You open a brochure or go to a website and it doesn't take long before you decide that this isn't the product or service for you. What comes across isn't how you benefit from the product, but "how wonderful" the company is that is selling it.
In a national conference call I presented in January, one of the points the moderator and I discussed was how many companies think it's important to "strut their stuff" and tell their prospects just how wonderful their company is. However, what many companies don't realize before they start to write a marketing piece is this — it's vital that you write to your customer, not at them.
As one of my respected colleagues Herschell Gordon Lewis wrote, "When you write a letter that says, 'Only you …,' you've told the recipient that to you he isn't a unit, an anonymous number in a computer, a faceless organism …. You also project an attitude of friendliness."
The reader — your customer or prospect — comes first! Incorporate a friendly, conversational tone as if your prospect were sitting right there, across the table from you. After all, what he wants to know first and foremost is "what's in it for me?" What are the benefits he receives by doing business with you or buying your product?
Yes, your customers want to know that you're a viable, credible company. However, when they link to that home page on your website or turn to the first panel of your brochure only to read "we do this …" and "we do that …," chances are that it won't take long before they click off of your website or put that brochure down (i.e., into the circular file).
You must keep in mind that "you" is one of the strongest words in a marketer's vocabulary. When I review a marketing piece and I repeatedly see "we" and "the client," or "our customers," it's time for a rewrite. For instance, read this paragraph …