I remember that moment like it was yesterday. The butterflies in my stomach were almost too much to handle. I fought to constrain the lump in my throat. My eyes darted across the crowd and down to my sweaty palms which gripped my bride’s trembling hands.
Together, Leanna and I stood before 150 of our most cherished friends and family to pronounce our love and vows to one another. The pastor spoke with an eloquent tone, delighting the crowd with heartfelt anecdotes.
But I don’t remember his words.
My heart, overflowing with emotion, left no room for a single word. In that moment, nothing else mattered. Not the unseasonably cold weather. Not the mud on Leanna’s white dress. Not the wind that tussled her blonde hair.
As I reflect on that life-changing moment, all that remains is an overwhelming sense of joy.
Why is that?
In the wise words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
One day I’ll take my very last breath, and I guarantee what flashes before my eyes won’t be “data”, it will be emotion. Our lives are a beautiful tapestry of experiences woven together by feelings and emotion.
Rewind the clock
Do you remember that moment you first decided to start your business? Not when you filed the LLC or announced the product. Before that.
That magical instant when your imagination sparked the idea that would eventually become your business. What did you feel? What pushed you over the edge? Excitement? Anger? Curiosity? That decisive moment was fueled by the power of your emotion.
Guess what? The world is craving it.
From bored to beaming
Take a look around. Study the strangers that surround you. Do their eyes brim with excitement? No, they droop with boredom!
These are your customers. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. You didn’t cast the spell on them. But you do have an opportunity to make a difference.
The world craves something to believe in. We crave businesses that compel us to feel something real. Why can’t that be you?
Over time, I’ve found 3 (of many) forces that can generate an emotional experience.
1) Create relationship
As I’ve written before, people are relational creatures. Authentic relationship is the foundation of emotion.
This is why your loved-ones have the power to warm your heart and then turn around and wound your soul. Ain’t love grand?
2) Ignite all 5 senses
I still remember the intoxicating scent of my wife’s perfume on our wedding day. The soft touch of her wedding gown. That iconic song that led her down the aisle into my arms.
Multisensory experiences tap into our emotions. Find new ways to delight your customer with beautiful sights, smells, tastes, touch, and sounds.
3) Let the imagination run wild
I’ll keep this G-Rated, but you can imagine where my mind went as I watched my blushing bride glide down the aisle. My imagination ran wild!
When was the last time you got lost in your imagination? It’s a wonderful experience, isn’t it? I dare you to spark your customer’s imagination and see what happens! A great way to revive their imagination is by delighting them in surprising ways.
For example, the first iPad was an imagination machine! By changing how we held and touched a computer, our minds couldn’t help but imagine new possibilities.
Your customers are waiting
I don’t know about you, but I want my business to make a difference. When all is said and done, no one will talk about how many products I sold. They’ll talk about the lives I changed. The hearts I moved.
Those things matter. People matter.
Business is about helping people. And unless you can ignite people with emotion, you’ll have no business. Remember, they might forget what you say – but they won’t forget how you make them feel!
Now go. Your customers need you.