In Marketing, Emphasize Empathy!

If you want your marketing to make money for you, focus on your customers’ feelings and beliefs. Unless you can convince them that you understand them and their problems — that you’re empathetic — they’re probably not going to buy from you.

The headline on one of my marketing pieces says, “Hiring a Speaker is an Awesome Responsibility.” It is. These days, if you hire the wrong speaker in a corporate job, you could end up in severe trouble. Many professional speakers focus their marketing on themselves — how good they are, how successful. It works, but readers don’t get the message that the speaker really knows who they are and can fill their needs. Your customers need to believe that you know, understand, and care about them.

There’s a good way to do this when you’re writing or creating your marketing piece.

  1. Make a list of the prospects’ biggest problems from their point of view. (If you don’t know what they are, ask them!)
  2. Decide how these problems make your prospects feel. Tell a story about someone experiencing the same problem. What does this encounter look like, sound like, smell like? What external and internal forces cause these feelings and sensations? Be really creative in putting yourself in the prospects’ shoes.
  3. Address those feelings. Write about your prospects’ feelings and reactions. Prove to them that you understand and care. Then prove that you can solve the problem.

Why be empathetic? When you just relate the facts — “We have a store at such-and-such location” — “We sell a product that does this and that” — “We’re consultants in this field” — you’re implying that you’re similar to everyone else. You make yourself an ordinary commodity. Do you know what people do with commodities? They try to get the lowest price.

So, when you market yourself, capitalize on your unique ability to understand and solve problems. It will greatly increase your client base and their loyalty to you. As a side benefit, it will also help you get paid what you’re worth. As noted businessman Nido Qubein says, “When you solve the problems that keep CEOs awake at night, they never ask you what you charge.”