Most people trying to persuade others to their point of view will bring out mounds and mounds of data. Stacks that reach as high as the ceiling fan. Piles that will collapse all but the most stout table. And if that isn’t enough, we’ll pile on even more.
But does the needle move?
Data is rarely enough to move the needle. Data usually only emboldens the base. The two sides in the Climate Change debate have more data than they can process. Yet there are still two sides.
Data won’t move the needle for your customers either.
You’ve heard it said when someone changes their position on something… “I’ve had a change of heart.” That’s all you need to know right there. If they said, “I’ve changed my mind,” you expect they will change it right back when the mood hits. But when they’ve had a change of heart, it’s much more powerful.
The one thing that really moves the needle, whether it be politics, science, or retail, is the heart. Emotions and feelings move people. Data doesn’t.
If you want to persuade people to do business with you, you have to move the heart. Don’t tell me what you do (data), tell me why it matters (emotion). Don’t tell me what you know (data), tell me how it helps (emotion). Don’t tell me where you are (data), tell me why I want to find you (emotion). Don’t make me think, make me feel.
When she was three she galloped down the aisles on stick horses. At six, she brushed the mane of her My Little Pony. At nine she used her own allowance to start her Breyer Horse collection. And on her sixteenth birthday, she drove the car here just for a book on how to draw horses. Now on her way to college, her parents wanted a gift. I handed them Horse-opoly. They smiled and said, “How did you know?” Just a guess. Toy House in downtown Jackson. We’re here to make you smile.
Speak to the heart.
PS That was a radio ad I ran back in October 2010. Note, it doesn’t tell our hours or our services or that we have more horse-related toys than anyone else in town (data). Instead it told a story of a girl who grew up before our eyes, who just happened to like horses.