Marketing to ‘Someone’

by Jan Yuill

I have been having my paradigm shifted (sorry, to those of you who do not like such terms) on the subject of marketing and sales. Marketing is not just about telling potential customers about what I do, or what I have for sale! (Pardon the exclamation point. I find I must emphasize and reemphasize this with myself!)

Marketing is about connecting with the potential customer at a very personal level. It must touch a human emotion; a want and/or a need. To market effectively, we must find ways of letting people know that we understand their pain (low revenues, angry customers, loss of good employees, anxiety for the future, etc. etc.) and their dreams (get results, become wealthy, be known, laugh, feed their family, resolve a problem, etc. etc.). There is such a difference between, “Boy, do I have a workshop for you!” and “In just two days, you will learn how to tap into the great potential of your organization.”

OK. Confession time. You don’t know how long I have sat here trying to figure out what to write for the latter (the ‘tap into the great potential’ part). It is that much of a paradigm shift! How do you let customers know that you understand their pain and their dreams, and that you can help, … without sounding like a con artist or a hungry salesman?!

Actually, it means putting yourself aside, while you listen. Paraphrasing what you heard. Sharing what others have said (testimonials). Telling a story of someone with a similar problem. That’s conclusion #1.

Conclusion #2: The best part about writing to others is that it helps to sort things out in your own head!

Conclusion #3: “It’s all so simple, Anjin-san, just change your concept of the world.” Shogun

Conclusion #4: There is a wonderful weekly radio program on marketing – http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/. Terry O-Reilly, the host, is insightful, light-hearted, and pithy. He really opens up the subject!

In Organizations Alive! terms, marketing is at the Strategic Vision and Customer Service interface, and is especially difficult because they are extreme opposites. We (I) can know this to be true, but there is always more to learn about it! The interfaces are challenging!

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