Business Growth Power Principle # 22

Principle 22

Tell Them What They Want To Know – Then Lead Them To It

How to turn leads into customers

Back in the 1930s something amazing and awful happened to the men’s underwear industry… They never saw it coming…

A movie starring Clark Gable featured a scene in which Gable took off his shirt. What was so amazing was that he was not wearing a vest underneath. Within weeks, the bottom nearly fell out of the vest industry. Men everywhere, who had seen the movie, stopped buying them. If the dashing Clark Gable didn’t need a vest, maybe they didn’t need one either. They didn’t know they didn’t need a vest, but now they did.

People secretly want to be led – So lead them

The vest industry fought back with ads that told men why they needed to wear a vest. For example, a vest could protect your good outer shirt from underarm perspiration stains, and so on. They were able to make vest sales come back, but not after a lot of marketing
which told men why they needed to wear them and why they should buy them.

The moral of this story is that people are highly susceptible to being led – and not only that, they want to be led.

A lot of people don’t know what they want until you tell them what they want, and why. Advertising has been called our primary form of public address. More than newspapers, more than magazines, more than books, TV or movies – it’s from ads that people learn what the latest trends are, what’s new, what’s needed, and what everybody else is using and benefiting from – and why they should have it too.

The lesson for you here is that sometimes you need to lead the way when it comes to marketing your product or service. People need to be shown why they need what you have. They may not know they need it, but you can tell them they do, and then sell it to them.

Re-assure customers that you can provide what they need

For example, a marketer of life insurance says: “Have you ever thought of how your family would survive if you were suddenly taken out of the picture?” A lot of people simply aren’t thinking about a future contingency like that, but this kind of ad reminds and teaches them that they have a need that they may not know about, or have not thought about.

Most people unconsciously want to be led… They want to know that what you have is going to answer their need or want. Then you must show or tell them graphically and explicitly how they can obtain it from you: ‘Order now by phoning 0800 1234567’ or ‘Just cut out the coupon, place it into an envelope addressed to freepost 123…’

Tell the customer what to do.

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