Prospecting Weapon #2: Common Enemy


Is it time to find a good enemy?  I think so, and here’s why.

Effective marketing in a low-trust world means developing a bond with your prospects throughout your communication with them.  One great way to further develop this bond is to share a perceived common enemy with them.

Now, before you run off and start ranting about someone your prospect doesn’t like, let me explain a few things.  A common enemy can be a person, but most likely it won’t be.  It’s more than likely going to be a group, thing, ailment, or a conceptual fear.

The “enemy” is whatever is troubling your ideal prospect, because your solution happens to be the path to victory.  Something is standing in the way of your prospective customer’s goals, and you’ve got the answer.   But before you do that you’ve got to establish that bond.

The key is not to rant, rave, or bash the enemy, but to provide an underlying theme that shows you’re all in it together against the enemy.   When framed that way, you’re not a salesperson; rather, you’re a comrade who can lend a hand.  Establishing a thematic enemy allows you to focus on providing solutions without coming across like you’re hard selling, and is a perfect technique for white papers, tutorials and blogging in general.

Let’s take a look at a few examples in other industries and then one for you:

  • Let’s say you’re a discount real estate broker. Your enemy is high real estate commissions and greedy and overpaid Realtors.  It doesn’t matter that this isn’t necessarily true – it’s what your ideal prospects believe and want to avoid.
  • Or maybe you’re a nutritionist or someone selling natural health products.  Your enemy is obesity, diabetes, low self-esteem, the FDA, and greedy corporations who peddle processed foods filled with empty calories.
  • As a College Funding Advisor, your enemy could be any one of the following:   Banks and finance companies that issue high interest parent and student college loans, bogus scholarship search companies, and sky-rocketing college costs.

The key is to find the prospect’s pre-existing enemy and align against that common for.  It’s possible to introduce a new enemy to an audience, but you’ll have a much harder time of it than if you simply identified an adversary that’s already troubling the mind of the prospect.

Here are a few things to look out for when using the “common enemy” mental trigger:

  1. Don’t make the wrong enemy. A misguided attack against someone or something the prospect is in favor of will leave you out in the cold.
  2. This strategy only works with problem and solution scenarios.  You’ll strike out if trying to use this technique when selling lifestyle or luxury products.
  3. Don’t dwell on the enemy to long. Establish in your workshop or first appointment who this enemy is but then move on quickly to the rest of presentation.

Related Article:

Prospecting Weapon #3: “Takeaway Selling”

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Brian J. Kay, Executive Director, Leads4Insurance
921 Port Washington Blvd., Suite # 3 Port Washington, NY 11050
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