We had a bird in the office the other day.
It flew in, perched up on one of the rafters, and couldn’t get out again.
Eventually, after about 48 hours, courtesy of some bird whispering advice from Ian Redding and a Mary Poppins impression from Smithy, we managed to get the thing out of the building.
Which was a good thing, as the bird was a swallow, and it’s supposed to be flying to Africa soon for the winter – we definitely didn’t want to get in the way of that.
Davina tried to tempt the bird outside with a promise of some tasty morsels
But it was especially good for me. You see, I’m afraid of birds. There, I said it.
Ever since an unfortunate incident in Trafalgar Square with a swarm of pigeons, I’ve always distrusted our feathery friends. More than that, I’ve actively feared them.
This has got me into trouble a few times – the most acute being when I was responsible for the death of my friend’s budgie (it was an accident, I swear) – and it certainly makes bird-watching holidays an impossibility.
Smithy stepped up and played some swallow songs…
“A Tenuous Link To Running A Business”
Anyway, once the swallow bade its farewell, Ed took to the private Facebook group of our sister business Entrepreneurs Network to keep them up to date on the bird situation, leading Ged Wilmot to write the amusing comment: “Awaiting the email of this story with a tenuous link to running a successful business”.
Ged knows us too well – we like to create useful content based on personal experiences, and as I haven’t seen anyone else in the office write about Apollo the Swallow, I thought I’d have a crack.
And it’s my inner fear of birds that I want to focus on, because I think it’s highly relevant when it comes to creating marketing that actually resonates with our prospect.
You see, on the surface, I don’t appear to be a man afraid of birds.
After all, not many people are afraid of birds, mostly because being afraid of birds is totally irrational.
But nonetheless, I am.
And underneath the surface, my ornithophobia has an impact on my life, and the decisions that I make.
It’s there, even if people can’t see it.
Just like our prospects’ innermost thoughts and feelings.
Ed’s approach was rather more aggressive…
What do our prospects actually want?
We all know the importance of drawing out the benefits of our product rather than the features, but one of the things we perhaps don’t think about that much is how the benefits relate to the inner desires of our prospect.
Say you’re selling shampoo.
If you were selling the features, you’d probably talk about the vitamins and minerals contained within the product.
Which wouldn’t be particularly effective on its own, because people would have no ideas what those vitamins and minerals did or what was good about them.
If you were selling the benefits, you’d probably talk about how the shampoo gives you sleek and smooth hair or prevents dandruff.
Which would be better, because you’d be linking the product to an outcome.
But it shouldn’t stop there. Because in and of itself, the fact that you’ve got sleek and smooth hair doesn’t mean an awful lot.
To create a genuinely powerful benefit that actually resonates with the innermost desires of your prospect, you need to connect the “sleek hair” with a key emotional driver.
So, what does your prospect really want? Why would someone want sleek hair?
They want to look good.
Well, maybe because it’ll make them feel better about themselves: more confident and more at ease in their own skin.
Or, they feel it’ll make them more attractive and popular to other people.
Or both. Probably both.
All of a sudden, just by drilling down and asking a few questions, we’ve got a much better picture of what could really drive someone to buy our shampoo.
Shampoo manufacturers aren’t selling clean hair, they’re selling the nice gooey feeling when someone compliments your hair.
We can now create a marketing message that includes all of the inner emotional desires that could drive our prospect to take action, and consequently that message will be a lot more effective.
Just like my fear of birds, these emotional desires aren’t necessarily obvious on the surface. If you asked most people why they buy a particular brand of shampoo, you’re unlikely to get many of them admitting to buying it because they want people to find them attractive.
But the reality is that for lots of people it WILL be one of the primary reasons for the purchase – whether conscious or subconscious – and by tailoring our marketing to tap into those desires, we’re likely to sell more shampoo than if we stayed on the surface and just talked about sleek hair.
So there’s the question for all of us: what are the innermost desires of our prospect and how does our product or service provide for those desires?
Answering this question, and then adjusting our marketing efforts to account for those desires would be a very smart use of time.
P.S. We’ve got some great notes on some of the key emotional drivers that we sent to some of our Private Clients the other day.
We’ve still got a handful left, so if you want us to send you them, just click the button below, fill in the form and we’ll post them to you, absolutely free.