Originally posted on Quora.com
Twice a week, I take a spinning class. The instructor on Wednesdays is an older man who wears jerseys from prominent local races; although, it’s unknown whether he purchased them as a participant, spectator, or off eBay.
Nevertheless, his instruction style is grating with his barking directions every 5 to 10 seconds: “Turn it up two gears,” “stand up,” “hover,” “sit down,” “turn it up a gear,” “turn it down a gear,” “racing position,” “add a gear,” “explode off the saddle,” “add another gear….” Sometimes, he yaps out instructions so fast half the class is still comprehending and responding to the previous one or two directives.
Glancing down the row of bikes, it looks like an amateur chorus line, horrifically out-of-sync. Often, people walk out of the class, no doubt, disgusted over the jarring experience of not only hearing his voice, but attempting to keep up with his shotgun instructions.
I just want to stand up, and shout, “SHUT-UP!”
Mostly, I daydream, tuning him out, and wondering what possessed me to crawl out of bed at 5:15 for a 5:45 spinning classes.
Last Wednesday, a thought occurred to me. Either the instructor wants to get a good work-out himself, regardless of the athleticism of the class, or he thinks his constant shouting and chattering makes for an engaging spinning experience, and people will return week-after-week.
If it’s the latter, the people in the class already made a decision to spin instead of doing other activities. The instructor simply needs to play a selection of upbeat tunes, and provide some basic guidance. This is the approach the instructor on Friday mornings takes, and her class is packed. And because she provides only limited instruction along with encouraging words of “good job,” people spin at their own pace, pushing themselves when motivated by the music or seeing others in the class madly peddling.
There’s a lesson to be learned. From a marketing perspective, if a visitor clicks to your site, don’t try to oversell them. Instead, guide them through the process of finding the information, products or services they’re seeking, and then funnel them to the desired calls-to-action. If your site features products with long sales cycles, provide visitors with the necessary content and context to make a knowledgeable decision.
The same applies to retail locations. If a customer walks through the door, they’ve chosen to visit your establishment. There’s no need to sell them on the benefits of being in your store. Instead, quickly determine their needs, and then points them to what they’re seeking. Or if they appear to want help in making a selection, offer assistance.
Consider car sales people. They’re experts at quickly gauging customers’ needs, determining with a few concise questions whether a person wants to be left alone to casually “kick a few tires” or be guided through the what could be a lengthy process of choosing their next car.