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Won't you stay? Just a little bit longer.

Have you ever pulled into your driveway and just sat in the car, listening on the radio to hear the end of your favorite song?

When was the last time you ordered dessert and coffee at a restaurant so you could linger a while longer in your favorite restaurant?

These are examples of something that is now being called the "driveway effect."

"I'll be there in a minute, I just want to hear the end of this song."

Radio programmers are always looking to increase the amount of time people listen to their station because a higher "time spent listening" factor justifies higher ad rates. Restaurants encourage the sale of high-margin desserts to boost profits.

Greater revenue and higher profits are good things, but there's another reason you should ask your customers to (as Jackson Browne sang) "please, please stay, just a little bit longer."

Conversations Lead to Conversions

The typical American adult is presented with slightly less than 3,000 advertising images a day. If your customer gets 6 hours of sleep, he or she is hit with commercial stimuli at an average pace of once every 20 seconds.

Nearly all of these marketing messages are monologues - one-way and not the least bit interactive.

Whether it's a passive presentation of the brand's icon or image, or a more pro-active approach - such as paid ads or PR - the customer is seldom required to consciously respond. After time, these bits of "noise" (coming in at 3-per-minute) become easy to ignore.

However, engaging the customer to a point where they are compelled to stop and pay attention will transform these monologues into "conversations" that will strengthen the customer's emotional connection with your organization.

Important Note - it is called the "driveway effect" not the "handcuff effect."

  • Forcing people to answer a long series of questions is not "conversation."
  • Bribing them with contests or free stuff, doesn't build an emotional connection.
  • The objective is to offer them something they will WANT to stick around for.
Ask these questions:

  • When customers sit down at our table (meet our salesmen, read our brochure, shop in our store) are they more likely to "eat and run" or more likely to "linger over dessert and coffee?"
  • What is the difference between story-telling and conversation - and, do we practice the right balance of each?

    Let me know how it goes.

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