Arguing Penguins

Are you Persuading, Informing, or Re-affirming?

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

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If you’re trying to persuade people to buy your product or service, then more than likely you’re coming across as a sales person in the worst sense of the word.

The stereotypical insensitive, rude sales person that used to sell encyclopedias, or double-glazing. Sales people typified in films such as Glengarry Glen Ross, or Tin Men (even if they do both happen to be great films).

If you have to persuade someone, then you’re trying to make that person change their opinion through the medium of reason (or maybe argument). The problem with someone trying to persuade you is that, oftentimes, the instinctive reaction is to resist.

We all have our own opinions, views and beliefs that we value and which we deem important to us. To have someone come and challenge them, especially when there’s an element in self-interest should we succumb to the affront, puts us on the defensive. Even if we do concede, it’s often not without a fight.

Your customers will resist or reject marketing messages that attempt to change their already-held beliefs and views. None of us like to told that we’re wrong: As human beings we are naturally more open and receptive to receiving praise, approval and compliments. It makes us feel vindicated and feel good about ourselves. Sticks and carrots, and all that.

As a result, business value messaging that reinforces what your customers are already thinking – or questioning – is often more effective. Your are re-affirming what they’re thinking already, or informing them on a topic that they already have interest in.

At the same time, since you’re not trying to change their mind, you’re probably getting your message across deeper, wider – and cheaper.

Image Credit (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

About the Author
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Gee Ranasinha

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Gee Ranasinha is CEO and founder of KEXINO. He's been a marketer since the days of 56K modems, teaches marketing and behavioral economics at a European business school, and was noted as one of the top 100 global business influencers by sage.com (those wonderful people who make financial software).

Originally from London, today Gee lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son.

Find out more about Gee at kexino.com/gee-ranasinha, follow him on Twitter at KEXINO, or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/ranasinha.

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