Monday, 17 September 2012

Are there any Others Here Like Me?

Despite my article yesterday about electronic amusement marketing, I’m not really a “gamer.”  My son Kieran is.  I was in Vancouver last night to celebrate his 19th birthday with him.  Kieran is attending the Vancouver Film School, in their video game design course.  So, where do a bunch of gaming students go for drinks to celebrate a 19th birthday?  To Malone’s Pub?  Earls?  Joey’s Global?

Nope, they go to EXP.  “EXP – Experience” is a bar that targets gamers.  As you progress through many games, you gain “EXP-points,” thus the name.  Video screens featured the animations you might be rewarded with by completing all levels of a video game.  The drinks and food are all named after gaming characters like “Hadouken” and catch-phrases like “arrow to the knee.”  These guys had to explain a lot to me. 

What they didn’t have to explain is that they were in their element.  No matter what your passion is, you want to seek validation from people like you.  Validation that your chosen career-path or hobby isn’t just some weird thing you do.  I think that’s why jewellery shows are so much fun.  Some of us wear ties in towns where most of our clients wear blue jeans.  Some of us talk about fashion when many of our friends and neighbors talk about hockey, investments and travel.

Remember that when someone enters your store.  If they’re like most people they enjoy a little validation.  They’re looking for more people like them to prove that they’re not too “out there.”  If you engage someone in a conversation, make it about them and their interests.  Unless they’re into something totally freaky and/or illegal, help them celebrate their passions.  While doing so, you’ll either learn something that will help you sell to them, or you might just make a friend.  If you don’t know anything about what they’re into, ask questions to learn, but make sure you ask about all of the other people who are involved.  Are there clubs, themed pubs, conventions or competitions?

This is not just a way to manipulate yourself into a sale.  This is how you win your way into people’s hearts.  It’s how you make friends.  It’s much easier to sell to someone you’re friendly with.

Anyone else out there into 10-pin bowling?

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