First, “YOUR PROSPECTS: Everybody’s Talkin’ at Them”
We are in the world of Midnight Cowboy. In that film of the same name, Jon Voight plays an unsophisticated Texan in New York. As he walks New York’s streets a song captures the feeling of being a simple person in an increasingly complicated world.
He hears the words “Everybody’s talkin’ at me.” What happens when everyone talks to you? The next words of the song answers that: “I don’t hear a word they’re saying.”
No one can hear when everyone is talking. So when everyone talks, no one can hear, so everyone stops listening. This has several implications.
First, don’t talk when everyone else is. Advertise where your competitors do not, so that your message differs from what people are hearing.
Second, say little. A single point penetrates. A mass of messages merge into a blunt object that penetrates nothing.
Third, speak visually. We often cannot hear words, but we notice images, especially appealing ones.
Fourth, make each word count. If people learn that your communications rarely say anything, they will stop listening, even when you do have something to say.
To be heard you must say something different, simple and visual.
Second, “The Rise of Images”
“Because so many words have lost their value, the business looking to grow should turn to two weapons . . . actions and images.
Actions have always spoken loader than words, and now that words and claims have become more suspect, that gap has widened.
Your actions are your message. So ask: How must we act to convey our message and quality? What must we do, from our first follow-up call to presentation? Then, imagine that you must sell the client without words. What images would you use?
How would you dress when you meet them?
Never mind words . . . . how do you act and look?
Third, What Your Prospects Know
Prospects know that certain companies are excellent and successful: Fidelity Investment & State Farm Insurance are examples. They know because they keep hearing about these companies on TV, reading about them in newspapers, and seeing their ads in journals.
What do people know about companies whose names they know only from their mailboxes . . . companies that send them junk mail? That phrase tells you: They associate those companies with garbage.
As a result, prospects know something that you should, too. They hear from bad companies and they hear about good ones.
Companies that advertise often and well become familiar to their prospects. Advertising comforts prospects; they assume the company must be at least good. Because of that, advertising warms every marketing and sales effort that follows it.
Warm you direct mail . . . and all your other marketing efforts . . . Advertise.”