The list of this process is that humans normally don’t move directly from spotting a potential mate across the room to mating right then and there. There are steps that have to be taken in between those two acts, such as visual flirting, talking, holding hands, kissing, and so on.
This leads to two important points:
- Moving through the steps too fast destabilizes the relationship
- Skipping more than one of those steps all but spells doom for the long-term stability or success of the relationship. In other words, there’s a psychological reason why the vast majority of one-night stands don’t end up in lasting relationships.
“Don’t do anything in your marketing that you wouldn’t do with your friends–or on a date.”Build Lasting Relationships
We contend that this same psychological dynamic, the “12 Steps of Intimacy,” governs the formation of most business-client or business-customer relationships.
Business relationships that move through the steps at an appropriate pace tend to result in lifetime customer/client value. Business relationships formed from an immediate transaction tend to be fragile, price-or-deal-based and largely transactional for the life of that (usually much shorter) relationship. This is the reason pushing too hard to get a casual visitor’s contact information, or pushing to close the sale on the prospective customer’s first contact with your marketing process, can mess up your ability to form a longer-term (and more profitable) business relationship with them.
Which is to say, you shouldn’t do anything in your marketing that you wouldn’t do with your friends (or on a date). That’s because people are “hardwired” to respond to people and companies that respect them by following the 12 Steps of Intimacy in their marketing process, giving them the “baby steps” necessary to proceed at their own pace.
And this is especially the case with thought leaders, consultants, and most professional service providers: clients who see you as a vendor will never be as profitable for you as clients who have been won-over to the way you see things and approach your craft.
Promote A Book bases our Audience Engagement strategy on the 12 Steps of Intimacy model. We do that by:
- Creating Marketing Bites–free, relevant, and fun short-form content that can be used to establish a relationship with your potential clients during the first 4 to 5 Steps of Intimacy.
- Postponing the direct “ask” for contact information until Step 6.
- Planning the transitions and providing the baby steps for browsers as they move from engaging with your free content to buying your book to becoming a full-fledged, repeat client or customer
- Boosting the power of The 12 Steps of Intimacy by combining it with temperament-based communication. This allows our lead generation systems to move at the proper speed and provide all the needed half-steps, and also ensures that our messaging is tailored to the casual visitor’s decision-making style and communication preferences.
On a grander scale and longer timeline, we also make use of this model for our Platform Building servicesCommunicate With The Temperaments