Isn’t marketing just loaded with paradox? …or maybe it’s what consumers really want.
You see, I’ve learned the hard way that people definitely want solutions to their problems, but they only want them in a way that fits their circumstances –or else you can just forget it.
Let me explain…
My mentor said a crazy remark. I thought it was kinda funny at the time, but as I’ve pondered it over the years, it became so clear to me that it was the crux of how to grab my customer’s attention and get them the results they wanted. He said:
“For people wanting to lose weight, they don’t want you to tell them what to eat …they want you to tell them what to eat while they’re at Krispy Kreme. They want to know what to eat while they’re in the drive-thru at McDonald’s.”
Here’s a real-life situation that happened to me. I’ll call my client “Joe.”
Note: As I tell this story, it will be plainly obvious to you, but “Joe” never got the picture, even to this day …and I admit it was my fault.
“Joe” had an amazing web site that got enviable traffic, but couldn’t monetize the site despite tens of thousands of visitors a day. “Joe” had spent over $130,000 but was only earning about $1,000 a month from the site by the time I was approached for help.
The moment I saw the site I instantly saw all sorts of major problems and I knew the perfect solutions. It was a textbook case.
Like it was yesterday, I remember “Joe” saying to me several times: “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. Whatever you say, Mike.”
Hindsight: Whenever you hear those words, expect the real actions to be the opposite.
Anyway, long story short, “Joe” had a particular writing style and was adamant in writing a certain way. To make money using the written word (as is the case online), your writing style must be emotional and compelling. “Joe’s” style was anything but. It was boring and proper. It was educational and indifferent, not engaging. (…kind of like this article, except I’m not selling you anything.)
In addition to my own written work, I also “borrowed” headlines and copy from top masters who earn over 8-figures online to place on the site. “Joe” rejected every one of them, critiquing everything I provided as if I was the protégé.
In the end, “Joe” felt bitter and I was frustrated because I failed to get the results I knew I was clearly capable of delivering because I had achieved them for others, including myself, over and over.
To parallel my mentor’s remark, here’s why I failed:
- At the time, I didn’t understand that “Joe” was in the proverbial ‘Krispy Kreme’ line, didn’t want (or understand enough) to step out of it, and I was not able to provide any solutions that were ‘on the menu.’
- I didn’t help “Joe” come to the conclusion (I didn’t even try to convince him, either) that the only route to success is to first embrace another style that does not include ‘Krispy Kreme’ in the routine.
You see, “Joe” had an invisible, subconscious, emotional attachment to a certain writing style (ie: to ‘Krispy Kreme’ metaphorically speaking) …and it’s almost always the thing we’re most emotionally attached to that gets us into trouble because it’s our blind spot (we ALL do it –none of us are immune to this devil).
All I heard was: “I’ll do whatever you say” …thinking this would be a slam dunk.
The solution wasn’t what I believed.
Sure, implementing my concepts would have absolutely made the difference. But the REAL, ultimate solution was for me to frame the situation so “Joe” could recognize the real source of the problem.
Here’s another example that will hit home with MANY …the dating world.
As a divorced man, I’ve studied a lot of the “Double Your Dating” by David DeAngelo. Initially, David gets men hooked by showing them tricks on how to get a phone number, a first date and even a first kiss using his “kiss test.”
But every woman knows tricks are short-lived and it’s really all about a man’s style, his body language and his ‘inner personality’ that generates attraction …things most men have zero clue about.
But, if David came right out and said, “Hey, I know why you don’t have a girlfriend! You gotta change your body language and develop your inner game” …they would be like, “What are you talking about? I’m just fine who I am. I just need a clever pick-up line to get their phone number and get them to get to know me, that’s all.” They don’t see the bigger picture and David wouldn’t be able to help them.
By starting from the frame of, “Okay, you’re at Krispy Kreme. Well, ‘that’ donut over there has less calories than this one. It doesn’t taste as good, but it will start you in the right direction.”
And, then, they’ll come back and say, “Hey, I lost 2 pounds. Hoo-rah! What else can I do?” …and he’ll say, “Well, so let’s cut out Krispy Kreme once a week and see what happens.”
He just can’t come out and say, “Well, lay off the Krispy Kreme, fatso!” …just like he can’t say to the masses of ignorant men, “Well, stop being a needy, wussy, momma’s-boy and start being a man and display some attractive qualities.” They have to come to the realization themselves, on their own (your job is to help them find the door).
So, how does this relate to helping you market your business and make more money?
As a business and marketing expert, I also have to continually market my product …me!
If I just come out and say, “Hey, Mr. Prospect, I know exactly how to get you more sales,” sadly, nobody is going to listen –even if I’m dead-on right.
Sure, it’s what they want to hear, but they won’t like the solution.
Because we get too emotionally attach to our own ideas and ways of doing things.
It’s frustrating when you genuinely want to help and you absolutely know the solution, but you’ve got to hold back. Less is more here. We have to slowly ween people off their emotional attachments.
I’ve had web site owners show me awful (but very ‘pretty’) sites that they slaved over for months and were clearly enamored with but got zero results and tell me they just need me to “optimize” it for SEO and the keywords X, Y, and Z so they can show up on Google (know anyone who’s done this?). They won’t listen when they hear their whole approach is all wrong.
Sadly, they end up finding someone less-experienced who will appease them and then go looking for someone else while griping about how they got ripped off by this web guy.
You’ve got to get your prospect’s attention by offering them something they want that falls within their paradigm (with integrity, of course).
Then, help THEM see for themselves a way to get better and better results.
I’ll leave you with this quote on Amazon.com about Seth Godin’s book: “All Marketers Are Liars”…
“Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends.”
Do you have a story to share about marketing your business?
Think I’m off base?
Are all marketers liars? Please share below!=========================
Mike Lewitz is an innovative marketer who truly ‘gets’ the mental and emotional buying process of consumers. He’s shown thousands of global business owners proven, cutting-edge marketing methods that bring abundant results. Mike is formerly a Google Certified Advertising Professional and holds two Bachelor’s degrees (business & marketing) and an M.B.A. in Management.
You may freely distribute, copy & share this article with acknowledgment.Tags: business success, copywriting, marketing, Seth Godin