Marketing Lies From Guest Blogger, Howie Jacobson

When you think about it, isn’t marketing usually a more or less blunt way of telling your prospect that they need to change?

That something about their life isn’t optimal, and you know what it is and how to fix it?

If you’re clever, and strategic, and smooth, you can hide that basic orientation under lots of fancy language and cool tactics.

You can give away white papers and webinars to build trust and inspire the need for reciprocity, rather than go for the hard sell.

You can empathize with their problem first, tell them that they deserve better second, and make an offer third.

But if your basic orientation is that they need to change – that they aren’t fine just the way they are – that attitude will leak into all your well-meaning marketing techniques.

I know this, because I’ve caught myself doing it for years.

Hiding my basic attitude of “I know better than you what you need” behind lots of generous words and gestures.

And people can feel it. Maybe you’ve felt it. From me. From other marketers. From your co-workers. Friends. Family members.

Hell, we all do it.

True empathic witnessing – seeing and affirming another person without agenda or judgment – is as rare as October hurricanes in New Jersey. Oh wait, I need a new metaphor…

And when you think about it, if you really want someone to change, the best approach is to NOT want them to change. To accept and appreciate and celebrate them for who they are at this moment.

Because people make positive changes most often from a place of self-love, not self-loathing.

So my challenge to you – and to myself – is to use our power of empathic understanding not to manipulate and cajole, but to see and reflect a brave human soul still standing, whatever battle is raging.

To connect, to confirm, and to celebrate.

And then to invite our prospect to take a small step with us, as an equal partner, not damaged goods.

If you agree that it’s no fun being told you need to change, then this approach is simply the marketing version of The Golden Rule.

YES!!! Comments welcome!

Thanks for listening!

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Copyright © Howie Jacobson 2012

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Categories: Marketing

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