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An analogy that we've all heard is one about fishing: "By providing information to you about marketing (or promotion, or copywriting, or whatever), we are showing you HOW to fish rather than just GIVING you a fish" -- reason we understand this is because we understand difference (and advantage) of being able to provide for ourselves over a long period of time, rather than just having a one-time benefit. By using analogy, you don't have to go into a tedious explanation of what you mean (as I just did!).
These two forms of comparison may seem fairly obvious on surface, but, like an iceberg (see what I'm doing?), there's a lot more substance below surface. Just remember a few simple tips when using comparisons:
* Use points of reference that are well known to audience. This will make your explanations easier to understand. "Our system is organized in same way as 18th century Ottoman Empire" is probably NOT best analogy to use.
* When using a comparison and contrast, express differences as being advantages. That is, don't just show how your product or service is different; show how it is BETTER.
* When using analogies, compare your product or service to something LIKED or RESPECTED by audience. Not only will this help you explain your message -- it will also help create right attitude towards it. "Our product has been copied by our competitors, just like Crystal Pepsi was!" might get your point across, but it probably won't make your product any more desirable.
Please realize that these tips are just a starting point. As with any persuasive strategy, you will have to study your own situation and target audience to figure out best way to use comparisons in your sales messages. Whatever situation, however, you should remember that understanding experiences, knowledge, and attitudes of your audience is always first step in reaching them. Good fishing!
Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's http://InternetWriters.com Ron works with business speakers and writers, helping them with their copy-writing, marketing, and Internet promotion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-328-9006.