Just over six weeks ago, I was sat at the back of a conference room in The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington (London), attempting to look invisible as I frantically typed up notes for the June issue of the Success Club Newsletter. Gracing the stage was Ryan Deiss (something of a hero of mine, being a serious business/marketing geek!) and I was trying to balance my attention somewhere between learning something new (for myself) taking effective notes (for the newsletter) and simply enjoying the content (again, for myself).
Thankfully, I’m a journalist first and foremost. I can do all three with my eyes shut (figuratively speaking).
I learnt a lot, various bits and pieces of which I will be sharing with you all in future blogs to come. This week, I will like to share something that Ryan drew to my attention in his inimitable style…
The 12 Stages of Intimacy
These were put together by a man called Desmond Morris: “a zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter, as well as a popular author in human sociobiology” best known for his 1967 book The Naked Ape. How’s that for a CV?
Desmond noted that there were 12 stages of intimacy in a physical relationship that needed to be passed through before the ‘end goal’ i.e. the desired outcome (for want of a better phrase) was reached. You can progress as quickly or as slowly through the 12 stages as you want. As long as both parties are okay with the speed, the rate is not determinate of success.
There is a caveat to this: you can’t skip more than two. That’s called assault!
Ryan didn’t go into the details of what these stages of intimacy were, so I very quickly Googled them and quickly understood why. And at the risk of losing my job, I’ll share them with you now:
1. Eye to body.
2. Eye to eye.
3. Voice to voice.
4. Hand to hand.
5. Hand to shoulder.
6. Hand to waist.
7. Face to face.
8. Hand to head.
9. Hand to body.
… and then steps 10-12 get a little blue.
It is not my intention to put you off your cornflakes (or indeed make you more into your cornflakes), so I should probably get to the point: the 12 stages of intimacy aren’t just about getting jiggy in the traditional sense, they can be applied to any relationship. Including the business relationship.
Let me put it another way (still drawing inspiration from Mr. Deiss – that guy is good) the essence of business is the customer. Without the customer, you don’t have a business. The purpose of a business is to create a customer. The only way to create a customer, one which will enter into a longterm relationship with you, is to create a customer journey.
Think about it: you don’t want to come across as creepy, but you don’t want to have them lose interest in you either. Therein lies the sweet spot. find it, and you’ll have a long, happy life together.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t assault your customers, allow them fall in love with you with the 12 stages of (business) intimacy.” quote=”Don’t assault your customers, allow them fall in love with you.”]
Now, let me make this whole thing a little less creepy myself…
1. Eye to body. The customer becomes aware of your business on a surface level
2. Eye to eye. They become aware of you and the solution you will provide
3. Voice to voice. They give their permission for you to engage with you (i.e. subscribe)
4. Hand to hand. You engage with them by providing relevant value
5. Hand to shoulder. You make them a low level initial offer.
6. Hand to waist. You onboard them/follow up regarding their purchase
7. Face to face. You make another, higher level offer (ascend)
8. Hand to head. You engage with them further with up-front value
9. Hand to body. You ascend them to a higher level still
10-12. They’re you’re raving fan, willing to promote, refer and advocate for/to you
I now pronounce you a lifestyle customer! You may now kiss the… wait, you’ve already done that.
Once again, the speed at which you progress, the exact nature of the steps and the steps you miss out (no more than two – remember that!) can differ depending on what your business has to offer, and your preferred style of marketing. The important thing to ensure is that the steps are there, in this sort of order, to progress that relationship in a safe, gentle and nurturing way.
Don’t assault your customers, allow them fall in love with you like Ryan Deiss (and others like him!) has managed many, many times over.
For more inspiration and strategy for creating long, loving customer relationships, why not try Success Club membership for £2? Not only will you get the rather awesome (if I do say so myself) Success Club Newsletter, you will also have instant access to the Business Value Maximisation course: a 10 part video series worth £297.
Click here to get started – me and the rest of the DB Team have plenty more business weirdness and wonder to share!