Don’t Excuse the Interruption

I loved my DVR when I had cable. Not only could I watch my shows when I wanted to, but I could do something even more profound.

I could skip the commercials.

Photo credit Pablo Torvinen

I could circumvent the negative side of television. It felt like I was cheating, almost. Why is that? What is so disdainful about the commercial breaks, and their attention-grabbing tactics?

It’s the interruption.
I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s 1999 book, “Permission Marketing“, and even though it is a little dated, he describes some concepts that are more true now than ever before.
Seth describes the dilemma of all marketers. He says that they are trying to grab the limited time and attention of the public. He says that “interruption marketers” try to take your attention away from your interest any time they can. If you are watching TV, they interrupt your program. If you are reading a magazine, they try to grab your eye as you turn the page. Or they pop up on your computer. I think of it as the type of marketing that people complain about. The annoying ads…
On the other side, “permission marketers” are trying to build a relationship with you. Instead of counting on love at first sight and running off to the wedding chapel, a permission marketer would go on a few dates first and then ask you to marry him.
In permission marketing, the person has to “opt-in” in order to receive material from you as the marketer. They have to give their permission because they are interested already. You have provided something of value for them, information, entertainment…and now they want more.
This process takes time, Seth Godin says you build these relationships by turning strangers into friends and friends into customers. He also says that this takes a leap of faith. It takes faith to put away the TV ads, the direct mail, and actually get to know people. Slow down and build trust with people, it can pay off in the end.

This can apply to a leader and her team as well. If she spends time with and gets to know the members of her team, they will trust her. She can help them reach their goals.

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How can you focus on relationships to turn strangers into friends, and friends into customers?

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