Is it right to call your customers ‘leads’ or ‘prospects’ as part of your internal company culture?
Marketers are obsessed with using terms like these to denote what stage of the buying cycle a potential customer is. And it’s understandable, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it. BUT, if you think about it, using terms like ‘acquire’ new customers or ‘get new leads’ or ‘convert new website visitors’ can make you think like a sales person who just wants their next sale. And people don’t like to be treated as ‘targets’ for a company to sell it’s products/services to.
I’ve become more mindful of being more humanistic in my approach at work. I feel business (and marketing) is about people. And if you understand people, you understand business, and marketing.
Examine the following 2 statements:
Statement 1: The business goal is to make 50 new sales a week.
Statement 2: The business goal is to help 50 new people utilize it’s product or service to make their life better.
Which one sounds more humanistic?
I’d go with Statement 2. What about you?
Now examine 2 more statements:
Statement 1: We want to reach out to prospects across all marketing ‘touch-points’
Statement 2: We want people to know about our product through all the devices they use
Having goals that are more ‘humanistic’ than ‘business-y’ reminds us that it’s human beings we are dealing with, not ‘targets’ or ‘leads’. Being mindful of this keeps us more humanistic in our approach in dealing with people who could become customers.
Personally, I feel like referring to people as prospects can put one in a ‘greed mindset’. If you refer to people as prospects, you’ll skip important steps to build a meaningful relationship. This approach can stink of marketing desperation! Referring to them as ‘people we’d like to work with’ or ‘people who have a problem we can solve’ puts you in an open mindset where you actually speak to them, listen to them and communicate as if you were a friend. This can make all the difference to BOTH, you as a person, and your business too. You also think of things from the other person’s perspective and learn to put yourself in their shoes. It’s almost like applying design thinking to marketing!
Once you get into this mindset, you’ll stop using manipulative marketing tactics and start using human centered interactions. The goal of marketing is not always to make a sale, it’s to build a healthy and meaningful relationship with people who genuinely need your product or service to solve a problem they have. This can only be achieved through humanistic communication!
How else can we make marketing more humanistic? What words can we use to make marketing all about people? How is it possible for businesses to be more ‘human’? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!