The most persuasive marketing quote ever

It is not widely known that Marcus Tullius Cicero, the outspoken Roman politician who lived from 106-44BC, ran a Marketing Academy. There is absolutely no historical evidence for this, but if you analyse one of his more famous quotes you know that must have been true. I use this in many of my marketing, sales and communication workshops run as a business advisor.

“If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words.”

Let’s deconstruct this. Cicero is taking a position as the customer, speaking to the seller (or marketeer).

If you wish… in other words, if you really want to do this.

To persuade me… not inform, not advise, but to make me want to take action.

You must… this next bit is not optional. It is the only way that works.

Think my thoughts… which means  you must know what is going on in my world.

Feel my feelings…. takes it further. Know what is going on and also what matters to me, what is important to me, what I want, what I fear.

Speak my words… use language I understand and am familiar with. No technobabble, no acronyms, and use the language of my generation, my profession, my industry.

I am convinced that if every sales and marketing executive had this on a laminated card, read it and acted on it every time they communicated with a customer or their market, Cicero would be approve and business performance would be transformed.

Neville Merritt