Power of Weakness
Features and benefits, features and benefits, features and benefits. We've polished our pitches to such a degree that we've dimmed our abilities to persuade. The customer is only half listening because the inner self is asking, "What are they not telling me?"
Those who have heard my 90-minute presentation about the ongoing evolution of Western communication style are familiar with the problem:
1. The fine art of Hype has been perfected and refined.
2. Western culture has been submerged in it, held under until every last pore of our souls has been saturated.
3. Consequently, we've developed an immunity to "ad-speak," the language of hype.
4. But we don't rage against it. We see the half-truth of hype as a fact of life.
5. That's why we're ignoring it.
6. And we're ignoring it in greater numbers every day.
Do you want to surprise Broca, gain the attention of your customer and win back your credibility? Learn to name features, benefits, and downside. Trust me, the customer is already trying to figure out the downside. Why not just tell them? It's the best possible way to insulate yourself from the backlash when they finally figure it out for themselves.
This powerful "tell the truth" technique is easily perverted into just another oily sales trick when the downside you name isn't the real one. As Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld observed 350 years ago, "We only confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no big ones."
I'm saying confess the big ones. Knock your customers flat with your candor. Yes, it will cost you a few sales you might otherwise have made. But it will make you far more sales than it costs you.
People aren't as stupid as you think.
Roy H. Williams
PS – That "90-minute presentation about the ongoing evolution of Western communication style" is currently rocking audiences around the world. Are you ready to be knocked out of your box? Can you put together a crowd? Each of my 41 carefully chosen Wizard of Ads partners has been trained and equipped to make this stunning multimedia presentation in my absence. (My absence is usually due to the prohibitive fees I charge for traveling. I hate traveling. Fortunately, several of my partners love to travel.) Why not invite one of them to present to your group? Contact Corrine Taylor to work out the details. But please be patient if she doesn't get back to you quickly. Corrine is truly the world's busiest person. (You just wouldn't believe the number of different things she handles each day.) Corrine can be reached at 800-425-4769 or by email at Corrine@WizardOfAds.com