May 04, 2010

The Power of Specificity

There are a lot of good Italian restaurants in my neighborhood. But I go to one regularly because I love the bread.

My favorite sneakers aren't the ones that look the nicest or absorb shock the best. They're the ones that are the widest.

My favorite recording isn't of the best song I ever heard, or have best vocal I ever heard, but it does have my favorite sax solo.

The point is -- like most people -- when I have a preference, it is usually for a very specific reason.

And yet, throughout my career one of toughest things I have had to do is to convince my clients to be more specific.

Many have a hard time understanding that "we answer on the first ring" is a more powerful statement than "world class service."

They don't believe that "50 dollars off" is a stronger motivator than "we'll make your dreams come true."

Many have thought that the bigger and more ambiguous the promise, the bigger the payoff.

It is usually the opposite. The more specific the promise, the more believable the proposition.

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