What do my father and mother have to do with marketing?

My father and mother have a lot to do with succeding in my business and with my marketing. This has to do with keeping the relationship between me and my potential clients clear from my family’s entanglements.

Sometimes the marketing trics of Gurus do not work

Marketing, acquisition, finding new customers, these are activities that most interest me. Not only because I have learned a lot about those topics in the past years, but also because I see that many entrepreneurs are struggling with growing their business. This struggle leads them into the hands of any expert who tells them what to do.

I wish it were that simple!

Of course, there are some basic insights about marketing that every entrepreneur should know. And of course, in the fast changing world of online marketing it is good to have your information sources, so you are always up to date. But there is more to attracting clients than meets the eye. There is a deeper layer that influences the relationship between you and your (potential) customers. That’s why I like to work with marketing constellations to make this deeper layer tangible and visible.

A marketing constellation really opened my eyes

In a constellation you create a visual image of your question by placing so called stand ins in the room. Every stand in represents an element of your question. In a marketing constellation there could be someone representing your potential customers, one for your product, and one for yourself.

The information coming from these stand ins and the interaction between them, tells you a lot about the hidden dynamics ruling your marketing.

I have facilitated a lot of constellations and was also part of many. But one constellation is still very vivid in my memory. At that time (2008) I was very busy trying to attract clients for my recently started coaching practice. My question for this constellation was, what I could do to be more relaxed about landing new clients.

In the constellation it soon became clear that it was not about me and my potential client. The facilitator sensed something missing behind me. She asked who I wanted to have behind me as support. When a stand in for my father stood behind me, it became clear. I was really working hard to acquire customers and to perform well for the customer. The hidden truth was that I wanted to do well for my father. The facilitator only said “Turn around and look your father in his eyes.” By finding the true source of my stress and tendency to work hard, I found peace inside myself.

In a constellation that I facilitated for a client of mine, another dynamic became clear. For this client finding new clients was complicated because she was expecting more from the customer than just money. Subconsciously there was a need her parents had not fullfilled, that she was now trying to get fullfilled by her clients. This way there is an imbalance in giving and taking. Potential clients will subconsciously sense this and feel hesitant in asking her to help them. This entrepreneur was not fully available for her clients.

It is not going to work if you still need something from your customer

What I want to point out is that finding new customers and being there for your customers all depends on how well your own needs have been satisfied (by your parents) and how well you are satisfying your own needs now. Can you be completely available for your customers? No strings attached? This applies not only to entrepreneurs in service professions, although it is more apparent there, since your service consists of your presence. Yet, also entrepreneurs that sell products should be aware that they are not (unconsciously) trying to get their needs fulfilled by their customers.

This requires that you be aware of what is happening in the interaction with your customer. Are you fully there for him or do you still, somewhere deep inside, want him to fullfill your needs? This also requires that you know what needs you still have and that you know where to get them fulfilled.

For me it works to connect with my father and mother

Although my father has passed away more than 15 years ago, every now and then I imagine him behind me and thus sensing his support. I can feel the powerful energy flowing from him (and from his parents, and their parents, and all the ancestors before them) through me. I also envision my mother (who is still alive) behind me and feel the powerful energy flowing from her side of the family coming from her parents, and their parents. Then I can sense that all my needs are fullfilled.

For me this is a very good start to do marketing, write texts or coach someone. It’s also a very good starting position towards my wife and kids, but that is a different story.

It still happens that I feel I need something from my client. That my own needs are interfering in the interaction with (potential) clients. Because I am aware of them and I know where I can find support, these needs will no longer trrouble my relationship with my clients.

Do an small marketing constellation for your business

Would you like to become stronger in your business and to be fully open and available for your customers? Find out which needs you still want to have fulfilled. Observe what happens when a customer buys your service or product, or when he does not. What emotions are triggered? What thoughts come up?

You can also do a small marketing constellation to investigate this. If you have someone that can assist, he or she can step on the sheet of paper representing your potential customer. If you do the constellation by yourself, you step on both sheets.

  1. Put two sheets of paper on the floor. One with your name on it and one saying “potential customer”. You decide how you want to lay down the sheets on the floor. Move them around until it is right for you.
  2. Step on the sheet representing you
  3. Sense what you experience in this position. First explore what you feel inside: emotions, sensations, thoughts. Then sense how you relate to the prospective customer. Can you feel if you expect something from him, if there are needs and desires?
  4. Then you either step on the other sheet of paper, or ask the other person standing on that sheet, what it is like to be in that position. What do you experience in that place? Does your potential customer feel that you are 100% available to him, or does he experience that you expect something from him?
  5. Finish by stepping on your own sheet of paper. Sense if you want to move and move your sheet of paper accordingly. See what happens if you put a sheet of paper representing your mother and one for your father behind you. How does this change your relationship with your potential client?
  6. You might want to repeat step 4 to find out what your potential customers sense now that you have your parents behind you.

This way you can determine whether there is still something interfering in this relationship and what steps you can take to free up the interaction. Thus, customers will come to you much easier and acquisition of new customers will cost you less energy.

How does this work for you? Leave a comment

Please let me know how this exercise helped you and/or how you take care of your own needs.

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