sly : marketing

What You Should Teach Your Neighbor at 6 AM

What the… it sounds like there are cats mjauing inside the room. And it’s like I can’t feel my body. I’m so tired. It’s completely dark. It has to be in the middle of the night. What are the cats doing to me? It sounds like some kind of mating sound. Please stop. I’m whispering. Am I the only one awake? Nah. I’m not awake. Where am I?

I open my eyes. I look at my night stand. I look at the Philips Wake Up Light, and it’s 6 am. No wonder why I’m so tired. The only light in the room is from the numbers showing 6 am.

The sound is a lot louder now. I’ve heard it before. It’s not cats mjauing, and it’s not cats mating. It was all a dream. I know what it is. It’s all coming back to me. The sound was a lot different in the dream. Oh no, Β it’s the sound of marketing. Ah. No, not again. I can’t believe it.

I walk to the window and I peak outside. And I see it. It’s exactly what I’ve been afraid of.

This is the sound of marketing

I’ve never told my neighbor that life is about marketing, and that in order to be a good neighbor, he should understand the concept of selling. If machines are outside your window with the engines running at full speed at 6 AM, you’ll want to know about it, at least before you wake up from a dream of cats mating.

I’ve never told my neighbor that he should treat me like I am a costumer. And that his business (and his life) really needs me. I want information. I want to feel that I am a part of the process, and that I have a choice. I want to be able to buy the white or the black iPhone. It’s not a lot of choice, but it’s still a choice.

I’ve never told my neighbor that neighbors are like businesses. We should be personal, and we need to think like friends do, and behave like friends, because in the end, we want people to trust us, and build strong relationships. The next time he is in his kitchen and he doesn’t have any milk. He should be able to walk five feet, knock on my door, and watch my smile as I walk to the fridge to find him milk.

There are six men outside my window. They are looking at each other and it seems that they’re just waiting for a signal to start digging. And, as I expected, there’s the signal, and the digging begins a few minutes past 6 am. I’m smiling, and the noise, it’s the sound of marketing.

As neighbors, we want to be treated like customers. We want to be sold to. We want to be part of that process. When we’re not… well, what do you think will happen? Will he get the milk the next time he knocks on my door? Will he ever see me smile again?

Of course he will. I’ll even invite him to eat pizza with me. But the point is; he shouldn’t take me for granted, like we shouldn’t take any of our customers for granted. Our customers are our friends. We want our customers to smile every time they think of us. And we want them to keep thinking of us, again and again.



21 responses to “What You Should Teach Your Neighbor at 6 AM”

  1. Ryan Sprout says:

    Hi Jens,
    I cannot agree more with what you wrote in this article. Always treat your friends as potential customer is golden!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Ryan,

      Thanks a lot for the feedback. Business is so much more fun when you understand that you’re working with friends, and the same goes with your neighbors πŸ™‚

  2. Loved the example you used Jens!

    I was just about wondering what the post had in store the moment I saw the title of the post. πŸ™‚

    But you have beautifully weaved out words that compare marketing to those people outside your window! I know for sure, if I was ever woken up by such sounds at 6- I would have screamed my head off and asked them to shut their machines and let me sleep a little longer! If I am working late at night, I surely would hate getting up so early!!

    But I guess those people are out selling their stuff and anytime is the right time to get started- isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Hi Harleena,

      Thank you so much. I just discovered that I made an error with the title, and I used learn instead of teach. That’s the thing about being Norwegian. I make mistakes like that all the time πŸ™‚

      I’m usually up at 5 am, so it doesn’t matter so much to me what happens outside at 6 am. But, I like to know what’s going on. My wife is not like me, and she’s sleeping until the workers starts the machines πŸ™‚

  3. Carolyn says:

    Fascinating, Jens. I love your theme of treating others with respect and caring, whether they are neighbors, customers or friends. Being warm, helpful and concerned for their welfare will make anyone want to interact with you more. Even at 6 AM! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I’ve been watching the men at work, and it makes me think about who should notify the neighbors. Is it the workers or the neighbor that hired them? I would think the neighbor, but maybe the neighbor was thinking that it was the workers? πŸ™‚

  4. Danijela says:

    Hello Jens,
    interesting post, although I wouldn’t agree completely with this. The truth is that we all need to feel like a part of community and that we expect to be treated as a part of everything that is happening in front of our homes or in out street. But, I think it’ should be called good neighbor manners or neighbor culture for example, not really a customer relationships.

    • Hi Danijela,

      I agree it. I’m just trying to make the connection with marketing and businesses. It’s different to be a neighbor than a customer, but it’s not a huge difference. And if we do our best to be friends, no matter the relation, both businesses and neighbors will be better off πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for the comment.

  5. Mark says:

    “We want our customers to smile every time they think of us. And we want them to keep thinking of us, again and again.”-I truly believe that customers are the life blood of the business and to treat them as well as we can is the key to success.

  6. Hi Jens,

    Hi Jens,

    It’s funny you wrote this because the other day my wife and I were having a discussion about our past neighbors and how many times they did this kind of thing without warning. Like the time one had a new housemate with two very loud dogs … we had no clue until we woke up to barking just outside our window at about 5:00 am. Yes, she let them out early πŸ˜‰ A little warning might have softened the blow. πŸ™‚ I’m not so sure I would have made pizza for her.

  7. Ruth Zive says:

    I keep a pretty low profile in my personal life, and particularly on my little quiet cul de sac. And I kind of like it that way – but you’ve challenged my reclusive tendencies in this post. I’m really not ‘friends’ with any of my neighbours. Well…that’s an exaggeration, but for the most part, I like to keep things very simple and quiet. Always respectful, mind you…but there’s a line that I tend not to cross. Maybe I should mix it up a bit and start treating my neighbours more like prospective customers :-)!

  8. Sally Thompson says:

    I think you right! Besides, treating the neighbor well, gives us an opportunity to get a favor back sometime. Even if not, it is a good formula. Some times it even really works, and we get our customer(neighbor) back.

  9. Adrienne says:

    6:00 am Jens! Seriously!! I would kill my neighbor if they started that kind of construction at that time of the morning. Of course I live in a condo complex and no type of construction is allowed before 8:00 am. Just out of respect for your neighbors.

    I do love your theme Jens of treating others with respect and caring, whether they are neighbors, customers or friends. Now that I’m in the online industry, some of my neighbors have become my customers because we have relationships. There is that old saying, people will purchase from those they know, like and trust. You just never know when your neighbor may be come a customer. Is the light bulb going off yet?

  10. Andrew says:

    i think i would flip my lid before i expect him to treat me like a customer because that is just not fair on his behalf to do that to you at 6am in the morning.

  11. Chris Barker says:

    It’s somewhat nuisance and disrespect to the other people especially if they are in the midst of their sleep. Better to report such incident happened in your nearest authority to petition such person because of their disturbance early in the morning and I think there is the right time for that, not in that very hour. It only shows that your neighbor is not that professional.

  12. Brenda says:

    “Our customers are our friends. We want our customers to smile every time they think of us. And we want them to keep thinking of us, again and again.”

    I love this part. How I wish my neighbor is reading this, too.

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