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What A Skittish Cat Can Teach You About Marketing

“Here kitty kitty kitty kitty.  I have some treats for you,” I said, as I kneeled down and put my hand out to pet our new skittish friend, a white cat with a few black spots and a long black tail.  His name?  Whitey!  Clever, I know.

Not sure where Whitey came from.  We have a few outdoors cats in our barn and one day, a few years ago, he just magically appeared.  Probably liked the look of the other cats’ crib, so he decided to stay and live like a king.

Heck, they got food, water, a roof over their heads, and some critters to catch.  What more could any cat ask for?

There is a marketing lesson within this story, so stick with me… mmmkay.

Whitey the not-so-Skittish Kitty-Cat

Whitey the not-so-Skittish Kitty-Cat

Over the past few years, anytime someone would try to go up to Whitey he’d just run off under the porch or high-tail it to the woods.  So, like the majority of us would do, we just let him be.

But, something interested me.  A few years ago, our Saint Bernard, Joey, was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease, which is a kidney disease, and as our pup would wonder the yard Whitey would run up to him and rub all over him.  Joey seemed to like it and they become pretty good friends.

Well, last fall I was going through a rough time and I saw him sitting on the porch of the barn.  I decided I was going to try to pet him and befriend him, just like Joey did, since all us humans failed the past few years.

I kept going to the barn with treats.  I’d lay them on the porch and then I’d start walking away.  I’d look back and Whitey would be watching me carefully as he approached the yummy goodness.  So, overtime, I would stay closer and closer as I laid treats out.  And, overtime, Whitey got used to me being closer and closer.

Then, one day, I attempted to pet my skittish friend and he let me pet him for about a half a second before darting off.  “Darn!” I thought.  But, at least I was making progress.

Overtime, he let me pet him more and more and soon he was rubbing on my legs and laying down for me to pet his belly (who knew cats liked their bellies rubbed?!).  Then, every time I’d go to let the dogs outside he would start running up from the barn to the house to hang out with me and Joey.

Now, he let’s me play with him, rub his belly, brush him, and… he even starts running for the house as soon as he sees my car pull up the driveway!  Crazy kitty.  haha

So, what’s this “once” skittish cat have to do with marketing???

Well, before you scroll down to find the answer, ask yourself, “What’s the hidden message in this story?  How does this apply to my marketing?  How about when prospects come into my business for a product or service?”

Let’s countdown so you can think about the hidden messages:

5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

Did you find the hidden messages?

If you said be patient, have persistence, and continued follow-up then you’re a winner!

Remember when I said, when Whitey first wondered into our barn we’d all try to pet him and give him treats and he’d run off?  Well, what did we do?  We gave up.  We stopped trying.  We failed at building trust.

Could you imagine if we chased him every time he ran off?  How about after the second time he got to the food and we came running from behind to get a chance to even touch him?!  He’d never let us come up to him again, EVER.

Well, same goes when marketing to your customers and clients.

  1. You must be PATIENT:  Now, being patient doesn’t mean waiting around.  Patience means, you have to approach your customers and clients in a non-threatening way.  Be patient with them but always be in contact (See:  Follow-up).
  2. You must be PERSISTENT:  As with being Patient, you must always be in contact with your prospects, customers, and clients.  Constantly be in touch, whether it’s a phone call, postcard, billboard, email, tweet, just be in touch!
  3. You must continue to FOLLOW-UP:  Don’t just have “one touch” and never do anything else with your prospects, customers, and clients.  Don’t just send one postcard, one sales letter.  Don’t just make one phone call.  Most people stop at the first no.  Heck, most people never even make it to a no!  They don’t make it anywhere.  Always follow-up!

When I was actively selling real estate, my first “real” offer was a Home Seller’s Guide.  One day, a nice lady called us up for a copy of the Home Seller’s Guide, which was for her mom who was starting to think about downsizing.

Well, she wasn’t ready to sell right away.  It took 6 months of constant follow-up to finally get a listing appointment and get the house listed!  Had we not been patient and persistent with our follow-up we would have never got the listing.

Oh, and we beat out another really good agent who called us up to ask us how we got the listing.  We asked her why she was asking and she said, “I’ve been friends with that family for 20 years, regularly go to church with them, and I’ve been out to the house multiple times to give suggestions about selling it because they were going to list with me.”

See what happens when you’re patient and persistent with your follow-up??!  You can overcome anything! 

Just remember:  No “one and done” marketing.  Be PATIENT.  Be PERSISTENT.  Continue to FOLLOW-UP.

Awww... He'd love to cuddle

Awww… He’d love to cuddle

Now go take action!

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