My grandfather passed away when he was 63. Died on the operating table. Back then, early 70’s with the limited medical knowledge and technology, they never really did figure out what killed him. “Something in his head” they said. His son, my dad, all his life, wanted to make it to 63. He lived by it. Eleven years ago. December. My father turned 63. He died 5 months later. At 63.
You can imagine what I go through, emotionally, every time I hear or see the number 63.
During a sales process, when we negotiate we use something called "Anchoring". If the purpose of “Anchoring” during the negotiations is to create some sort of a reference number in order to settle at the end of it somewhere not too far from the original “anchor”, why not use the same technique to attach your customer even more to what you are providing them? Or to you?
Let’s imagine for a second you are a customer success manager who was just introduced to a new customer. It is the kick-off call. Or perhaps you are a lawyer and it is your first face to face with this new customer. Or maybe you are a dentist or a physical therapist who meet a patient for the first time. Anything that will lead to some sort of an ongoing relationship. This is your opportunity to create a reference that will get them emotionally moved. Will get them to remember it (as I mentioned in previous posts, when we go through an emotional experience we remember and, on this blog, I try to share every now and then, methods for controlling this ability of taking your customers, colleagues, vendors, friends, through an emotional experience. And then, trigger it again and again by referring to it in future conversations in order to have them simply experience it again and hence, engraving that emotion in their brain permanently). Using numbers is an easy way not only to instill some emotional relevance but also to remember it.
So, you meet this new client, this new patient, new person. Or you are online on a call with them. During the conversation you find out that they just….and pick one….celebrated their 44th birthday, got jersey number 6, released 3 new features on that platform this quarter, won $500 at the casino….whatever. Let’s go with the 44th birthday for this story.
You ask a bit about how they celebrated, have them share some details (so they re-live it for a moment – always a good practice), and then you say something like….you know, 4 is a good number overall as I have 4 kids, and my youngest is 4. So, I guess 4 is now our mutual lucky number.
Anchoring 101. Boom.
From that moment on, every time you will bring the number 4 up between the two of you it will send them to that moment where they were smiling thinking about that party from the night before and about your 4-year-old kid. Every time they will see the number 4 out there, they will think of you. And it is your job, at every encounter with that person moving forward to remind them of that.
If they come in to your clinic 3 months later you better tell them, right after you greet them that “you know, it’s so funny, I was looking to by a 4 by 4 car last week and I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about our conversation how 4 is our lucky number” or “man, this is so funny – remember our lucky number? Right, 4, well, that day, after we met/spoke for the first time, I went to dinner with a friend and our check was $44 and I just couldn’t believe it”. If the instillment was done properly, I guarantee, you will experience it, see it and be able to share very easily as the number 4 will then show up for you everywhere as well. I also guarantee you earned a life long customer. Try it.
"According to 30 Rock, which is an authority on these matters: anything that happens on a leap day, didn't." — Anonymous
63 is not the only relevant number for me. Another emotionally relevant number for me is 29. You see, this year is a leap year. And my mom, may she live to 120, was born on February 29th. This year, she will turn 18 (and a quarter). Just this morning I got to think of my mom when I noticed on my phone that I was on this conference call for exactly 29 minutes and 29 seconds.