

Some marketers at this point will continue to play to the emotions alone, using their influence to draw the customer on to the desired end. They find the key to the heart, and then take over for their own benefit. (Or in the case of waterless cookware, it’s for the customer’s benefit of course, since EVERYBODY must have a set.)

But other marketers will use their influence to encourage and lead the customer towards a decision based on facts. These marketers do not decide for the customer. They help the customer decide for themselves.

True salesmen respect the sovereignty of the customer. And their own role? It’s to help him make the right decision based on facts, communicated in a way that he can understand and appreciate.

Rapport and emotional connection give great power. How are you going to use it? Will you be a manipulator or a salesman?

4 Responses to “Marketing vs. Manipulating”

  1. I have heard it said that sales is helping someone making a decision that is good for them. If you are trying to sell something to someone that won’t improve their life you either have the wrong product or the wrong market.

    The golden rule applies here too. Sell unto others as you would have them sell unto you.

  2. Exactly. Marketers take the role of an assistent buyer instead of the buyer’s mother. And manipulating is the only way to go if you’re trying to sell something that won’t improve their life. 😛

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. I absolutely agree with Thomas. We give out information daily to customers who call us asking questions about the cookware we sell especially “waterless” cookware. Its those customers that are in need of help which mostly consists of how is this set different from that set and will the pans go into the oven etc.

    We ask several questions especially if they havent used waterless cookware before. There are a number of times that we never hear from them again. Sometimes it results in a sale but we do not care at that point. We feel that we performed our job in educating the person at the other end of the line and we are not thinking of them as a customer at that point. Its a really good feeling at the end of the day that “we really helped someone out” that perhaps had second thoughts based on the answers to their question.

  4. True. I love waterless cookware and think it’s a definitely a product worth selling. However, I was referring more to the salesmen I’ve had contact with more than the product, and their attitude that they know what is best for me more than I do myself. From the sound of things, you guys are doing it right!

    And someday, I want a set. 🙂