Friend-Zoning Your Marketing: The Cuttlefish Method

Cuttlefish are brilliant creatures.  

They can change the colors of their skin so fast that sometimes it looks like they’re shooting electric rainbows up and down their skin.  It’s such a beautiful display — the males use it to attract their mate, and the biggest male who shines the brightest wins the female’s affection.  

… most of the time.

We usually refer to the “friend zone” as a bad thing — but cuttlefish turn it around to their benefit.  Sometimes, a smaller male cuttlefish will adopt his skin to look like that of a female’s and become her friend.  He’ll pal around with her for MONTHS before mating season.  While cuttlefish don’t use this tactic too often, when they do, the smaller male will have a 30% higher chance at winning the female’s affection come mating season.  It’s because she already knows him, is familiar with him, and likes him.

Thus, we have our favorite approach to email marketing: The Cuttlefish Method.  REALTORS® and professionals in industries with a long sales cycle have a lot to learn from the most fascinating cephalopods in the sea — stop marketing; start making friends.

Templated messages, giant billboards, and wrapped vehicles are the real estate equivalent of an “electric rainbow.”  They’re flashy, shouty, and preachy, and they’re trying to steal your customers.  How do you compete? Try the Cuttlefish Method.

When you send emails to your clients that take on the same lack-of-templated-format as the messages they receive from their friends, you’ve made your first big step.  It looks human and you resonate as a person trying to connect — not a company trying to market. 

Remember above when we said that cuttlefish will befriend their prospective mates for months?  You may have to take after their example and understand that this is a relationship, not a one-night stand.  If you start trying to close a deal right away, you’ll undermine the connections you’re seeking to build.  Instead, seek to engage and converse with your contacts.  Try to get to know them, understand what they like, and learn what makes them tick.

Not only will you be building trust, but when the time is right for a sale, you’ll know what kind of product or service will matter most to each contact.

When your prospects (and by the time they’re ready to buy, your friends) do realize they need a REALTOR®, the man with his face on a billboard isn’t going to compare to you.  You have the relationship, you’re someone they trust, and you’re the first person they want to work with.

The Cuttlefish Method isn’t about tricking someone into working with you…really, it’s just being genuine and focusing on connecting, not convincing.  It allows your relationships to do the work for you while you get to enjoy a lot more friends.

If you could use a hand with implementing the Cuttlefish Method, we’ll use what we know to help you find a great solution.

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