When a national gym chain introduces something in all of their gyms, you know it must have been proven to work. I spotted such a thing one day at my Fitness First. ‘Spotted’ isn’t the right word — it stared me right in the face as I was walking out on shaky post-spin-class legs one day.
It was a sticker on the exit door. Six words that within weeks made me change from ‘I work out when I feel like it’ to ‘I work out every weekday, except for the second Tuesday of each month when my horror writing group meets.’
The words were: ’When will we see you next?’
I don’t know who came up with it. I don’t know how many other people saw it every time they left the gym. It wasn’t even addressed to me, personally. But every time I touched that door, I couldn’t help giving an answer in my head. ‘Tomorrow.’ ‘Monday.’ ‘Too soon, dammit.’ Making a mental plan, and then following up on it. And I know I wasn’t the only one.
See, humans can resist a lot of things. Constructive criticism; second helpings of triple chocolate cake; the urge to stalk an ex on Facebook after one drink too many. But we can’t help answering a question when we see or hear one. Oh, you disagree? Okay, when was the last time you ignored a question? ...ha. Got you there. It just works. Great marketers know it, and great brands use it.
‘When was the last time you just went for a drive?’ (Volkswagen)
‘Who wins if you win?’ (The National Lottery)
‘Would you know how to save your child’s life?’ (St John Ambulance)
‘Got milk?’ (California Milk Processor Board)
So find the killer question for your cause. And get asking.