If you ever watched 30 Rock, this post boils down to remembering one thing:
until a prospect is a customer, pretend they are Jenna Maroney.
But just in case you never watched it, here’s a longer explanation.
Cutting right to the chase – you can completely ruin the best marketing effort by distributing it with a message focused on you, instead of on the person you’d like to take action.
Too often, especially in social media, (in particular on Facebook) perfectly executed marketing events end in abject failure.
Mine (generally) don’t. So when this happens to them, sometimes people ask for my secret.
You want to know my secret?
Part one is the way I phrased that. And 80% of my secret is part one.
Just now? I could have said:
“I’m a pretty big deal, like Neil Patel but times a million. One of the things I’m known for is putting butts in seats. Butts that want to be in those seats. Butts that will give the people that paid for those seats some money, clicks or email addresses.“
But honestly. Wouldn’t you have stopped reading or skimming? Aren’t you tempted to now?
And doesn’t it sound slightly unbelievable that I’m a million Neil Patel’s? Just a little. Plus…
No. One. Cares.
Such as: you must throw out the “I” whenever you want people to take action.
Which is one of the reasons why you can’t disconnect social, search, PR, or any other tactical tools from the strategy of a sound marketing plan. If you aren’t willing to learn basic marketing and sales ideas, you should be hiring someone who does.
What seems to happen is that a really smart person will be working with a really smart team of people who understand marketing, who created a great event to a carefully targeted audience.
Perhaps this person was invited to speak. Maybe they have a book on sale at this event.
Or they’re an affiliate marketer who gets a chunk of the ticket price if you attend.
The point is, everything leading up to them sharing the event with you is darn near perfect. Probably because it was put together by people who understand basic marketing ideas. Then it gets ruined when this otherwise smart person invites you.
Because the invitation is all about them.
You want people to attend your marketing event? I’ll tell you what – most people, myself included, are easy marks if you do it right.
Tell me, as your potential customer or client -
- which one of my problems you solve
- what problem I have that I don’t know about that you just solved
- how you will make my life better, easier, richer with what you’re sharing
- why what you want me to do is worth my time
when you invite me to events. Or when you ask me to do anything really. Because you want me to make micro-commitments to you, as the aforementioned pretty big deal, Neil Patel would put it. You don’t meet a girl and immediately ask her to have sex with you. Even if you get lucky the first night, you build a path to the BIG Yes, with smaller Yeses.
Yes, I’ll let you buy me a drink.
The implied yes of letting you stand in my personal space.
The implicit yes of me going to grab dinner with you.
Baby steps. To a Yes.
If I can make it and it will help me, I will be there because I am interested in things that benefit me.
And I bet you hated that last sentence, didn’t you?
I hated it and I wrote it! It was included for you, in order to illustrate one point. Besides our names, ”you” is one of a human’s favorite words. And we feel the absence of “you”.
We humans, heaven love us, are universally not interested in anything you have to say that doesn’t have to do with us.
You want to debate over whether this is a good or bad thing? Have at it. Comments are unmoderated.
You’re Not Throwing a Party. You’re Asking for Attention.
First, let’s deal with reality though – you want someone to do something, especially something that may end in someone giving you something of value (email address, money), you have to learn the right way to ask.
Why go through the trouble? Because if they’re not listening at all, you have zero chance to get them.
In terms of sales?
People stop listening when you’re not talking about them.
Character flaw or nature, it’s a fact.
There are exceptions in other aspects of life, but even those have to do with our perceptions of ourselves.
This often-subtle point means a world of difference. It stands between success and failure in marketing and sales. Ask anyone who has studied Dale Carnegie.
People are accepting or rejecting your message based on this and most of the time they aren’t even aware of it. So be very careful HOW you ask.
“I would love for you to come” is something you say when you want your friend to come to a housewarming party.
That’s because your new friend’s focus is them being cool enough to be on the invite list.
It’s a reassuring way to state the obvious when you’re in the position of power. “I am throwing one of my legendary parties and I didn’t ask Everyone I know to come. I’ve whittled my list down and you are included. You are of value to me. I love you, which in our souls mean to us that we are special.”
Your Customer Has All the Power
But when you’re the marketer, the game has changed.
We’re not in power anymore, as business owners. They are.
(We never have been in power but it used to be SO easy to hide that fact. Hiding that fact was the power. Those days are gone. Just accept it. You’ll live longer.)
They keep buying our products and paying for our services or our company dies – that’s their power. You try running a company without customers or clients and tell me how that goes. Even someone clicking on a banner is a customer – they generated the actions that get you your check.
We’re the ones asking for the favor.
We want their attention, their money, their time, their email address.
So now it’s a you conversation.
You will learn.
You wanted to know this, so now I’m telling you.
You want something I have, here it is for free.
You need me to tell you ________ so that you will be able to ________.
You give me your email address, and I’ll solve this small problem for you.
You can’t afford to forget that. So don’t.
Even if it’s about you, just pose it in terms of them. Don’t say “I want a favor.” Say, “Your Help Would be Appreciated” – even “I Need Your Help” is good, as long as you get to “you” quickly, you can start with the letter I. Your sentence just can’t BE about the letter I.
Even Jenna waited a few seconds to see if you said the magic word.
So say it to your potential customers and clients. And let me know what happens.