You Are Not My Friend


Let's take the Maxwell House example. The one thing we know about Maxwell House (other than that it's "good to the last drop") is that it's cheap. Really cheap in comparison to Starbucks. So you go on Facebook and find the Cheapskate Group. And approach them as a salesperson, not as a friend. Your script goes something like this: "Hey Cheapskates. Maxwell House knows how much you love saving money. And while our coffee is cheap enough as it is, if you go to this special Maxwell House Cheapskates site, we've got a $1-off coupon waiting for you."

The point being, if you're not a prom king brand, you need to put yourself in a situation that plays to your strengths. If your strength is you don't cost a whole lot, you need to find a bunch of cheapskates and then adapt yourself to their needs. And you have to do it as a salesperson, because you can't pretend you're doing anything but selling them. Note that I told you to send them to your Web site, not to your new Facebook group. That's because salespeople have Web sites; friends have Facebook groups. And your target is acutely aware of this distinction.

Follow this advice and your customers may just start to like you for it. To let you hang around more often and maybe, just maybe, they'll start talking about you. Not to you, mind you, but about you.

Which is a lot more valuable (and cost-effective) than having them talk about your latest $5 million TV commercial.


Alan Wolk is a creative director, strategist and blogger.