November 30th, 2010 Archive

When Being “Emo” Counts

November 30th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

I’m no marketing guru and never will I pretend to be one.  :) In all the marketing seminars that I have attended and articles that I have read, there is only one principle that I always keep in mind: Emotional benefits. This serves as my guiding principle when I think of bringing my business to the next level.

Advertisements of old would usually always end with a stamp that says “Satisfaction guaranteed!”  This phrase is no longer used as often as before but I sincerely believe, as an entrepreneur, that this is exactly what we are attesting to when we talk about our products and services – the level of satisfaction that we promise to deliver to our clients and customers.

Whether it’s a product, a service, or a company that we are selling, the key to marketing it successfully is to zero in on the positive emotional benefits that we can provide.  Talking about your product or service features are great, yes, but most of the time, these are lost to our clients and customers and they are seen as just that:  all talk. 

Don’t just sell the item, sell what it does!

In an article on Small Business CEO magazine, Sue Painter gives advice to small business start-ups on How to Make Your Business the Go-To Place.  Sue Painter is a marketing therapist whose expertise is finding the dark and murky under-places that keep your business from succeeding.  She develops business plans that work, and strategic marketing plans that take dead aim at your target market.

In the February 2010 issue of the online magazine, Sue’s article talks about identifying what buying your product or service can possibly mean to the customer.  “In other words, you aren’t selling the item itself, you are selling what the item does! This should be reflected in your own words to your prospects, in your marketing materials, on your website, and in your presentations. If you talk about what the item does rather than what it is, you’ll get more presentations.  People buy on emotion, not logic. Keep that in mind as you speak”.

Talk about the intangibles

People buy on emotion, not logic.  As a picky consumer myself, I choose brands based on quality and cost.  But admittedly, most of the time, the tipping point for me is when I’m reminded how this cashmere sweater makes me feel so much more beautiful than the other one.  I would buy the cashmere based on the emotional value it gives to me, no matter how illogical it may seem. :)

The article uses sites custom gift baskets as an example. Sue suggests that the owner point out to customers that which is the most marketable aspect of the gifts baskets – the intangible benefits that come with buying them. It saves time and money, it relieves the staff of extra work load, it shows recipients that they are liked, it builds relationship with customer without the extra time & cost, etc.

The way to a man’s business is through the heart

Along the same vein, Joe Callowaya partner in Engage Consulting Group, and author of several best-selling business books that aim to help companies accelerate their strategies, writes about Creating a Clear Reason to Choose You Over Your Competition. This article appeared in the February 2010 issue of Small Business CEO magazine, and Joe Calloway talks about how to best answer the potential client’s question of “Why should I choose you?”

Joe Calloway lists the six most basic expectations of a client.

  • Quick and timely response
  • Convenient and hassle-free
  • Value for money
  • Relevant with “big picture” approach
  • Trouble-shooting capabilities
  • Consistency of performance
  • As I read Joe’s article and pictured myself in the client’s shoes, I realized that all these expectations are anchored on once again, the intangibles. The decisions most people make when choosing who to do business with is based on “how easy it is to work with these people”, and “how good working with them makes me feel.” It all boils down to the positive emotions that your business can evoke in your clients’ hearts.

    Capitalize on your “tie-breaker”

    Joe’s article reads, “From banking services and insurance products to fast food restaurants and medical clinics, today’s buyers just don’t see much difference in their choices. Unless you want to compete on price, you have to clearly differentiate from your competition. You have to have a tiebreaker. You have to give potential customers a reason to say, “Ok, that’s the difference. That makes my decision.”

    In today’s cluttered commodity market, products, services and even business partnerships have to emphasize their greatest differentiating factor that will make them stand out as a cut above the rest. These are the emotional benefits that buying your product or working with you have to offer. More than product features which can be boring when recited, work on your emotional plus points and talk about them. Show customers how buying your products will make them feel afterwards; give potential clients a preview on how working with you will give them the emotional satisfaction that cannot be derived elsewhere.

    As I’ve said, I’m no marketing guru. But I do know that one sure way to endear ourselves to clients and customers, and develop lasting relationships with them, is through the heart.  And those kinds of relationships, I have proven, time and again, are the ones that are long-lasting and unbreakable.

    Don’t be ashamed to put your heart in what you do.

    With love,

    Image by: m_bartosch /