You really CAN be interesting, you know!

Louis Theroux’s musings on the best party chat-up lines are a lesson for businesses seeking new customers. It’s about being interesting from the word go. 

A run of the mill chat up line goes something like this. ‘Hi, my name’s Rich/Jane, what’s yours?...what do you do? ’ This was generally found to be useless, using open ended, vague questions which wouldn't get a conversation let alone a relationship off the ground. 

But using opening questions like ‘Hi, my name’s Rich/Jane, I’m an airline pilot…would you like a drink?’. gets a different reaction. It’s assertive, confident, memorable (well, more so than ‘and what do you do…’!)  and immediately gives some information to provoke a reaction (whether inwardly or outwardly expressed, whether positive or negative…not ‘er.. ho, hummmm…’). Finally, it makes an offer.

It’s no different for businesses trying to get cut-through in outbound marketing or seeking attention in a few milli-seconds to win inbound responses. Especially if we’re operating in an established market sector where differentiation is so tricky, and so many businesses hang on to everyone else’s pitch e.g. in services ‘it’s about our people…’

So, some rules of the road:

  1. Have outbound messages and propositions that echo your brand – ask is it ‘on brand?’ – and take time on this.
  2. Be specific, not nebulous – address a specific pain-point or topical need
  3. Be consistent – remember, whilst the businesses you are targeting maybe the same year in year out, the employees change regularly. So refine your message, develop your message, and with a strategy behind it, it won’t get boring!
  4. Apply the grunt – any marketing and sales is a numbers game, so you need to apply the pressure to reach your audiences, which, if it’s not in the company or sales DNA , can be outsourced. Caveat - use people who "get" your brand and who don’t just throw eggs at the wall!

Anyone can be interesting… now it's up to you to keep the relationship going.

Jonny Ambrose


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