Your brand must weave an offer into the pattern of its fabric, an immediate proposition that says, "There's a reasonable chance I will make your life 51 percent better if you listen to my message." Fifty-one percent better means that your proposition's value will overcome its costs. It will be worth my time, my risk, my inconvenience, my natural inertia, and my trauma from past bad buying decisions - not to mention my money.
To this day, there are eight human appeals that affect us all, and you must communicate at least one of them to your prospects immediately, directly, and unambiguously. Every person wants to be
The value of these appeals may seem rather obvious when you look at them - but when we examine and rate some actual brands in the chapter on Dominant Selling Ideas, you'll be surprised at how much core brand messaging for even the largest companies contains not one of the eight in plain sight.
Your appeals has to be direct, powerful, and above all, fast. As Renee Zellweger says to Tom Cruise in the film Jerry McGuire after his big declaration of love speech: "Stop! You had me at 'hello.'" Your appeal has to get your target at "hello" or the deadbolt goes on the door.
This requirement is literally illustrated during middle-of-family dinner telemarketing calls. From job hell, these poor souls have been stupidly instructed to engage the victim with a pleasantry to "warm 'em up." "Hello, Mr. Shinley?... Uhh, Mr. Sibley? How you doin' today?" Considering that they just jerked me up from the dinner table and, in my absence, three teenagers have just finished all the risotto before I got any, I say "Rotten!" and hang up.
But sometimes I feel pity. So I give the caller a friendly tip: "You have to understand, Amber, that I'm starting off angry, resistant, and negative toward you. You have only once chance to avoid a slam down. You have to open with an appealing offer so fast, I can't react any other way but to say, 'What is it?' Try this and don't even pause for breath or it's too late."
"Sir, if I could save you 50 percent on your phone bill and you wouldn't even have to switch carriers, you'd want to know about it, right?"
My attitude would then transform from pure annoyance to "This person may have something I want."
We must approach our target markets and craft our core message from that same humble position - offer and appeal first, small talk later.