As marketers and salespeople, we love to talk about ourselves.  We can’t seem to stop talking about our company and what we do, our great products and the great value we bring to the marketplace.  We seemed to be programmed to do this.  After all, that’s what we were hired to do, right?  The problem is, talking about ourselves seems to be working against us when it comes to meeting our goals of generating leads, selling product and creating revenue for our company.

Why?  Because people are, by nature, self-centered.  It’s a survival tactic to be concerned about yourself and think you are one of the most interesting people in your life.  Sure we focus on helping others, but if we have a choice between helping others and helping ourselves, we will generally choose the latter to ensure our own livelihood (the major exception being focusing on our children above all else!).

So no one wants to hear about you, they want to hear about themselves.  The interesting exception to this is that we are more likely to listen to a third-party reference.  We feel it is more objective and it doesn’t feel like a decision between talking about you or talking about me.  We don’t mind that it’s all about you as long as it comes from someone besides you.

How does this translate to leads and revenue?  Simple – let others tell your story.  On your website, if you have lots of copy talking about your company and products – ditch it in favor or some testimonials and blogs.  You may still need to keep the product sheets and some description of what you do – but once you get beyond the elevator pitch, no one is listening.  Same goes for your emails, direct mails and all other marketing materials.  I’m most likely to pay attention to what you have to say if either:

  1. You are adding value to my life (giving me tips, information, education, etc.); or,
  2. Someone else is saying it for you (testimonials, references, case studies, blogs).
So next time you create a marketing asset, ask yourself if you would care about it coming from any other company than your own.  If the answer is no, it’s probably a little too self-centered.