How simple counting can alert you to a fatal marketing flaw

I can’t even remember the first time I heard about “the radio station that everyone is tuned into: WII-FM.” The reason we all tune in, as you probably know, is that the “call letters” stand for “What’s In It For Me?”

Remembering that each of us is the most important person in his or her own life is an essential element of effective communications. After all, if you don’t know how or why you’re going to benefit from something, why would you waste your time learning about it?

Unfortunately, it’s easier to understand this concept than it sometimes is to execute it. Let’s face it: When you’re writing about your business services and products, you’re writing about some of the most important and fascinating things in your world. That makes it tough to avoid talking about yourself. However, “tough” is not the same thing as “impossible.”

Effective communication is key to the success of your business.

One of the easiest ways I’ve ever learned to monitor your communications comes from Ron and Lorie Rosenberg, consultants and martial artists who created the Business Self Defense program. It’s a simple yet brilliant way to make sure that your focus is where it should be: on your clients and their needs, and not on “me-me-me.”

Successful entrepreneurs focus on clients, not themselves.Here’s all it takes to keep yourself on track. Before you publish anything in hard copy or online, highlight every use of client-centered words—you, your, yours, yourself—in one color. Then read through again and highlight every use of self-focused words— I, me, my, mine—in another color. Then simply make a visual comparison of how much “client” color there is in your communication compared to “self” color.

Even though I generally do a good job of staying focused on the client, I find in doing this exercise that it’s distressingly easy to fall back into an I-me-mine focus. This fast check-up is cheap insurance that the message goes to, and is all about, you—not me.

I’ve discovered a major bonus that comes with doing this exercise: Ensuring that the “you” messages far outweigh the “me” messages makes it much easier to notice when you get sucked into talking about features (which tend to be very “me” focused) instead of desired outcomes and solved problems (which are very “you” focused).

So…I know you’re fascinating. Do you know how to fascinate your prospects so they realize you’re an answer to their prayers?

By the way, thanks to reingestalter for posting his “123” image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.

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7 Responses to How simple counting can alert you to a fatal marketing flaw

  1. Lilia Lee says:

    Ooohh! What a simple exercise that pays big in getting and staying client centered. Thanks Kathleen for sharing.

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      My pleasure, Lilia. It’s terrific to be able to tap into other people’s resources as well as your own, isn’t it?

  2. Emily says:

    Oooh, I like that idea! It sometimes amazes me how something so simple can be so powerful. I’m doing this – thanks!

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Yup, I was delighted when I first encountered it. Not only does it keep me smart in my marketing, it makes my files look pretty. 🙂

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