• Sniper targeting person. Text: Don't shoot your clients.

Don’t Shoot Your Clients

A target is “a person, object, or place selected as the aim of an attack.” [According to professor Google.]

Targets were first used in archery, before they became the center of military thinking and sniper vocabulary.

So, how’s your target {group|market|audience} doing?

Have they survived your attack?

And what will be left of your clients and customers after you’ve executed (!) your business strategy? Strategy being the “the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy,” or “the employment of battles to gain the end of war.” [According to Wikipedia, Ph.D.]

I know you have no intention of putting your customer to death.

But the metaphors we use are proven to have a psychological effect on a deeply, deeply subconscious level. [Subconscious language processing and wicked associations.]

That’s why the speeches of propagandists and politicians are filled to the brim with metaphors.

That’s why We need to STOP using military metaphors in our business.

‘Targeting’ thingifies your client or customer. We look at them as business functions and overlook the wholeness of the human being we’re actually talking to in our marketing.

It’s easier to recognize the mensch-ness of your client in personal communication, but in marketing it’s often impersonal [broadcasting messages]; and bad metaphors remove us one step further from the person.

That’s one reason I love coaching. It’s a glimpse beyond the mere business function of the client. I’ll see how much more is going on in their lives than just running their business. And how tiny actually my products and services are in the bigger picture of their lives.

Practical implications?

You bet!

The more the ‘target’ becomes a conceptualized entity in your thinking, the more your marketing messages get out of synch with the real people you are selling to. The real people you are serving.

It’s also true for service or product development.

If you lose touch with people, you’ll create services and products that just don’t resonate with your ‘targets.’

No resonance, no cash in your bank account.

Simple.

Don’t shoot your clients!

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