If you got a chance to hear about Meghan Markle’s speech at the Young One World summit this past week, it garnered some royal criticism. As a big fan of Megan’s I had to wince at this snafu because it’s one that hundreds of business owners I meet make every day. They too overuse the word “I” in their pitches, presentations and RFPs. Why is this such a no-no, you ask? Let me remind you…
People and Buyers Are Self-Centric
As I was writing my latest book “How To Make Anyone Like You in 7 Seconds or Less”, I found research that proved that talking about ourselves gives our brain the same stimuli as sex, cocaine, and good food, releasing comparable amounts of dopamine.* Is it any wonder that poor Megan is doing the same? However, in business and in show biz, sadly this can backfire.
Another recent training I was doing about winning RFPs in 2022 also revealed a very interesting statistic. Winning RFPs have an 80-20 ratio of the use of the word “You” vs. “We/I” in the copy. Meaning, if your request for proposal is focused on talking about them, you win.
Why Are You Speaking
When any public speaker is up on the podium, the number one thing they need to be thinking about is “who is my audience?”. The number two question they need to be thinking about is: “What is their pain/problem/challenge?” and lastly, they should be gearing their content to the question: “how can I solve/inspire around/resolve this issue?” If you’re not doing these things, whether in public office or in business, you are wasting the spotlight.
It’s All About Them
All your marketing messaging, no matter who you are-has to be based on your audience. On their pain, their world, their words and their life. Giving examples based on your own life is fine but the message has to lead to them. Always them.
I’m hoping you do better than the fabulous Ms. Markle at your next chance to woo buyers and decision makers.
*source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Kransey