Back in 1997, the show “Dharma & Greg” ran for five seasons on ABC. It was about a couple that decided to skip the messiness of dating and get married the same day they met. Here’s a clip from the first episode if you’ve not seen it before.
It was a great show, and a big reason why is because the concept is crazy. Who would get married on their first date? We all know that’s nuts, but businesses try to do it all the time. Donald Miller, the man behind Storybrand, sums it up nicely:
Would you propose on a first date? Of course not, but that’s how many businesses approach marketing.
The stages of a business relationship somewhat mirror those of a romantic relationship, with three basic steps:
As Donald says, “people do not want to be enlightened about you (get to know you more) unless they are curious about you (you have something that can help them survive), and until they are enlightened about how you can help them survive, they will never commit.“
In business, there are a lot of ways to do this. A great message will help draw people in, ongoing information and “enlightenment” via email and social media will help grow the relationship, and hopefully at some point it will end with a commitment.
Businesses need sales, no doubt, but pushing for it too early can leave a bad impression on the other party and ruin any future chances you might have.