If you talk to a German in Japanese, they’re not going to understand you, but people do the equivalent in comms all the time. In this vlog, Grant explains that If you don’t speak to people in a language that they understand and can relate to, you’re going to lose them.
If you talk to a German in Japanese, they’re not going to understand you, but people do the equivalent in comms all the time.
If you don’t speak to people in a language that they understand, referencing paradigms that they can relate to, you’re going to lose them.
For example, how do you sell a steam train to people that don’t know what a steam train is?
James Watt had exactly that problem.
He came up with the solution:-
The solution was to explain to people how many horses the steam train could replace – because that was something they understood.
And with that, the unit of ‘horsepower’ was created.
Even if someone couldn’t quite get their head around the steam train, if they understood that it would replace a hundred horses, they got it.
Of course, horsepower is still used today, and yet James Watt came up with it as a marketing device.
Similarly, Henry Ford talked about the ‘horseless carriage’, because people just wouldn’t know what a motor vehicle is.
So when you’ve got an innovative new product or service to sell, think about how people will relate to it and how you can paint a picture they’ll understand.
For example, when selling a subscription, people will use ‘a Starbucks a day’ – ‘For less than a Starbucks a day, you get this…’ and people can relate to that immediately.
Today, of course, we’re all familiar with Kentucky Fried Chicken, but when it launched, they didn’t try and convince you of how wonderful it tasted and try and describe the flavour, they just told you it’s ‘finger licking good.’
If it’s so good, you want to lick your fingers, you can relate to that.
When Steve Jobs wanted to launch the iPod, he explained it as having a thousand songs in your pocket, something that people can really understand.
And interestingly enough, when Amazon wanted to market the Kindle, they called it the iPod for books.
So if you speak Japanese and you’re selling to Germans, at least learn a few phrases.
There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English