1. First think like your audience, then think for your audience-
Since 2017, when I was doing my Masters’s. One of our visiting lecturers arrived from Aalto University in Helsinki. Initially Irish, he had been living in Finland for more than 20 years. He had a wide Irish accent and his comedy game was maximum-notch. During one of the lectures, the subject of the conversation moved toward Nokia and how it mourned such a downfall. The professor had conferred with Nokia a few times. He informed us that when the iPhone arrived, it was displayed to executives in a board meeting and it was fast ignored by everyone. They assumed it was a scheme that was never going to toil.
Nokia had a cause to be skeptical, every buyer survey they have done in the same direction: the shoppers want haptic feedback, and they cannot move away from buttons. That’s what they appreciate. So Nokia was relaxed and it swirled out the same form of phones, till apple ate its market share and then incapacitated the whole company.
There are innumerable lessons any business student can learn from Nokia’s downfall. Maybe the most significant was the rudeness of higher management and the complex bureaucracy that stifled innovation. But the explanation why I want to speak about this is in terms of the principles of touch.
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Nokia was hearing what people said they liked, not what they actually needed. They went into the shoes of the customers and picked what they deemed was most suitable according to their desires, but they never assumed to go ahead and then consider for them.
As Henry Ford (allegedly) stated: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.
The prominent pillar of persuasive communication is empathy, empathy means that I can put myself in the shoes of the customer and then visualize their expectancies, likes, and lusts. But empathy arrives on two levels.
- The Ground level: I guess like the customer, I know their expectancies, anxieties, and aspirations.
- The Higher level: I suppose I like the customer but then I also think for them, what would benefit them the most? What is something that they don’t know yet, but I know, and that can solve the issues they don’t even know exist?
This regulation is extremely effective. When you look closely then you will see that every exemplary speaker, entrepreneur, and advertisement speaks to that level. Every form of effective advertisement simmers down to these two things:
1 . They brief you on something clear, something you already know.
2. They tell you a more oversized situation, something that you never even thought of, it was something that you should have known but then at the exact time, they introduce themselves as the professionals who could solve that situation.
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Alright, so now all that I have said, how can I translate that into actual communication?
Suppose I see a $20 job posting on Upwork. The job poster has an idea for a new kind of water bottle, he has posted some hand sketches and he wants someone to make a 3D model. He is how we can approach a proposal.
- We would first handle the prominent problem, the job poster wants a person who can get this quick task done. He is looking for someone with the understanding and the expertise to take his sketch and make it into the product (Think like the client, Think obvious). That’s the simple and easy part where 99% of propositions would stop.
- But we don’t quit there, we start thinking for the client.
- What is his reason for making the water bottle? Does he want to turn it into running production? He doesn’t say anything about that in his job listing, so we just suppose that he does.
Here is what I would write:
Greeting Jesse, This is Manan, I have been performing for the ex few years with plastic design and production.
Experienced in modeling all kinds of plastic design, see the attached picture for reference models.
I have a few opinions about your water bottle. If you want to turn it into an exhibition then you can make the design simpler, I have discovered a sketch with my proposal which will reduce your investment tooling/mold cost by 50% by removing some undercuts.
I already have contact with a few Chinese suppliers if you’re interested in sourcing this product. Over the past two years, I’ve dealt with them and found them to be very trustworthy.
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Just, we are giving importance to the customer even when we are pitching for a job.
Thinking for the client is clearly not easy. There are 3 basic components you need to master:
- First, what is the highest ingrained inspiration for the client?
- Is it cash? Position? Fame? Admiration?
- These are some of the necessary encouragements that we all have.
- it is not easy for anyone to deduce a person’s true inspiration from a simple job proposal but the majority of our reasons fall under the same above varieties.
- Secondly, you must be skilled at what you do.
- I cannot tell my client about the problems that they are going to face unless I have seen those many times.
- That’s why mentorship and internship count a lot. You are not bringing the monetary benefit, but you are preparing yourself to become a money-making machine in the future.
- Lastly and most notably, you need to believe in what you are marketing, you need to believe first and be superior in your own product, and only then you can sell it to
In overview, the first golden rule of communication is to first think like your client: explaining the obvious and conveying it to them, followed by guessing like your customer. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine them succeeding to the extent of their ability.