Emelia was over last evening. She’s our granddaughter and is just two months shy of three years old. (Did I mention I have triplet grandkids?)
I was reminded again about the importance of giving choices to people. “Emelia, do you want to watch a video, or read a book?” She chose the book.
When her dad, Jason, was about four, I taught him an important marketing principle I learned from Bob Hisrich:
Give people the choice to say “no” to a few options—yet still say “yes.”
Jason had just asked his mom for a cookie. “No,” Joanne said. “It’s too close to dinner time.”
I took Jason aside and gave him my fatherly advice on effective marketing. “Here’s how to get your cookie, Jason,” I began. “Tomorrow, go into the kitchen and ask Mom this simple question, “Mom? Can I have one cookie or two cookies?”
My street-smart kid learned fast and was patient. The next day he joined his mom in the kitchen and nonchalantly asked, “Mom? Can I have one cookie or two cookies?”
The answer was immediate. “Just one!”
Success! He got his cookie because he gave his mom a choice. It’s a simple marketing rule of thumb, but it’s easy to overlook.
Event Registration Forms. Does your registration form include an early bird rate and a regular rate? For $15 more, give your customer a choice between a CD, a book or a T-shirt.
Donor Options. Before you mail 10,000 donor letters, test some options with 100 people. You can sponsor a camper for $147, two for $294, or 10 for $1,470. Or, half a camper for $73.50. Give choices!
Salary Recommendations. Try this with your boss or your board. “We’re recommending that the operations team receive salary increases of either five percent or 10 percent. I’d like your feedback.” Remember, if you ask for just one cookie (five percent), the answer will likely be “no.”
You get the idea. Give choices!
For more on marketing from Bob Hisrich, order the book, Marketing Your Ministry: 10 Critical Principles, by John Pearson and Robert Hisrich. It’s out of print, but there a few copies floating around at www.amazon.com. Or contact me—and I’ll send you an autographed copy for $10 (includes shipping), plus a photo of my grandchildren!