You have to admit that nobody cares about you.
While no business owner has ever said those exact words to me, the sentiment is there nonetheless: “See, the average consumer just doesn’t get it. They don’t care. They just look at the price, and that’s it. I think we need to teach people that they’re completely wrong about everything, and we’re the only ones who are right.”
Trying to teach people all the cool stuff you know about your business or product is a journey up the wrong hill. You could quintuple your advertising dollars and still not get there. No matter how “right” it feels to force feed people all the fascinating details about your product, it’s the wrongest thing you could do.
Marketing your business requires Midwestern Modesty.
- You have to admit you are not the most interesting person at the party.
- You have to admit that nobody even saw you arrive at the party.
- You have to admit that nobody cares about you.
Some people, upon learning this, will try to shout louder. Tell more offensive jokes. Drop their pants and run naked across the dance floor. Still not gonna work.
“So what’s the secret? How do I tell them how awesome I am?”
Your job is to find out how awesome they are. Learn everything about people. Learn everything about the human condition. Learn what motivates people. Learn what scares them. Learn what they dream about.
These are not business questions or marketing questions. These are people questions. Human questions.
The right approach is to talk less about yourself, and more about your customer. Don’t be that guy at the party with your pants off trying to get attention. Be the one with your elbows on the table, looking your customer in the eyes and saying “Really? And then what? Tell me more!”
You can only see your business through your eyes. You will never see it as your customer sees it. Your best play is to learn about people in every habitat EXCEPT when they are shopping. Accept and acknowledge that you are not anything like them, and whatever you know…is only interesting to you.
If only YOU knew how awesome THEY are…you’d get them to do business with you.