Monday, May 17, 2010


I know this sounds ominous and it can be if you are not careful. Being aware of the “operating state” is the secret to dealing with it. I discovered a long time ago that all humans have the same operating state and as a result, I have adjusted the way I interface with others. You may have noticed there are a lot of humans around these days, that includes you and me of course and the operating state I am referring to is “What’s Wrong Here?”

If you are at all human, and you are, you just thought to yourself that this may be true for Keith and most other humans but it certainly does not apply to you. Trust me, it is a defense mechanism left over from the caveman days when there were significant reasons to think this way. Thinking this way was key to survival itself. I share this with apologies to the Geico cavemen who have apparently evolved mentally if not physically.

Another way to look at this phenomenon is that consumers are looking for a reason not to purchase your product or service. The answer is simple. Don’t give them a reason, and here are three traps to watch out for.

The first is to not use words that your target consumer will not fully understand or words that need interpretation. There is something about the human mind that begins to turn off the instant we read past words we don’t fully understand. One word is enough to have consumers move on to the next issue in their lives.

Secondly, your selling proposition should be written and communicated on an 8th grade level. It is not only possible, it is essential when communicating complicated selling messages. Oddly, most newsprint is written that way and we don’t notice. We are engaged in the material and simply don’t think of it.

Lastly, if you make a bold claim, which I recommend you do if at all possible, be sure to validate your claim immediately adjacent to your claim. In this circumstance, they will tune your selling proposition out because your claim isn’t credible. If you immediately support your claim, you are on firm ground.

I observe the “What’s Wrong Here” operating state daily, and it has me working to be more effective in dealing with people. It will for you as well. You just have to get over the idea that you are not an exception to this fundamental way of being.

Keith Chambers

Keynote Marketing Speaker
Creative Marketing Consultant
(310) 473-0010

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