Why your friends don’t do business with you

If you’re one of these people getting sad or mad when they see their friends doing business with somebody else providing similar products or services, don’t take it personally. Here is why:

Successful marketing is a combination of various factors, and friendship is not one of them. 

People need a lot of boxes checked in order to feel comfortable working with you, being your friend is irrelevant.

[ You may also read – Is Your Startup Obsession Like Having A “New Girlfriend” Syndrome? ]

Brands > People

We tend to pick the companies we want to do business with based on several factors, the most important is how their brand is touching our feelings. It can be because their previous clients are valuable to us, because we like their tone and content on social media, because they succeed making us think that they are great or simply because we have heard great things about them from people we trust. We need a story, we need to be appealed by a brand’s DNA.

People are not enough and will never be until they’re part of something bigger than themselves: a strong, compelling brand.

For these reasons, competitors often have the advantage. In business, we always value more a brand than a person. YOU.NEED.A.BRAND.

Knowing too much kills it

Our decision making process works the following way:

We need to know just enough. Not too much, not too little.

When we don’t know enough, we don’t feel comfortable making any decisions, and we are obviously not going to pick a company we don’t know anything about, we need a substantial amount of information. However, when we know too much, it’s too late, the myth is broken, the brand’s secrets are known, our brain is not giving us the green light.

That is why we often tend to think it’s better elsewhere, and the harder it is to get, the more we want it. We can’t imagine someone we are close from being the best in his field. The best is always out of our circles, at least that’s what we believe. It’s often hard to realize someone’s talent when too close from them.

We need external validations, or simply illusions to trust a brand enough to do business with them.

Marketing is 90% subconscious

Most of the decisions we make are triggered by subconscious brain activity. We are not really aware of it, but our choices are the result of much more that just our thoughts like “this friend is smart”, or “I have a friend doing the same thing than this company”.

The more we hear about a company, and the less we can trace when and where we heard from them, the more mystery will be created around them. The closest we are from a friend, the less mystery or imagination we can build around them. It’s subconscious, but this is how it works.

We need a mystery. The more accessible something is, the less we want it.


Working with friends? Be careful

It has some downsides:

  • They are more demanding than regular clients, often at a discounted price.
  • They are more time consuming than regular clients and they want to deal with you as much as possible.
  • They need to be educated about phone calls, texts or Skype messages all day.
  • They do not necessary spread the word about you. Unless you have a brand people want to be attached to (in that case, avoid working with friends).

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