I’m one of those people in life that really, really doesn’t like “anticipation”. I get irritated and agitated when I want something and have to wait for it. As a kid, I was a nightmare for my parents because I would be roaming the house trying to find all the Christmas presents so I knew what I was getting.
That has followed me into adulthood. Now, when I have an important meeting or am getting ready to release something, I get impatient because I’ve built up this sense of anticipation within myself. The time when I’m waiting seems to drag on and I really have to knuckle down to focus.
Interestingly, when something isn’t important, what ends up happening is the anticipation just becomes too much work and I move on. The excitement and distraction just become worth less than whatever I’m waiting for.
You see this a lot in marketing. People go through these big elaborate launch sequences where there are three videos, there’s a downloadable worksheet, there’s a webinar and there are, of course, dozens and dozens of email.
These people are trying to build anticipation. They don’t allow you to buy until they’ve built up the pressure and the tension so that when they open the doors, you lose your grip on reality and punch an old woman in the face to get 45% off a pair of sandals.
Seriously, a few years ago on Boxing Day, we went to Downtown Sydney to do some shopping and we were nearly swept away by the tide of humanity who’d forgotten how to act like civilized human beings because of anticipation.
I don’t do that type of anticipation anymore. There was a big name internet marketer a few months back who ran that kind of launch and there was simply no way to sign up for his software without watching three videos and then this long-winded sales video over the course of a week. I was interested in his product, he’d built good solid anticipation about what it could do but then he ruined it by trying to sell the other crap like bonuses – I just wanted the software. Ultimately, I valued the three hours of my time he was asking me to waste listening to him rabbit on about crap more than I valued his software. He’s ruined the sense of anticipation.
Also, when you overplay anticipation that way there ends up being a feeling of remorse and regret that follows where you realize that maybe, the end result didn’t live up to expectation – kind of like the DC Comics movie franchises.
So how do we get around this? Anticipation is a very powerful force so we want and need to use it to the fullest, but on the other hand, we want to make sure that our customers and clients feel like that what we’ve delivered met or exceeded expectations.
And that really is the key – when you build something up with your audience and you create that feeling of anticipation, then it’s very important to really try and overdeliver so that you exceed even that person’s heightened sense of anticipation.
When that happens, it creates an unreal experience. For me, the movie Deadpool was a bit like that – I saw the trailers, it was heavily hyped, but when I watched it, that movie even exceeded my wildest anticipations. I came away feeling that the anticipation that the studio had built up for it actually helped me like it even more – that’s a pretty rare feeling with movies because it’s pretty easy to show all the best parts in the ads.
That’s what you have to do for your customers. Get them excited about the potential of what you’re offering them and then when you get them to commit blow them away with your delivery. Leave them walking away thinking about how you totally fulfilled every promise and thinking about how they can work with you next.
That’s the key to anticipation, exceed it and let that person build up future anticipation about how they can spend even more with you in the future!