The hungry person at the all you can eat buffet is happy to take one more item. She doesn’t spend a lot of time comparing this to that, or saying ‘no thank you’ or avoiding certain items. If it’s interesting, “sure I’ll try a little bit. I can always come back.”
The guarded person walking down the street avoids eye contact with the homeless person, doesn’t answer a request from the petition-signer and certainly doesn’t help a Boy Scout with that old lady.
And this is precisely the dichotomy every cause, every candidate and every marketer faces.
Either you’re selling to people who are hungry for what you offer, who are open to hearing what you have to say, who are fans…
Or you’re selling to people who are actively protecting themselves, guarding against interruption or a mistake or worse.
How can you possibly have a strategy about what you’re going to do next until you determine which mindset you’re marketing to?
Here’s the key truth: in any given moment, in any given situation, a person is either hungry or guarded. You need to decide which sort of person you’ll be telling your story to, because one approach won’t work on the other type of person.
[PS the mindset can (and does) change as people go through their day. At the bookstore she might be hungry for a new idea, and just a few minutes later, at the bus stop, she wants to be alone…) Made me wonder where Brother Andy Capp would fit in this “dichotomy:”