Are You Scaring Away Your Leads? [Cats vs Cheese]

Are you scaring away your prospects?

One of my absolute favorite business podcast episodes is #24 on “I Love Marketing” Podcast with Dean Jackson & Joe Polish.

The title is “The one with more cheese and less whiskers”, which may sound incredibly strange as a business concept.  I know it made me cock my head sideways when I first saw it.

However the philosophy detailed is truly epic for understanding the inner psychology of prospects for marketing our businesses and how we’re messing it all up by portraying ourselves as a cat.

Let me explain.  So in Dean’s model, we have 3 items: mice, cheese and cats.  Our prospective customers are the mice.  They have only two goals in this simplified life:  1) Get cheese.  2) Avoid cats.

Cheese is whatever is most important to them in their life.  Other marketing advice might call this their “satisfying their desires”.  For a home shopper, this is finding the perfect new home.  For a person looking to lose weight, it’s the easy process to shed the fat and get fit.  For a golfer, it’s hitting that perfectly straight drive every time.

Cats, on the other hand, are what these mice are afraid of – sales people.  No one wants to be sold to.  No one!  Feeling like you are being sold to is generally considered an awful pressurized experience by most humans.

In the mice world, these cats show up in their mind as the pushy sales people that just want to get in front of them and push their product.

The mistake we make too often in our businesses is positioning ourselves as cats, when our prospects really just want the cheese.  This might look like pressuring someone to come in for a one-on-one consultation upon first meeting.  Let’s run through some examples to illustrate how small shifts in marketing positioning make a HUGE difference in the appearance of cats vs. cheese in the world of the prospect.

Personal Injury Law Office:

Cat:  Come in today for a free consultation

Cheese:  Free Report – Avoid the top 7 mistakes of hiring the wrong injury attorney and messing up your case

Golf Training Professional:

Cat:  $100 one hour one-on-one lesson

Cheese:  Free workshop:  Avoid these 3 biggest mistakes you’re making right now with your driver

Real Estate Agent:

Cat:  Call now to set up an appointment and see our homes for sale

Cheese:  Join us this sunday for a free open house tour visiting 10 properties in X neighborhood.

The difference is in the presentation.  The end goal of each scenario is the same whether it’s the cat or the cheese.  However, if you can make it appear that your offering is already happening (whether or not they attend), the perceived sales pressure is released from interaction and the mouse will feel safe checking it out.

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