Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Marketers: Say Goodbye To "Think" And "Try" And Say Hello To "Know" And "Can"

Changing Verbs Can Influence Marketing Success

By David Miranda

There are two types of marketers-those that think and try and those that know and can.

Let's examine the former - the marketing majority.

When faced with a challenging task, they respond with "I think we can do a good job and we will try our very best. Sounds reasonable, but what if the person who made this comment was an airline pilot, brain surgeon, criminal defense lawyer, pharmacist, dentist, lifeguard, babysitter, or accountant, this statement surely might give you reason to find someone a little more sure of themselves.

We all remember the children's nursery rhyme of the little engine that could. As it pulled its cars up a steep incline it muttered to itself "I think I can, I think I can" and then there was that moment of truth. The little engine substituted the word "can" for "think". "I know I can. I know I can". And then - success. He could, indeed!

I can't tell you how many times I have been in business meetings with experienced and highly educated marketers and agencies who, when asked if their plans will work, have responded with "I think we have the right plan and the right people. Let's give it a try". Compare this to individuals who respond, "I know we have the right plan and the right people. We can do it." Which of these inspires the most confidence? The answer, of course, is rhetorical.

One might argue that there are no guarantees in life and it is better to hedge one's bets - underpromise, overdeliver. Problem is we are dealing with real money.

In business today, good marketers are expected to "know" what they're doing and "can" accomplish their mission. Just like we want pilots who know they can fly a plane; brain surgeons who know they can operate; and lifeguards who know they can save lives - we want marketers who know they can deliver the goods.

So start now. Change the verbs "think" and "try" in your vocabulary to "know" and "can" - and mean it! Then watch the difference in your own performance and the impact on those around you. Chances are you will have more people knowing you can get things done - beginning with yourself.

I know you can do it.