The audience already knows that we think our products, services, or ideas are the best. However, happy audiences believe that what we promote actually fulfills their needs in ways that reflect their own interests. Not until we know the audience's needs and interests can what we sell be sold, but when we do know, the things we sell can sell themselves. Reaching that end can be challenging and very expensive, but cost-free steps do exist and taking this one will help us get there.
Two Ears. One Mouth. People don’t like being told about their needs or suggestions that one exists. When it happens, they instantly become skeptical of everything a seller asks and says. That doesn’t help because audiences are often skeptical in the first place. Sometimes, audiences don’t even recognize their own needs, but they’ll believe themselves before anyone else. That means giving them the floor before putting our own products, services, or ideas on the table. Think of it as interpersonal SEO. When prospects talk, they share key terms we can use in our own messages as we Google for their interests. When communicating face-to-face or over the phone, use the same words. When writing, review the prospect’s web site or previous messages and then incorporate the key terms into yours.
Letting audiences create the map will identify the route they want our messages to follow. Taking that route, rather than our own, enhances the leverage of our eventual response. Yet keep in mind that we can’t respond until an initial message exists. Allowing audiences to bump and set is our chance to spike.
*Published by North Dakota Young Professionals, May 20, 2011.