The Ramblings
of a Serial

Friction in the Funnel is Good

Making it easy for customers to buy isn’t always a good idea. It’s not easy to buy a Ferrari, a Rolex Mariner, or any number of luxury goods. It’s quite easy to buy a commodity ball point pen on Amazon.

Why might we want to be a little more difficult to buy from?

Because we’d rather be in the position of choosing our customers rather than the other way around.

Ten years ago I made the mistake of taking on a client for my marketing firm who was a bad-fit client. We had a process that delivered reliable results, and every step of the way he fought our process. He wanted us to adapt to his way of marketing, rather than the other way around … and his way didn’t work (which is why he hired us).

We were too easy to buy from, because we let a bad client in the door. We did’t put up a proper application process, and vet them. We didn’t “work with them before working with them.”

The client lasted three weeks before we fired them. It would have been far better if we’d never taken them on in the first place.

Adding friction into the buying process means that we need to change how we market, though.

When we know that we’re going to take a smaller number of customers (and of course, charge more for delivering outstanding experiences), we’re intentionally not marketing to everyone. We’re marketing to customers who are looking for exceptional outcomes, and are willing to pay a premium for them.

Sometimes, we anti-market, explaining how we don’t work with everyone.

We give away a lot of free information, knowing full well that many of the people who get it won’t become customers.

We turn away revenue that we could close, because it’s not the right revenue.

This isn’t the right strategy for every business. The world needs commodities. But sometimes we don’t realize we have a choice where we play, and that we don’t need to play the same game everyone else is playing.

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