There’s a big difference between commanding people’s attention and demanding people’s attention.
Most of the small business marketing we see is trying to demand our attention.
- They send us emails we never asked for.
- They pester us on social networking sites.
- They call us in the office when we are busy and sometimes at home when we are relaxing with our family and friends.
- They interrupt our TV and radio shows with their sales pitches.
- They pursue us at business events.
- In short, they do everything possible to demand that we listen to what they have to say.
Demanding attention is all about interrupting us and pushing us. The problem with that approach is that our natural reaction is to push back. Just because they demand our attention does not mean we are going to be receptive to them. Quite the opposite. For example, if a marketer walks up to you in the street and pokes you in the chest, he will get your attention, but it’s not the kind of attention he wants!
A smarter approach, is to command our attention. This is all about earning attention. People command our attention when they do something that attracts and then either informs or entertains us; sometimes both. Commanding people’s attention takes work and creativity, but the upside is huge. That’s because we treat information that has commanded our attention very differently, from information that is trying to demand our attention.
Think of 2 things you will read today. For example, this blog post and a spam email.
- The spam email is something you will delete the second it arrives. That spam message may be in front of you, but there’s no desire on your part to engage with the content.
- However, you are already over 300 words into reading this blog post. There’s clearly a lot more engagement here.
In short: When we command the attention of our prospective clients, anything we share with them is received in a far more receptive way, than those who use brute force to demand their attention.