People Want What They Can’t Have
IT marketing that takes human psychology into account will have a much greater likelihood of successfully reaching clients. It’ll be much more likely to make conversions. One psychological key to consider is what’s been labeled as “reverse psychology.”
Learning from Shawshank
There’s a great illustration of this concept in the film The Shawshank Redemption. In the film, Morgan Freeman plays a character called “Red” who’s doing a life sentence for manslaughter. But at the edge of institutionalization, he gets released. This is the culmination of several scenes leading up to a plot resolution. In the film, Andy Dufresne, as played by Tim Robins, is sent away for murder on trumped-up charges. He escapes eventually. But as the character Red is introduced, the audience is shown several scenes where the convict is up for parole. In the first two or three scenes, Freeman does his best to convince the parole board that he’s rehabilitated, and will represent a positive addition to society. He tells them what they want to hear. But in his last meeting with them toward the end of the movie, after Andy has escaped and another inmate, who was a friend of Red’s, has committed suicide, Freeman’s character just says his mind. He points out that he’s an old dog who has become pretty much institutionalized, he doesn’t expect to be let out, and he couldn’t care one way or another. The result? He’s released!
Considering Multiple Angles
Now, there may be an additional psychological element at play here. Perhaps the parole board was looking for an attitude that didn’t rely on placation, as this was seen to be weak. Or perhaps it was just good old human nature which rebels against certain modes of expression in a reactionary way. People don’t like being told what to do, and they don’t like having their boots licked— generally. At least not when they’re looking for equals.
The point is, sometimes a good way to make someone desire your products or services is through an IT marketing campaign which tells potential clients they aren’t worthy of them. You see the technique? Don’t be like the newer companies who say things to the tune of: “We’ll do anything and everything for you! We’ll lick your boots! Come over at two in the morning, we’ll give you a discount, and provide the best darn service you’ve ever seen! Just please be our client! Please, please, please!!!” This reeks of desperation, and nobody likes that.
When was the last time you can remember the most beautiful girl in your circle of acquaintances, melting in romantic rapture as the geeky guy in the office falls at her knees weeping over her beauty? Never. She wants that cat with the motorcycle jacket, the cigarette burns on his flannel shirt, the huge beard, the tattoos, the motor home, and the prison rap. Why? Because he’s a “bad” boy, and she shouldn’t want him. So, she wants him because society says she can’t have him, and what’s society to tell her anything?
Convey a message like this to prospective clients: “Look, we’d like to help you, but we’re just not sure if your business meets proper qualifications to use our services. We’re really aimed at a different sort of client.”
Now, you’ve put a challenge in the core of your client’s thinking. They think: “What? Not qualified? Hey! MSP! So, what are your qualifications?” Boom, you’ve got that fish hooked on the line. Now reel them in slowly. The next line of questioning should very slowly draw them toward you as you determine the size and scope of the client, and where services can best be applied.
Of course, you must use tact with this approach— not every client responds to reverse psychology. But many will, and refraining from this marketing tool could lose you a conversion. In closing, your IT marketing should incorporate the human element. It should:
• Facilitate client desire
• Capitalize on human nature
• Work with the diversity of varying clients
• Demonstrate superior service delivery
If you can put the obligation on clients to be worthy of service, you’ll likely see a positive spike in your conversion rate.