I've seen this in headlines for more than a month, but the news didn't hit home.
Boston has a zillion hospitals, and this one isn't world-class.
Then I learned what the hospital closing will do to emergency service for people calling 911 in my town: the nearest other hospitals, now overburdened, could refuse heart attack or accident victims and send them a half-hour farther away.
Yikes! Now I understood.
Conceivably, a family member or neighbor of mine might die because of this hospital closing.
While that consequence is logical to me, I didn't draw that conclusion on my own.
A similar stoppage occurs in marketing: we fail to point out consequences explicitly, thinking the implications of what we offer are obvious.
For instance, don't assume people know what can happen if off-the-shelf software misses deductions or leaves out crucial explanations it's better to provide.
Spell out the consequences of not hiring your tax preparation service, and more clients may bite.
According to Dan Seidman, author of The Death of 20th Century Selling, for someone thinking of buying a car, the following would be consequences of not doing so: * Can't take a client to lunch in your car * A look that says you're not successful * Danger when merging in traffic * Feeling every bump in the road * Surprised by what breaks down every month Seidman notes that for business buyers, consequences include both repercussions for the company (angry shareholders) and for the individual responsible for the purchase (lower personal income).
Try painting a vivid picture that propels folks to avoid such effects.
For you, the consequence is then something to smile about.
Exercises for Identifying Consequences * Sit down with a paper and pad and list every consequence of not buying a particular item of yours that you can think of: dangers, hassles, costs of delay, lost opportunities and any other negative experiences.
Select one of those consequences and build an email, postcard or print ad campaign around it.
* Slowly read through the printout of a promotional piece you've been using and highlight or circle every reason you've cited for your prospect to buy.
Then for each reason, ask what the implications of that reason are for the buyer.
Good prompts to use are "so that...
" and "which means that...
" * Ask your sales people and customer service representatives which consequences they think motivate people most and which rarely come up but might have an impact if they did.
Then tweak your marketing pitches accordingly.
* Turn your list of consequences into a quiz that you post on your web site or incorporate into an ad or mailing.
Headline it: "Which of these concern you?"