GCD Writing and Marketing
Let’s call him “Tom.”
Tom is that customer that you want to work with, but whose ego is so large that even carrying on a simple conversation with him is difficult. You can hardly get a word in.
Most psychologists would suggest that behind every big head is a small frightened man or woman struggling to be recognized. Could be, but that’s a topic for another blog. Rather than try to heal Tom today, let’s look at three things you can do to successfully use his ego to your own advantage.
1. Silently thank him. In a strange way, Tom has handed you a gift. Rather than spending days, weeks, even months trying to figure out what makes him tick, Tom has made it clear that he’s motivated by what others think of him. Why else would he spend so much time trying to impress you and everyone else with all that he knows?
Based upon this valuable knowledge he’s handed you, you know that you need to position your product or service as something that will make Tom look great, even superior, in the eyes of others.
2. Make him feel smart. No, I don’t want you to kiss him where the sun doesn’t shine, but I do want you to applaud Tom’s past decisions. And I want you to suggest that because he’s a person who makes wise decisions, it is obvious to you that he’ll be interested in what you have to offer.
This tactic is often successfully used in direct mail pieces and other copy platforms. For example, in copy selling a health product or information, I might write something like like this: “The offer I’m making available to you today, dear friend, isn’t for everyone. But based upon your previous buying experience, it is clear to me that you’re serious about your health and are ready to do what’s necessary to turn your life around.” Get it? In essence I’m saying that the offer I’m sharing with you today is only for the “smart people”, all others need not apply.
Another example revolves around a conversation you might have with a customer who is using an old, outdated version of a computer software program. In order to get your Mr. Know-It-All to buy the upgrade you’re selling, you may have to say something like this: “You know, the version you’re using was once top-of-the-line, and was exactly what all of the experts were suggesting. But now there’s something even better and because you’re someone who has always been on the cutting edge, I know you’ll want to be among the first to have it. It will certainly keep your competitors’ eyes on you and help you maintain your status as a highly-regarded leader in your field.”
3. Make him feel special. It would kill Mr. Know-It-All to know that what you’re offering him is the same product or the same deal that you’re offering everyone else. So, do what you can to make him feel that what you’re offering him is somehow unique, simply because of how important and how special he is to you.
One way of doing this is in conversation is to lean in when talking to him and lower your voice to just above a whisper. This will give the impression that what you’re saying is for his ears only and is different from what you tell everyone else.
In copy, liberally use words like “exclusive” and ”special” to suggest to Mr. Know-It-All that the information you’re sharing isn’t being shared with the masses.
Something as simple as personlization in a direct mail piece goes a long way toward making people feel special.
4. Never try to compete with Mr. Know-It-All. Doing so will only make matters more difficult. Just state your case, using a tone and mannerisms that clearly convey your confidence and the fact that you know what you’re talking about. A smart Mr. Know-It-All will recognize your authority and be open to working with you.
Don’t be a Know-It-All! While it is a lot easier to talk about the other guy, please take just a few moments to take the “know-it-all” quiz:
– Do you cringe when a business advisor suggests that you do something you’ve never tried?
– Do you pretend to be an expert in areas of your business where you need help?
– Do you reject ideas you don’t understand rather than ask questions?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you just may be a Know-It-All!
While this short quiz is done in jest to help ensure that you smile today, I hope you get the serious thought behind it.
Growth for the Know-It-All is hindered because he knows too much to learn anything new. Don’t let a “know-it-all” attitude limit your ability to reach your full business potential.
Do you have a “know-it-all” story to share? If so, I invite you to respond here or send me a private email at firstname.lastname@example.org.