Analogies

Not understanding is like having a thorn stuck in your thumb that just won’t come out. You don’t know why, and it’s painful.

Ketchup makes a hotdog taste better. It’s like putting a dab of perfume on.

Knowing where your container is at all times with a tracking system is relief in knowing the day will go well. Importers will not be bugging you for tracking information, you won’t be constantly interrupted, and you can get home on time and in a good mood.

They say you need to dress for success. A website is the first appearance you make to clients online. A professional web designer styles your site, so it will make people stop, comment, and say, ‘you have it together.’

E-commerce is just like having another cash register.

Think, no more playing around with Excel spreadsheets and papers. A custom developed piece of software is like a maid. It does all the work that you really don’t want to do, automatically. Plus, you own it and nobody else does, so there’s bragging rights.

Analogies can help make an abstract idea, or an idea that seems unrelated to an area of discussion, clear. They create similarities and play a role in

  • problem solving—Do I really need this?
  • decision making—Which option is better? Who can I rely on?
  • perception—Smoking makes me look sexy and sophisticated versus Smoking makes me stink, and my teeth and fingers yellow.
  • memory—What was it that the salesperson said it was like? Oh yes, ‘as soft as a baby’s bottom.’
  • creativity—Just think, all the time I could save if I didn’t have to…
  • emotion—I love tomatoes. They’re so plump, bright and round. They make me happy versus Ah, tomato soup! It looks like blood!
  • explanation—I could get to work on time if I had a car. I wouldn’t need to wait forever for the bus. and,
  • communication—When you translate something, what are you doing? You are moving something over from one language to another. It doesn’t change, it’s just being shifted. It’s the same thing in math. You’re moving the shape around. It stays the same. You’re not changing it at all. You’re just moving it.

A marketing professional with several more years experience than myself, recently reaffirmed my belief that being able to relate a service or product to a client is invaluable. The client, then, is better able to understand your service or product because it relates to his or her world. If you can empathize with the client, understand the need, the want, precautions, and thinking process of that client, then a much deeper discussion and relationship can be built – rather than just a selling engagement. The 30-second elevator sales pitch is a good starting point; it’s a good way to get a prospective client’s attention and introduce yourself. But to keep that conversation going, beyond the 30-seconds and the ‘Nice to meet you,’ a familiarity with the industry, lingo, and lifestyle, can go a long way to establishing a positive business relationship and friendship. (Because we all know people like buying from people they like.) It’s drawing attention to similarities.

Doctors, in particular, use analogies to help their patients (their clients) understand ailing conditions. It’s important because they deal with human lives, and it’s important we understand. My dentist says that ‘teeth are like a car. If you don’t take care of it, it doesn’t function properly and breaks down. The same with your teeth.’ I have to agree with him. It makes sense.

The marketing professional that I was speaking with, says that marketers and salespeople that can relate to their clients’ lives are worth their weight in gold.

More medical analogies can be found at .http://www.altoonafp.org/analogies.htm.

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