Not so Fast, Romeo… How to Court Prospects the Right Way


Last week, I re-watched Romeo + Juliet — the 1996 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

I love the scene where the star-crossed lovers meet. 

Love at first sight around a tropical fish tank.

Here’s the video clip

Audiences enjoy love at first sight stories. (This clip — which is one of many on YouTube showing this scene — has been viewed 6 million times.)

That’s why you see such stories all the time in the movies.

But love at first sight is rare in real life — especially in marketing and sales. 

Why, then, do so many businesses market as if you love them at first sight (or first listen)…

…and want to marry them right away? 

A few years back, as I drove to my office, I heard a radio advertisement for a technology firm (let’s call it Acme Technologies).

At the end of the ad, the spokesman recited the firm’s toll-free telephone number and said, “Call today to get started.”

“I’m not ready to get started,” I thought. “I may be interested soon, but not today.”

So I didn’t call. 

Maybe, weeks or months later, when I needed what Acme was selling, I would remember the ad and call.

In the meantime, Acme had no idea I existed and no way to court me further.

Thousands of people heard that ad. Most are like me.

We are the maybes. And marketers frequently ignore us.

If you want to sell more, you must court the maybes.

Imagine you’re single, looking for a new long-term relationship.

You enter a room full of strangers and see someone whom you find attractive.

You walk over, introduce yourself, and strike up a conversation.

You masterfully deliver some of your best material—funny anecdotes about yourself, details about your high-powered career, evidence of your passionate, yet sensitive side.

The stranger smiles at you, laughing at your jokes, making eye contact, enjoying your company.

And then you deliver the call to action: “Let’s get married!”

Whoa, now, Romeo! Not so fast. This is not the movies. This is real life. 

Juliet dashes out the door.

Seems crazy, huh? Then why do so many marketers follow the same playbook when courting new leads?

Let’s give Romeo a do-over:

…Juliet is smiling at you, laughing at your jokes, making eye contact, enjoying your company.

And then the call to action: “May I have your email. I’ll send you some pictures of my mountain climbing expedition I told you about…”

Juliet is happy to oblige.

Will she marry him? Maybe.

What are Romeo’s chances? Hard to say.

But he’s in the game. He’ll email those pictures to her, invite her to lunch, and see what develops from there.

Now let’s give Acme Technologies a do-over:

…Listeners are enjoying your ad, thinking that your firm offers good products and services.

And then the call to action:

“Our experts have prepared a special report called 10 Steps You Can Take Today to Reduce Technology Costs and Increase Sales.

Go to steps to get this free report.

Or if you’d like to get started with Acme right away, please call today.

Marketers call that report a lead magnet. 

Listeners are happy to trade their emails for the lead magnet.

They go to your website where they enter their names and emails to get the free report.

Will they buy? Maybe.

What are Acme’s chances? Hard to say.

But Acme can now send emails to those maybes and see what develops from there.

Courting is a process,
not an event.
Same with
marketing and sales.

Why does the radio listener enter his email address on Acme’s web site?

Because he has little to lose. He gives only his email address (low-risk) and gets a rewarding report in return.

Since he may be interested in Acme’s services, he’s happy to connect in this way.

Now Acme can connect with this listener, court him further, and hopefully achieve its ultimate goal.

Acme can court this maybe and convert him to a yes.

So how do you court the maybes? 

I’ll answer that question in a free workshop I’m hosting next week: How to Market to the Maybes to Attract More and Better Prospects and Inspire Them to Buy. 

Stay tuned for details. I’ll announce the time and place next week. 

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.