A Spoonful Of Sugar – Mary Poppin’s Business Lesson

What Julie and Dick can teach businesses about converting prospects

This month marks the 50th Anniversary of Disney classic Mary Poppins. As lovely as the movie is for Julie Andrews’ star turn, its iconic songs and Dick Van Dyke’s shocking British accent, there is one particular lesson in the film all businesses should heed.

Cue the song… “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”.

When you are trying to close a sale, what is your spoonful of sugar? What is your way of sugaring the pill your customer swallows in handing over their cash? Do you even have one?

Just think about this. It’s in the balance at that moment of buying decision, the very point that the prospect shakes your hand or finally clicks on the Buy Now button. Offering something that just tips your customer over the edge on terms of making that decision to buy with you.

What does your ‘sugar’ look like?

It could be a mind-blowing guarantee that leaves no risk in the hands of the customer. A full iron-clad, money-back, no-questions-asked, no-quibble 12 month guarantee that absolutely blows your competitors out of the water. This is one way of eliminating the perceived risk in the mind of the consumer.

Another way would be to bolt on some real additional value to the deal.

What can you, as a business, offer that your competitors don’t or can’t? Adding additional value needn’t be an expensive effort that eats into your margin. Thinking about what the customer would perceive as valuable is the key here.

Here are three examples of ways you can build additional value into a deal:

  • Offer free or time-limited access to a membership site, if you have one – if you have a subscription-based membership site, offering free or limited access is a free and easy way to deliver real value, while keeping your customer engaged. Remember, the more engaged your customer continues to be with your service and product, in other words YOU, the greater their satisfaction long-term.
  • Access to private community or Facebook groups exclusive to customers – another simple and easy to set-up. Building a community so that customers can help each other or so you can communicate to customers changes or alterations can be done very effectively through Facebook groups. There is some effort at the beginning to get the group going but once you do, there can be multiple benefits – greater engagement, opportunity to upsell, heading off complaints early, research, etc.
  • A Guide To Getting Best From…’ the service or product you offer – this is great, not only as an additional benefit, but also helps to reinforce the benefits of your product or service, helps the customer to actually use it properly and ultimately improves long-term customer satisfaction (if you’re selling a product, that means less returns).

This just touches the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can offer to sweeten a deal. The key with any idea is to stand in the shoes of the prospect and think ‘how would this benefit me?’. If you can rack up the benefits and the value of your sweeteners, you can dramatically improve your conversion of prospects to customers. Sweet.