Exploiting The “Angry Dad” Look In Sales And Marketing

I pulled into my driveway just like any other normal day. I did not realize it, but a surprise awaited me. As I inched down the driveway I saw my kids playing in the backyard. My younger son, four years old, pulled down his pants and started peeing on the grass.

My wife stood there shocked. Her mouth open, she could not believe what he did. It took about ten seconds for her to gather herself. She then “sort of” reprimanded him.

This is one of those classic parenting moments. You put on a show of displeasure. You drive home the point that their behavior is unacceptable. Meanwhile, it takes every ounce of willpower to hold in that laugh.

I got out of the car and gave him the angry dad look. Once I felt sure he got the point, I slipped away to belt out a good laugh.

My son knows big boys don’t behave like that. He did it anyway. He’s four. You expect four-year-olds to do things like that. As parents, we do our best to correct their behavior.

Behaving in ways that are bad for us does not end when we become adults.

As salespeople or marketers, we deal with prospects who baffle us. They do things they know are not in their best interest.

The Trusted Adviser Paradox

As trusted advisers, we struggle to get them to change their ways. Getting them to change often means buying what we sell. That’s where the challenge comes. From their point of view, our advice seems self-serving.

“Of course you’re telling me not to do xyz. You just want me to buy your service.”

How do we get them to conclude that our solution solves their problem without sounding self-serving?

Acknowledge Your Selfishness

First, state the obvious. Acknowledge that their problem fits your solution. You profit from solving their problem. Acknowledging the obvious gives you credibility. Most marketers avoid talking about it. They fear sounding salesy.

It’s normal to worry about coming on too strong. You can soften your statement by stating something like:

“We may not be a fit. If that’s the case, I hope you appreciate the honesty and level of service we provide. If you should know of someone else who might benefit from our solution, please keep us in mind.”

It acknowledges you may not be a fit. You also give a subtle clue that you avoid pressuring prospects into a bad deal. Plus, it puts you in a good light for a recommendation.

State Your Criteria Up Front

Have you ever come across sales material or a salesman that claims to serve every customer in any situation? Of course. Who hasn’t?

State emphatically, who your ideal client is. Also, state up front, who is not a fit for your business. That tells your ideal client:

“Ah, their product fits my needs to the letter.”

This technique also allows you to create your messaging with pinpoint accuracy. For those who are not a fit, you can refer them to someone who does fit their needs.

These two strategies enhance your credibility. They also avoid that vulture on the telephone wire caricature that many prospects hold of salespeople and marketers.

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