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|Thursday September 23, 2010|
Carl W. Buechner
Why Your Heart Will Make You a Whole Lot More Money Than Your Head
What has come over us Limeys?
We were always known as a pretty dull, phlegmatic bunch, compared to the excitable French, the fiery Spanish, and the sexy Italians.
Well, something weird has happened.
Across the road from my offices, a building firm has a slogan that says they're passionate about building.
Pret-a-Manger -- a U.K. firm that was launched recently in the U.S. -- says they are passionate about food.
A firm called Churchill -- in the same business as Geico -- says they are passionate about insurance.
I have lost count of the number of people on Facebook who say they are passionate about whatever it is they do.
And not long ago, I saw a poster on the London underground that claimed the North West of England is a passionate country full of passionate people.
I'm from the North West, but I never noticed it.
But more to the point, all this passion reminds me of a big mistake made by many who sell to businesses.
The Big Mistake When Selling to Businesses
Many marketers assume that business decisions are made on rational grounds and that emotion doesn't come into it.
This is nonsense. And to prove it, I used to ask marketers at my presentations if they could think of anyone they worked with that they hated. It never failed to raise a laugh of recognition.
And I wasn't surprised. Fact is, people, in general, are a mighty passionate bunch. So I was delighted to see some recent research that revealed the following...
People in Britain who wanted to hit a work colleague in the last year:
Labels Cost You Money
Marketers love to label people as consumers or businesspeople -- but is that how our customers see themselves? Don't they just see themselves as people?
Of course they do. We are all human beings. And you and I know perfectly well what motivates people when we sell makeup, cars, or even hair remover. People want to be popular, admired -- and definitely not shunned.
What do they want in business? To be popular, admired -- and definitely not shunned.
People want to be successful, quoted as examples for other people to emulate, and not seen as losers -- in life or in business.
You don't grow a second head on your way to the office, and you may spend more waking hours there than anywhere else. Your time there is not less interesting or less emotional than the time you spend at home. It may be more so.
What People Do to Succeed
People lie, cheat, and finagle their way to whatever goal they may have. And they kill for money -- which is what most business revolves around.
Man is not a rational animal at work -- any more than he is anywhere else. He (or she) makes decisions on emotional grounds and then tries to find logical arguments to explain them.
So I repeatedly find that if a promotion isn't doing well when selling to businesspeople, a dash of passion makes all the difference.
A good example is a series of three e-mails we wrote for DHL.
The e-mails were addressed to dispatch managers -- people doing a dull job who nobody ever took any notice of... except when they wanted to complain.
The subject line that did best had nothing to do with whether DHL showed up quicker or got the stuff there fast or don't lose it on the way or do it for less.
It said: "How to be a hero for a change at [your company]"
And it brought in all the leads DHL wanted for the entire year.
So if you want better results when selling to businesses, search your heart. Then use your head to explain why the emotional argument makes sense.
[Ed. Note: Veteran copywriter and direct-marketing strategist Drayton Bird has worked with American Express, Ford, Microsoft, Visa, Procter & Gamble, and scores of other clients during his five-decade career, which included a stint as international vice-chairman and creative director with Ogilvy & Mather. In 2003, he was named by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today's marketing.
Drayton will be a featured presenter at Early to Rise's upcoming Information Marketing Bootcamp in November. He'll be speaking about copywriting and marketing strategy, and sharing some of the "war" stories from his decades-long career in the industry. Go here to find out who'll be sharing the stage with Drayton in November... and how you can reserve your spot at the conference.
Ready for more marketing insights from Drayton Bird? For 101 ideas, free case studies, and articles on topics like the one you just read -- and a 28-day free trial of Drayton's Commonsense Marketing Series -- go here.]
"Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading ETR this morning. As a matter of fact, it helped start my day on a beautiful note. Information like yours is a real wakeup call."
The Language Perfectionist: Return of the Confusables
It's been a while since this column has presented a roundup of "confusables" -- pairs of words that are commonly mistaken for one another. So here's a new set, inspired, as always, by genuine media mistakes:
The costs aren't born but rather borne, a past participle of bear, to carry or support.
The intended word is not gallery but galley, an industry term for pre-publication copies of a book that are used for editing, proofreading, and reviewing.
The writer intended to say vouch; vouchsafe means deign, to condescend to grant a privilege. Here in America, we don't have a lot of kings and queens, so not much vouchsafing is done.
This is a frequent mix-up. An event may be incredible; the person who doesn't believe it is incredulous.
[Ed Note: For more than three decades, Don Hauptman was an award-winning independent direct-response copywriter and creative consultant. He is author of The Versatile Freelancer, an e-book that shows writers and other creative professionals how to diversify their careers into speaking, consulting, training, and critiquing.]
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