4 Ways to Treat People Like People
Stop acting like strangers. Start acting like people.
If you spent 72 hours of your life last week at the Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston, Massachusetts you saw this message on the heather gray t-shirts of HubSpot employees left and right.
Start acting like people. Interesting reminder given the fact that all 5,300 people in attendance belong to the human species.
Borrow from the joint keynote by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan as they described the inbound experience.
“Interrupting instead of interacting, coercing instead of connecting, and distracting instead of delighting” just doesn’t work anymore.
Start acting like people. Who wants to be interrupted? Who wants to be coerced? Who wants to be distracted? Not I barked the lazy dog, the sleepy cat, and the noisy yellow duck.
People are smarter, have more access, and are more involved in their buying choices than ever before. It’s time to recognize these gains in knowledge and rise to the occasion as marketers. We must interact, connect, and delight. We must stop thinking in terms of ‘customers’, ‘clients’, and ‘users’.
There are only people.
So how do you do this if you have been treating your potential people like strangers?
In this information age that we live in, I urge you: don’t be a creep.
Several times during the conference there were split reactions to some presentations on marketing automation. Some were amazed at the access to information that we have as marketers, while others were taken aback, audibly murmuring, “This is creepy.”
Marketing automation provides users with a great deal of intelligence on people’s behaviors, likes, and dislikes. Use this for good, not evil.
You listen to what people want and then you give it to them.
You listen instead of assuming and acting.
You listen for the moment when the doors open and you are invited to the conversation instead of barging in.
You Provide Good Content.
This inbound game doesn’t work if there isn’t content on the field. You must consistently provide people with blog posts, e-books, e-mails, social media updates, events, offers, giveaways, anything that falls under the umbrella of content and you must make each piece more meaningful than the one that came before.
People don’t have time for junk. We live in a very noisey content environment filled with mediocrity. If you want to stand out, give people the crème de la crème of content.
You Engage People.
No one likes being talked at. Talking at someone can make them feel small, insignificant, and can be downright obnoxious. Engage with people by starting a conversation about information that is relevant to them. Share stories that are compelling and graphics that are arresting.
In short bring everything you have that is remarkable to the table.
You treat well, you treat kindly, you treat with respect.
You give people ice-cream cones.
Ice-cream cones in the form of content that is so sweet people can’t lap it up fast enough. If people want to learn more about what you offer you take them out for an actual ice-cream cone (serious offer, folks.)
You make people happy.
It’s easy to hide behind a computer screen and communicate with a stranger. It’s hard to have an open and honest dialogue with a person. Easy rarely means better.
It’s time to stop acting like strangers and start acting like people.
Do you agree? Share your examples with me.
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