This morning, a friend of mine was telling me about a recent visitor that came knocking at his front door. Apparently, someone from a local church was going door-to-door inviting people to their church. They had a slick brochure that outlined all the church’s core theology, what they believed about the Bible, what they believed about the end of the world, etc. This got me thinking. The people in that church probably thought they had produced a really compelling and attractive brochure that would entice people to try their church. Maybe, maybe not. But it occurred to me that whoever did that brochure made sure they put on the flyer all the things that were important to them. But my question is, were those theological positions really important to the buyer? The “buyer” presumably would be a non-church-going person that the church presumably wants to woo to their services.
But if you want to reach people, you have to appeal to them by promoting what’s important to them, not what’s important to you. Maybe they were looking for security, peace of mind, a place to make lasting friendships, a place to find answers to the troubles of life. I suspect the church could offer value in all those areas – and yet they chose to take up space on their flyer talking about their theological positions.
So whether you sell widgets or financial services, make sure that before you start writing promotional copy about what you have to offer, you take time to think through what it is that your customers really want from you. What is it that you are selling? If you are in financial services, are you selling mutual funds and stocks? Not really. You’re selling the hope of a secure future, the ability to experience some of the pleasures of life that money in the bank can buy. You’re selling peace of mind and the good feeling that comes from knowing you are responsibly managing your finances.
Believe it or not, it takes some work to get out of your head and into the head (and heart) of your audience. If you ran UPS or Fed Ex, what is it that you are selling? Is it on-time delivery? That’s a start. But don’t stop there. I contend that what you are really selling is peace of mind or perhaps confidence. Your customer doesn’t care how many planes you have or how neat your driver’s uniforms are…those things are all part of the company’s brand image to assure their customers that when they place their packages with them, (which may contain their futures, their careers, their livelihood), they can trust that those packages will arrive when and where they are supposed to. They’re selling confidence. They’re selling peace of mind!
Now, if you personally happen to be similar to the target audience you are seeking to attract, then understanding what motivates you to respond will not be that hard for you to address. But if you’re a 50 year old Hispanic male and your target audience is a 17 year white female, well, you will have to do some market research to truly understand what motivates your audience to respond.
Take the time to listen and learn the “view” of your audience!