Watch the Pendulum Swing by Sir Tax-A Lot

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By Allan Boress, CPA - Four years ago I wrote an article on the 16 reasons Hillary couldn’t lose the presidency. Although I may still be proven correct, not even the highest paid political consultants predicted she would be taken down by an unknown senator from her home state.

What’s this got to do with CPA firm marketing? It helps you understand the highly powerful concept of the emotional pendulum that I first wrote about in The “I-Hate-Selling Book”.

Every marketer knows that people are driven primarily by their emotions. Selling into the emotions is Madison Avenue 101. What many DON’T get is that these emotions are never stagnant, never stable; they always fluctuate. You can never take the buyer for granted. Look at how the public has felt about Brittany Spears over the years…

Here’s your Pepsi Challenge: monitor how you are feeling all day long. Are you feeling happy? Sad? Frustrated? Mad? (Maybe I could be a rapper…call me Sir Tax-A-Lot.)

So, you’re driving down the road, groovin’ to some classic tunes. I’m talkin’ REAL rock n’ roll, The Kinks:

I'm not content to be with you in the daytime
Girl I want to be with you all of the time
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl I want to be with you all of the time
All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night…

You are feeling SO good. Who needs drugs to get high??? And then some dork in a Mercedes convertible with vanity license plates from New York cuts you off and you are off-roading in your Toyota Corolla.

Your emotions have flipped from happy to murder in less than 3 seconds.

The emotional swings affect all of our marketing. How people feel about your firm and your work today may not at all be the same tomorrow. If you have a positive market presence, you got one way to swing, baby.

Sixteen years ago – exactly – Mrs. Clinton’s other half was in the process of being written off by the media. All sorts of bad things were coming out about Slick Willie: he smoked marijuana, he was a serial womanizer, he dodged the draft, bimbo eruptions were happening all over the place and people flat out predicted he would withdraw. Pendulum position: negative, very.

Understanding the power of the emotional pendulum, I predicted that he would win handily in November, 9 months later. Why? He had one way to swing: negative to positive.

Same thing applies to you and your marketing: firm got problems? People have short memories. Help the pendulum along and prod it positive. You got one way to go.

Conversely, Hillary entered the presidential race two years ago with 80% of registered democrats behind her. Pendulum position? Positive – way too positive – way too early. She had one way to swing, and we have all watched her go negative.

Meanwhile Obama is enjoying the mid to top level of his popularity and momentum. Which way does he have to go? IT’S ONLY FEBRUARY.

Also, look at Senator McCain. Taken for dead in August (negative position) he wins the nomination and it ain’t even close.

So, we can watch the political pendulum swing and apply the lessons to our own marketing and firm.

The lesson in our CPA firm is we have worked hard to get market impression, positions of high visibility in our target market, and lots and lots of positive word-of-mouth. We have to work really, really hard to keep that feeling going – to keep the pendulum positive. Because left by itself our marketing and popularity will swing negative, just as it has for Mrs. Clinton.

Election prediction? Clinton wins. Where is your firm on the emotional pendulum? What do you need to do to get it positive – and keep it there? Or will the partners continue to ignore the importance of public relations and positive marketing messages, leaving them and the firm wide open to Barack Obama, CPA?

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