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A second-degree Emotional Relevance – a first degree human.

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

It was around mid-January. I came back from a run and stopped by the mail box to pick up the mail. Among the waste of paper marketing BS, there was a letter with my wife’s company logo on it. Naturally, it is for her, so I ignore it. However, as I kept flipping through the rest of the pile, my mind kind of stopped for a second. I could have sworn I saw MY name on that envelope, so I pulled it back. Lord and behold it is addressed to me.

“Dear Alon,

On behalf of …… I want to thank you for the support you have provided …. This year. We understand the demand of the job with its significant responsibility to support our customers…..can often result in long hours and time away from family………This year will be pivotal for…and I want to thank you in advance for your continued support and wish you a very happy, healthy and successful year.

Best regards,


President and CEO”

Impacting the significant others

I paused for a second. The president and CEO of the company where my wife works took the time to thank… And probably other significant others. Never met the guy, hadn’t spoken with him.

By spending probably just a few minutes telling his marketing folks to draft something he was able to make me a believer and made my wife appreciate her place of work that much more. He “used” me in order to emotionally impact one of his employees. Enhance the loyalty level. The stickiness. The trust. All of those elements Emotional Relevance touches.

Whatever you are selling, keep in mind the ones who are influencing your actual buyer. And since we are all humans, we are all impacted and affected by that emotional trigger.

Say you are working at a department store. In the kids clothing section. A mom and her 7 years old go by. Who are you trying to solicit to come try these new shiny shoes? The kid. Of course. Even though the mom will pay, the mom is the actual buyer. But the kid influences the deal. And if you look at it the other way around (as some of you will for sure), it is still the same thing. If you believe the kid is the buyer, you still need to influence the mom.

My 13 years old daughter wears braces. She received a hand-written post-card a few days ago in the mail from the new orthodontist who took over the dentistry she has been a patient of. Hand-written. ….”we can’t wait to see your smile again on Thursday……”.

You should have seen the glare in my daughter’s eyes simply from the idea she received a personal note. Now, can you realize the emotional impact this supposedly small gesture has on me? The parent. The one paying the bills. They got to me through her. Emotional Relevance 101!

“Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.”―Tony Hsieh

So, whether you are a small business owner, a consultant, a software customer success manager, a high-level executive, go through the thought process. Understand who your second degree customers, influencers are and make the effort to impact them emotionally as well. Just like in a complex sales cycle, when you have influencers, decision makers, buyers etc., think of those people surrounding your actual customer (internal and external) as well. 

While you don’t need an official degree in Emotional Relevance™, I do, highly suggest, you pay attention to your second degree customers as they, too, are first degree humans.

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