Psychologists are paid to listen, probe deeper, and give guidance. They’re not paid to talk about themselves, and neither are we. So, why are most business websites filled with wee-wee? We do this; we do that. It’s been the mantra of companies for decades, but there’s a better way.
Companies feel compelled to talk about themselves. You know why? Because (while they won’t admit it) they’re a little self-conscious. They see their organic growth dwindling, their profits evaporating, the competition advancing and they feel pressure to tout their advantages. It’s a perfectly natural reaction, but it’s not working. You know why? Because the audience for that message is only focused on themselves. They see their growth dwindling, profits evaporating and competitors advancing. They can’t focus on you; they have their own problems–it’s human nature.
Human nature is a bitch, common sense isn’t so common, and the truth doesn’t really hurt, in fact, it’s rarely even noticed. That’s because people (and let’s face it–we’re talking about people here) are myopically focused on short-term problems most of the time. You have an answer for them but how do you get their attention?
◻ Be louder? We don’t need another ShamWow ad.
◻ Be more logical? You mean like math class? No thanks!
◻ Be feature-oriented? This hasn’t worked since the seventies.
☑ Be empathetic? Yes! Show you understand their problem better than anyone else.
Back to our psychologist
What if you had a drug problem? Something serious like opioids, crack, meth or whatever the kids are doing these days. You go see a specialist, and he lays out three standardized treatment options and recommends one based on the degree of your addiction. You’re not sure, so you get a second opinion.
The second doctor listens to your story–how the problem started and why. How it’s affected you, your family and your job. He looks you in the eye and says “I understand how you feel–scared, ashamed, and guilty. I understand you have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But I can tell you this: you’re not alone. In fact, we’ve seen hundreds of people just like you dealing with the same problems. If you’re willing to put in the work, we’re willing to help.
Who do you trust? The doctor that focused on his solution or the doctor focused on your problem? The moral of the story? Be customer-centric. Focus on their problems, not your solutions. Oh, and uh, don’t do drugs!
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