Who, me? No — you!

Who, me? No — you!

The word “You” has always been the Alladin’s Lamp of good communications. Using it opens the door to a real connection with the people reading your blog or brochure. Whoever you’re writing or talking to, make sure they know you mean THEM. And the best way to do that is with the magic three-letter word: YOU.

“Start your email, start your phone call, start your tweet with “You.” As in “You are,” or “you need,” or “you want…” Call it empathy. Understanding what the other person wants. You’re selling, they’re not; so put it in their terms. In letters, emails, phone calls, whatever, start with benefits. Not benefits for you, but benefits for the other person across the table. How is this going to be good for the person you’re addressing?” Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software wrote.

Tell them how you’re going to help them, in other words.

The biggest mistake in marketing is getting it backwards. A brochure, ad, Web page or whatever starts with “We are… we do… we have…” Who cares? Not your prospect. She doesn’t know if you’re talking to her or why she should care. And you only have a few micro-seconds to get their attention.

Imagine you’re at a cocktail party and some obnoxious boor rushes up and starts talking all about himself. Now compare that with someone who comes up and listens, asks questions about you, what you do, what you like and dislike.

It’s the same in marketing. Resist the urge to begin by talking about yourself, your widget, your company. There’s time for all that later. Instead, tell your prospective customer how you’re going to help her. In your headline and 1st paragraph, demonstrate that you know who she is and understand her pain.

But don’t just tell her you’re going to help. Show her. Paint a vivid word-picture of how much better her life will be once she becomes a customer.

  1. Ian GreenleighIan Greenleigh12-06-2009

    It seems so simple, doesn’t it? It’s amazing how people get this backward. But to do this consistently requires a change in the way we think about marketing, and this is a bit trickier, especially for old-school wheeler dealers. Cheers.

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