What a Park Bench Taught Me About Marketing (And Human Behavior)

I met up with my friend and colleague Pauline recently, amongst her many talents Pauline is a sales trainer and when her and I get together we always have the most interesting conversations. You see, Pauline sees the world from a sales perspective, and I typically view mine through a marketing lens. This makes for healthy debate!

Historically speaking the roles of sales and marketing have been for the most part separated. More often than not, sales people often struggle to see the true value that great marketing brings to the role of sales. (Not all marketing is great, but effective marketing should drive sales if it’s done right.)

One day, Pauline and I head to a great little Italian place called Prego café and emerged with two matching hot pink bowls of strawberry sorbetto! Yum! Rather than sitting in the café, we decided to take a stroll along the marina; the weather was gorgeous.

As we walked on the boardwalk, I spotted a cluster of park benches up ahead. I pointed toward the benches and said to Pauline, “Here are some benches, do you want to sit for a while?”

To which Pauline replied… “Here? These benches look long in the tooth! And not very appealing to sit on!”

It took me a moment to remember the definition of “long in the tooth”…hmm…an idiom I vaguely recall from one of the stories in my childhood storybook Aesop’s fables.

It dawned on me that what she was really saying was the benches looked rather old, and questioning why we would want to sit on a bench that looked so unappealing.

I must admit they were looking a little dirty and potentially uncomfortable. I was second guessing whether or not I really wanted to sit there. It was a small yet significant decision, which was about to shape our entire experience.

Every decision that we make has the ability to impact us in either a positive or negative way. And many of us make our decisions firstly based on how we feel about something when we take it all in (with all of our senses), and secondly how we rationalize those feelings in our logical mind.

In effect, this is the correlation between marketing and sales.

Pauline took one look at the bench and within seconds she was already making her decision about whether or not she wanted to sit there.

Which of course led me to thinking about you, and your business.

Question: Why should someone choose to sit on your park bench?

It doesn’t matter whether you are selling benches or selling your coaching, consulting or other services. We live in a world of distraction and abundant choices. People have options and they will choose based on what your marketing is communicating to them — visually, verbally, emotionally, kinesthetically and physically. All of these factors make up your ‘package’ and how you present yourself or your business has a direct impact on your bottom line results.

Here are a few things you’ll want to think about when evaluating your marketing and brand communication:

  • Does the intention you are putting out in the world match the impact it’s actually having on your prospective customers?
  • Do you have a brand image that represents who you truly are at your core?
  • Are you communicating with words that are relevant to the customer and framing it as a WIIFM (what’s in it for me), rather than making it about you and your product or service?

Most people buy based on a subconscious emotional connection first, and then justify their decision with their rational brain.

I challenge you…

What is ONE thing you can do differently in your marketing communication to appeal to your customer’s emotional brain?

Pro Tip: Create an attractive AND compelling offering using all of the senses:

Smell — what fragrance do you want to create?

Sound — what do you want your tone of voice and words to sound like?

Touch — how can you create a valuable feeling?

Sight — how will others see you as exceptional?

Taste — what taste will you leave in your customer’s mouth?

Good marketing is rooted in understanding human beings and how they think and behave. If you don’t have the bandwidth to learn the ins and outs of human psychology to improve your marketing communication, reach out to an expert for help. You’ll be glad you did.




Int’l Business Growth Coach | Award-Winning Marketing Strategist | Forbes Coaches Council | #1 Amazon Author | Addicted to Growth | MichelaQuilici.com

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Michela Quilici, Business Navigator

Michela Quilici, Business Navigator

Int’l Business Growth Coach | Award-Winning Marketing Strategist | Forbes Coaches Council | #1 Amazon Author | Addicted to Growth | MichelaQuilici.com

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