A few weeks before Christmas, I went to my husband’s work Christmas party. I was sick as a dog at the time, but I put on my big girl panties (along with a tonne of under-eye concealer and my biggest smile!) and went along like the good wifey I (sometimes) am.
And I got stuck at the very end of the table opposite the most boring person in the room.
I’m sure she’s quite lovely if you get to know her, but she literally had nothing to say. I asked various questions, trying to find out what she’s interested in to open up a conversation, but got one-word answers every time. Door shut.
(But hey, at least there was wine…)
Is there anything more damaging to your social life than being labelled as a bore? (Bad BO perhaps?)
Today I Googled ‘how to be boring’ and it came up with 1,161,000 results! So I guess it’s a problem then?
Apparently, scientists have discovered there are nine keys to being boring:
- Displaying disinterest in others and only talking about yourself.
- Having banal conversations – talking only about trivial or superficial things, repeating the same stories and jokes over and over again.
- Not showing interest in the conversation. (This was my dinner date as described above.)
- Tediousness with key points – talking slowly or taking too long to get to the point.
- No opinion on anything. (No explanation necessary here!)
- Self-preoccupation – perhaps a date with a guy who talks only about himself… Ugh!
- Constant seriousness – no one feels inspired talking to someone who is always serious!
- Being a try-hard, trying too hard to be funny or nice in order to impress other people.
- Being distracted by other things. (Excuse me – just got a text message – just let me check that will you and I’ll be with you again in a minute….)
I don’t think any of us would knowingly behave like this in our personal relationships, would we? Especially us women, for whom nurturing personal relationships are so important and often come so naturally.
We show interest by listening and asking questions, we try to find ways to add value to the other, and we connect on an emotional level over topics more meaningful than the weather.
So let me ask you – how many of these Habits of Bores do you make, or see others make, in business?
I see it all the time, especially on social media!
“We are ……….. We make/do …………. [Insert image of brand or widget.] Call us if you want one.”
Perhaps that is over-simplified, but hopefully you get my drift!
Truth smack: Even if you are not actually disinterested in your customers as people, how many times do you actually talk to them about anything other than your own business or products?
I do understand that the ultimate goal in business is to make a sale, but if you can do it in a way that also paves the way for a long-term relationship with a customer then you’ll definitely reap the rewards!
If you’ve ever struggled to know what should you be saying to customers and potential customers, when and how should you be saying it, and via which channel (such as email, social media, over the phone or on your website), then I strongly suggest you find out as much as you can about what I call the Buyer Journey.
Basically, your Buyer Journey is the decision-making process that your customers go through before, during and after they buy your product or service.
Understanding and mapping out your Buyer’s Journey gives you a much deeper understanding of your customers than simply identifying and describing your ideal customer.
It allows you to create content that achieves the right balance between the right information and the right offer at the right time for your audience. (No more boring the pants off them or sending out offers or promotions that completely miss the mark!)
Learning this process has been the biggest “A-Ha” moment for many of my clients, so I highly recommend it!
And then focus on the power of story-telling to deliver that content in an interesting way.
In the past, traditional marketing advice was to describe a product’s features and benefits. In this way, we would tell customers what our product is, what it does and why they should buy it.
There’s one big problem with this. Customers don’t want to buy something because of what it is and what it does. This is far too logical and makes the very big assumption that your customers will figure out for themselves that your widget will solve their problem.
In fact, this tactic has zero value with your customers, they don’t care if you sell your widget, they care about their own problem or need that they want to solve.
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘possession is nine 10ths of the law’? Well, in my world of marketing and selling online, PERCEPTION is nine 10ths of reality.
To that end, I talk a lot about story-telling, and I do that for a really important reason. It’s through telling stories that our audience (our customers) can relate to your brand or product.
While headlines capture people’s attention, stories capture people’s imagination and help customers to see themselves in the story.
The more accurately you can describe the problem, need or desire of the person you’re selling to, and if you can speak to them about this in an emotional way and meet them where they’re at right now – be able to describe exactly what they’re experiencing right now – the more automatically they will believe you have the solution to their need (in the form of your product).
Try to impart this through telling stories – real stories, either from past customers or from your own experience, combining imagery and visuals as well as text to tell your story and take your customers on a journey.
For more information about the customer journey concept, you might enjoy my free guide on how to understand and map out your own.