Narrative connections

We Don’t Know

We Don’t Know

We really don’t know what the world will look like in the weeks, months or years ahead. We are yearning for things to feel a bit normal again, but our reality is that we simply don’t know how things are going to play out.

From a business standpoint, we can assume that some things will never change regardless of the situation. Most notable is the fact that people make purchases based on emotion and then rationalize those decisions with logic. According to the long-time Harvard marketing professor, Gerald Zaltman, “What we really think is largely hidden from us. In other words, most of what we know we don’t know we know. Probably 95% of all cognition, all the thinking that drives our decisions and behaviors, occurs unconsciously—and that includes consumer decisions. That’s not to say that the 5% we’re privy to is unimportant—just that marketers overemphasize its importance, because it’s so visible and easy to access.”

In the new landscape, it is not outlandish to think that getting to know people will be harder than ever. It was already pretty difficult to get to know someone prior to all of this unrest, but going forward looks almost insurmountable. Yet, people will still buy from people they trust and like. They will still want to know that you are a safe bet.

If you want to be effective, pre-COVID or post-COVID, you cannot make a buyer conform to your sales process. Your messaging must be aligned with core emotions with which people actually make decisions. There was a trust gap that existed prior to the pandemic that will only widened. Our role as marketers is to close that gap by focusing on others and engaging in an authentic and sincere manner.

In the mind of the consumer, the greater the trust, the less the risk. So, in order to establish that trust, you must focus on connecting emotionally and then demonstrate expertise and confidence. This simple concept tells the client that you care about them and that you are capable of supporting their needs and ambitions.

While planning to connect on an emotional level is good advice for just about every aspect of the world right now, it is super difficult to execute. The more socially distant we become, the harder it is to provide value. However, if we commit ourselves to asking the right questions and creating content that stimulates emotion, then we can start to make an impact.

Value creation is not something that you do for the customer, but rather with them. Your willingness to ask the questions that go beyond the logical is the key to success in any environment. Getting to the core of what matters to them and having them share the emotions around the two core buying motives—desire for gain and the fear of loss—is the pathway to trust.

Socially, we may not be touching each other like we were meant to as humans. We are sheltered physically and emotionally. But, business engagement offers us the platform to break out and embrace others. Take some time to consider how you want to fill the gap and build the trust that you will need to prosper going forward.

I invite you to discuss your specific challenges and how we can satisfy your interests and eliminate your fear of loss. Reach out to at your convenience.

Be well and be the buffalo,

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Mark Potter

Founder / Consultant

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