Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones over a savory meal, but it can also be a holiday filled with family drama, political controversies, and confrontational questions as the above Saturday Night Live skit portrays.
If piping in Adele’s latest tunes won’t keep impertinent dinner guests at bay, why not try applying one of your marketing best practices? Not only will it get you in the right mind-set for the weekend ahead, but it can also turn an awkward meal into an enjoyable gathering.
So, here are three marketing best practices you can use at your holiday table this Thanksgiving—trust me, your customers and dinner guests will thank you.
For the relative who asks too many questions about your personal life: Preference centers
Whether they’re fishing for details about a new significant other or asking a couple about their plans to expand their family, there are always those relatives who ask those bit-too-personal questions. Instead of getting frustrated about their attempts to acquire your personal data, clearly state your preferences and let them know what you are and are not comfortable sharing. Maybe you’re happy to talk about your raise at work; however, you’re not quite ready to bring around your new beau. Or, perhaps their delivery is wrong. Maybe you’d rather not broadcast your recent medical scare to the entire family, but you’d be willing to talk to the inquirer one-on-one after dinner.
Whatever the case, make your preferences known. After all, it’s not until preferences and boundaries are established that behaviors can change.
For the relative who you have nothing in common with: Personalization
Stuck sitting next to that relative with whom you have absolutely zero in common? You could sit through dinner listening to the clinking of silverware, or you could apply personalization. Ask your relative about their likes and behaviors, and really listen. Tailor your conversation based on their responses. Once the person sees that you’re interested in his preferences, he may be more likely to engage. Just don’t turn the conversation back to a humble bragging opportunity. There’s nothing worse than a one-way conversation filled with self-promotion.
For the relative who talks about politics or religion at the table: The unsubscribe
Few dinner conversations are as polarizing as ones regarding religion or politics. If you find voices rising and tempers flaring at your table, don’t be afraid to unsubscribe from the conversation. Tell your rambunctious dinner guests that the topic is making you uncomfortable, and if they fail to listen to your request, feel free to disengage. They won’t be adding any value to you by making you upset and you won’t be adding any value to them by sitting there quietly. And as email marketing has shown, a valueless relationship isn’t one worth engaging or investing in. Besides, it’s more fun at the kids’ table.