It’s the customer, stupid (recalled)

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we we calculator

we we calculatorDigging around the archives, I discovered this old blog posting with the important reminder that persuasive sales copy (including your blogs and websites, as well as proposal and other documentation) need to be far more customer-focused than self-congratulatory.

The “we-we” calculator analyzes wording and, if your site is typical, you’ll come up rather high on the “I” and far too low on the “we”.

In the original 2008 posting — that’s five years ago — this (bleep, our own name prohibited to be used in this context) blog obtained a rather dismal 38.72 rating, meaning you were reading far more about “me” than about how we could really serve you. The current score is 60 — much better, but still not a stellar performance.

Try the we-we calculator for yourself www.futurenowinc.com/wewe.htm. and see your own score. If you wish, (and dare) post it in the comments here.

The old 2001 posting by Brian Eisenberg still resonates with the reason this is so important for your marketing.

Have you ever been cornered at a party by someone who only talks about himself? Pretty annoying, isn’t it? Do you respect that person? Are you comfortable around him? Do you feel such people care about you or what’s important to you? Do you even want be there? If you saw that person again, would you be eager to spend even more time with him, or would you look for the nearest plant to hide behind?

Now ask yourself what caused all those negative feelings and what is, in the end, real avoidance behavior. It wasn’t how the person was dressed. It wasn’t where the person came from. It wasn’t what the person did for a living or who he was with. It was the words. (Old joke: Woman comes home from a date. Roommate asks how it went. She replies, “He’s an opera singer.” “Really?” “Yeah, all night it was ‘me-me-me-me-me.'”)

So let’s take a look at the words on your Web site. Are you talking about all the wonderful ways your visitors can benefit from your products or services, or are you talking about all the great features of your products, services, or company? In other words, are you speaking the language of “you,” or are you caught up in the language of “we”? As our friend Roy Williams asks, “Are you wewe-ing all over yourself?”

Realize that the words you use and how you use them are telling your visitors where your focus is. Want them to stick around and eventually take the action you want? Talk about them, their needs, their wants, and how they can get those needs and wants satisfied. Use customer-focused language. Otherwise, they’re going to feel like you’re the self-centered guest at the party. You may not be, but they only have your words to judge you by.

Note the scoring system isn’t perfect, and probably doesn’t work so well for news sites. I tested this on North Carolina Construction News and scored a dismal Zero. The test searches for what it calls persuasive copy; and obviously didn’t find much there, and what it did, came up totally self-centered.

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