Tips for Entrepreneurs: Placing them elsewhere

When you want someone to take a specific action, the goal of copy-writing and marketing essentially is to get them to visualize being in a certain state.

House and calculator [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
House and calculator [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
I have been blessed to have my home frequented by a wide variety of Shabbat guests.
There’s one former guest who didn’t just come for Shabbat sometimes – he was someone who seemed to never be able to get enough of being at the Ginzbergs. Shabbat, holidays, weekday. This person was almost attached to our house with an invisible cord.
And now, we hardly hear from him. If I meet him on the street, he’ll be nice to me. But in terms of letting me know what’s going on in his life, I’m far away from him.
Why? What have I done to deserve this? In the beginning, I felt bad about the silent treatment. There seemed to be no reason for the breakdown in communication.
First, I thought I wronged him. I wondered what it could be, and then I realized.
Now that this person is successful, being in touch with me mentally puts him back in a place he is not too thrilled remembering.
He doesn’t want to be “there.” It’s painful to remember that you might not have been the successful person you are today, and you don’t want to put yourself mentally in a place that makes you feel ill at ease.
Now, here’s the advice. When you want someone to take a specific action, the goal of copy-writing and marketing essentially is to get them to visualize being in a certain state, and then helping them see that you, your service, your product or your request is the pathway out of that feeling and situation and the gateway to a better place.
This is true for fundraising, investing in a business, having someone buy a house, sign up for a course or whatever your interest might be.
If I want you to get your cavities filled, I have a hard job.
People, for the most part, don’t like going to dentists unless they are in pain.
But when I can rouse you to what it felt like the last time you had tooth pain and visually place you there and make you feel the sharp, horrible sensation you have getting something stuck in a cavity and making you miserable, the thought of the whine of the dentist’s drill can be downright pleasant by comparison.
Second-class schools, in general, have this issue. Sometimes, depending on the personality of former students, they will be unwilling to face up to the fact that they went to that school. Not because of anything the school did, but rather, because now that they are very successful, card-carrying members and pillars of their respective communities with a positive view of themselves, the emotional triggers brought on by thinking of their times of confusion make them feel something they’d rather not.
It would not be hard to sell a weekly, one page, faxed newsletter for $99 a month to the chief security officer of a major bank. Why would a fax be worth such an obscene amount? Well, because the one thing standing between the executive’s happy retirement and continued flow of his fat salary and being fired, is one computer break-in on the network that they are in charge of. So for $99 a month, I’m selling job security, future prospects of an even better job and pay raises, the preservation of his prominence in his company, and a good retirement. And isn’t $1,200 a year a small price to pay for that? (Especially if the company is paying?) You are selling a good night’s sleep every night from here on forward! And compared to the alternative, it’s a no-brainer.
[email protected] Issamar Ginzberg is a business adviser, marketer, professional speaker and rabbi.