How Your Marketing Strategy Should Resemble a Good Therapy Session

When you think about developing an effective marketing strategy, you probably don’t think about talking to your shrink. However, perhaps surprisingly, the two are quite related. Both are focused on psychology and human behavior and how to adapt one’s choices to improve a situation. In therapy, this means you want to have your client feel less distress, and in business, this means you want to have your client continue to purchase your product. So, treating your client like a person is a good place to start.

Whether you’re of the Rogerian, Gestalt, or the Existentialism school of thought, there are cardinal rules when engaging with clients that could seriously improve your marketing strategy.

1. Build Rapport

In counseling, building rapport means developing a working relationship with the client. Someone isn’t going to spill his or her guts to a complete stranger on day one, so this process takes some nurturing. You must build trust and show your competency as a professional. Have conversations with the client and get to know them. Tell them a little bit about yourself and your process. Once they feel like they can talk to you, they’ll be more invested in your services.

In marketing, the exact same ideas apply. You must show your clients that your business is personal. You must set yourself apart from your competitors by demonstrating that you are competent, trustworthy, and will help them get what they need. Simple things like a personalized email, really great resources on your website, or social media posts that are tuned into what your audience is interested in are great ways to build rapport with prospective clients. (Carl Rogers would be proud.)

2. Set Goals

So you have a relationship, but now what? Setting goals is an imperative component of counseling. It provides focus, shows growth, and highlights common themes in a client’s life. Setting goals gets everyone on the same page; they are the compass on your journey.

When it comes to your marketing strategy, goals hold the same value. Developing short- and long-term goals will help you navigate your business relationship with your client and stay on top of their needs. When developing goals, they need to be concrete and direct. By understanding their needs, you can ensure that you are providing good service and that clients will keep coming back for more.

Who doesn’t like feeling cared for? Goal setting will do just this for your customers.

3. Active Listening

You know what your client is thinking, you’ve talked to them and you understand where they want to go. So, it is important to show you’re listening. Active listening is called active listening for a reason: you need to be active. Your clients trust you and you’ve developed really great goals. You’ve provided tools so that your client can start to attain these goals. However, you won’t be able to reach them if you passively let time go by without checking in to see how things are going. To do this, a therapist will use techniques like restating, paraphrasing, or the classic “How does that make you feel?”

In business, you can show you are actively listening by providing your clients or leads with content that is relevant to their goals. This doesn’t mean just giving them your service, but additionally giving them resources and information, so they can become smarter. When your client feels like he or she is being heard, he will feel supported and in turn, want to continue your relationship.

Structuring your marketing ideas around relationship building, understanding a client’s needs, and staying active are great tips to take from a psychologist. After all, they are experts in human behavior. Addressing client’s behaviors will attain everyone’s goal: more business.

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