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Who Do You Scare Away

Anne always planned her Sunday meals meticulously, and this one was no exception. It took her half a day to prepare and cook her grandson’s favorite creamy Tuscan chicken. Her secret was always in using handpicked ingredients, many of which she found and ordered online.

This time, however, she cooked the meal using a generous glug of pure Greek olive oil, which the guests discovered to be an olive oil-flavored shower gel only after tasting the soapy meal.

And people

I don’t have to tell you that this was caused by a perfect storm of Anne trying to find a good deal for an expensive ingredient, a product designer emphasizing flavor before function, and a price tag for the bottle that looked like a plausible deal, rather than a clear misunderstanding of some kind.

People will always see what they hope to see, and vice versa.

There’s always a lot of talk about your target market, and the psychographic type of people you want to attract. But it’s also worthwhile to think about who might misunderstand what you do, and in what ways. We rarely take time to define “Whose time can I save by letting them know they shouldn’t contact me at all?”In other words, when creating a “magnet” for clients, remember that every good magnet is designed to push away as much as it attracts. 

The question is, how can you use design, pricing, and copy to prevent costly blunders by hopeful clients?

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