By Mac Logue
As a parent of interested kids, I get a lot of questions that defy quick, superficial answers. It’s not unlike answering questions from clients whose money depends on the answer. Recently, one of my kids asked me, “what’s the secret to being liked?”
With Abigail, the typical pabulum about “being yourself” simply won’t do. So I told her about the inverse relationship between being interested in other people and your own popularity. When you meet someone for the first time, ask five questions about the other person before you say anything about yourself. It’s a strange dynamic, but the more you get someone talking about themselves (not hard to do) the more they begin to like you.
On the flip side, how many times have been to a party and couldn’t escape that person who would not shut up about themselves? It’s enough to make you stuff baby corn in your ears to drown out the boring.
Sounds like most corporate marketing doesn’t it? The principle is the same. Since the discovery of marketing, companies have spent literally billions of dollars talking to themselves. And no one is listening. If you find in your own marketing that you talk almost exclusively about yourself and how awesome your products or services are — you’re being that guy at the party.
Try this instead: talk about your customers. Talk about what matters to them. Talk about how they can make more money or simplify their lives or look younger. Talk about what they stand to gain from buying from you — and only then talk about how your product or service does what you promise.
It’s a simple formula that works in personal relationships as well as business. To be liked (or bought from) care more about the other person. Ask questions about them; talk about what interests them. And they’ll remember you and like you and, assuming your product is a viable alternative to other choices, most likely buy from you.
We have two sayings around here that, if you are a client, you have no doubt heard me say. First, everyone’s favorite subject is me. Find the me in your sales cycle that matters most and talk about what matters to that person.
Next, we love to say (because it’s true) that people never remember what you say, but they never forget how you make them feel. As you approach your marketing, it’s a good philosophy to keep in mind.