Why helpful marketing is so effective
Being helpful is unquestionably a good thing to do in life.
Helping other people doesn’t just make them feel good. It makes you feel good.
The minute you treat your prospects like your best mates and help them, that great obstacle “oh no they’re just trying to push something onto me” (which always makes people not just guarded but less likely to believe you) comes crashing down. They’ll connect with you. You’ll connect with them. Your staff will feel better about coming to work knowing they’re working for a helpful business. (And how important is the attraction and retention of great staff?)
Think back to the last time you went to buy something and someone was really helpful. Didn’t it make buying from them so much more appealing?
When you’re helpful, good things happen. It’s my woo-woo theory in action. It’s the way the world goes around. Get out there and don’t look at the scoreboard. Just start being helpful and set an expectation around the structure and frequency of your Helpful Marketing.
I also believe that being helpful doesn’t just apply to marketing, but to life in general.
I was at the supermarket the other day, on one of those crowded, busy, rushing, long queue kind of days.
At every aisle there were at least three trolleys lined up. Ahead of me was a woman with a couple of older kids, and ahead of her was a young mother trying to juggle her newborn crying baby with one hand and unload her trolley with the other. She looked really stressed and, obviously mindful of the fact there were long queues, was trying to go as fast as she could.
The woman, with older kids behind, stepped ahead, told her not to worry about the groceries and just take care of her baby, while she and her boys unloaded the trolley for her onto the counter and then put the bags back in at the other end.
The young mother looked as grateful as if she’d won the lottery. She couldn’t stop thanking the woman and her sons but the woman simply shrugged it off with a smile.
I could see that it had made that young mother’s day. But I reckoned it also made the other woman’s day, because I commented to her that it was a really nice thing she’d just done, and she beamed back at me. “What’s a couple of minutes out of your day, when it makes someone else’s day - and yours - so much better?”
And she was right.
It’s the little things that make people feel good. Being helpful is definitely one of them. It doesn’t take much. But boy does it come back in spades (or boomerangs!). People talk about random acts of kindness, but I think we should add random acts of helpfulness to that too.
Think about the last time you helped someone or they helped you, or the last time you were around someone who was really positive. Those people are like magnets. Be one of them, and you’ll pull people towards you. People who want to buy from you.
I recently received a booklet in the mail from Dan Murphy’s, a local liquor store. Instead of it being the usual catalogue format of product / price, product / price, it was 16-pages dedicated to everything you needed to know about craft beers – their history, the different types, the various ingredients, their provenance. Upon reading it I felt very well informed, and I’ve now placed Dan Murphy’s at the top of my shopping list for when next I want to buy craft beer. Thanks Dan for being so helpful.
Being helpful has a roll-on effect in business too – and not just for your prospects and clients either – although it’s well documented that customers are less price sensitive if they feel the business they are dealing with is genuinely helpful.
Given the choice of two businesses, most people will choose the more helpful one, even if they cost a little more. This is especially true of women, who are incredibly loyal to brands, and the bottom line is that women make a lot of the purchasing decisions these days, and play a bigger role in influencing their partners than ever before.
It’s also about the other people around you. It’s kind of like a ripple effect. Staff love working for helpful businesses. They put more in, they give more, they care more and they feel more involved. Suppliers would much rather do business with people who are helpful, too. And the media loves a helpful business.
Bottom line? I really encourage you to be helpful in business and in life. It really is like a boomerang – put it out there and believe me, it will return multiples time and time again.
[This is an excerpt from Tim’s book The Boomerang Effect which can be found at www.SmallBusinessBigMarketing.com]
Tim Reid is a popular marketing speaker, as well as host of The Small Business Big Marketing Show found on iTunes and Virgin Airlines around Australia.