How A Polarizing Point Of View Can Be Better Than Conformity

March 14, 2018 9:45 am


How A Polarizing Point Of View Can Be Better Than Conformity

A polarizing point of view will resonate with your target clients but might offend others.

It separates your market into believers and non-believers…”

Jay Abraham

In many professions and service areas, adopting a polarizing point of view is tantamount to breaking an industry rule. Driven by conformity and consensus, established leaders in their fields invariably object to others who separate themselves from the norm and stand out from the crowd.

From a marketing perspective, there is nothing wrong with a polarizing point of view. At the very least, such a point of view will help distinguish you from look-alike competitors in a crowded marketplace. It’s worth noting that polarized  does not necessarily imply two opposite opinions, it implies two different opinions.

In addition to the ability to distinguish you and your business from all others, a polarizing viewpoint offers significant marketing benefits.

Build A Loyal Following

Resonating with your target market, a polarizing point of view is the magic ingredient that helps attract and retain like-minded clients.

It’s like what happens when the comments of a really good speaker make you feel that he or she is reading your mind. Instead of hearing a rehash of the same-old tired ideas, the speaker strikes a common chord. There is a commonality that makes you say “Yes!! Exactly what I’m thinking!”

Unintentionally, it was a polarizing point of view that was the catalyst for starting my own law practice. As an employee of a small law firm, among other frustrations, I was unhappy with the quality of legal services available to small businesses. This concern combined with increasing irritation with my stuck-in-the-past boss, led to starting my own practice, with the stated purpose of focusing on small business legal needs.

Not surprisingly, the other lawyers in the area were unimpressed, finding my initiative offensive to say the least.

Happily, my target clients–owners of small businesses, including self-employed service providers– welcomed my focused approach.

Starting from a few local believers, my client base grew to include many target and ideal clients from three surrounding counties.

Again not surprisingly, as non-believers, the local lawyers remained unimpressed.

A Polarizing Point of View Can Denounce Value-Cheaters

As well as the expected reaction of local lawyers, my polarizing point of view generated an unforeseen side effect. Working as I was in a small community, my approach to legal services for small business caught the attention of local service clubs and chambers of commerce. Ever on the look-out for speakers, these organizations began inviting me to speak about small business legal matters.

Passionate about adult education, I eagerly accepted these invitations. What a great opportunity to help owners learn more about the legal aspects of running their businesses.

Among other factors, I wanted the small business community to understand which legal aspects they could handle themselves and how to do them. Conversely, I also wanted them to recognize when they absolutely needed a lawyer’s help. I also wanted them to learn how to help their lawyers produce the best possible outcome.

Consistently, my small business audiences loved my presentations; equally consistently local lawyers claimed I was damaging their practices, encouraging clients to do their own legal work.

In my mind, I was adding value to legal support of small businesses. In many cases, reasonably intelligent owners of small businesses could perform their own routine legal requirements better, cheaper and faster than lawyers. And when a lawyer’s assistance was required, the clients would be better informed about legal requirements, making it easier for lawyers to achieve the best possible outcome.

In discussing a polarizing point of view, Jay Abraham explains that it includes “…the denunciation of companies and practices in your market that are cheating your customers out of the value they should expect.”

Now having recognized that phenomenon, it seems that my presentations about small business legal matters included an implicit denunciation of how local lawyers were cheating clients out of the value they should have expected.

Resonate With Target Clients … Or Avoid Offending Others?

Running a business, regardless of its size or nature, includes making a wide range of difficult and challenging decisions.

The issue of taking a polarizing point of view is one such decision.

From my experience, a polarizing position can and does resonate with target clients. But as noted, it’s not risk-free. Invariably, polarizing positions also offend others.

In my mind, resonating with target clients offers sufficient value to offset the discomfort of offending others. In other words, connecting with like-minded and ideal clients is more important than not offending others, who may … or probably won’t … contribute to my business.

What about you?

Are you prepared to take a polarizing point of view that resonates with target clients … but risks offending others? Why or why not?

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