Prevention Is a Tough Sell, But This Isn’t…

Prevention Is a Tough Sell, But This Isn’t…

When you’re in your teens and 20’s, nobody thinks about the effects of tanning.

I remember in college… it was the week before finals and it was nothing to see tons of kids outside dorms trying to catch those early summer rays while cramming for tests.

In the 80’s baby oil with iodine was the quickest way to get that coveted tan… and even better if you covered a piece of thick cardboard with foil to better target the sun’s ray on your face. So essentially you were frying yourself!

And even now, it’s nothing for kids to hit the tanning booths regularly. So are they going to buy a video that warns them about sun damage in attempt to prevent future cancer?

Absolutely not – their parents can’t convince them. Their doctor can’t convince them. And a team of professional copywriters and video producers certainly won’t convince them.

At that age, their mortality isn’t an issue. Having fun is.

But let’s say 30 years later, when they’re told they have stage 1 skin cancer, the only thing on their mind is “How do I cure this?”


When Hurricane Sandy hit the New York and New Jersey shores in 2012, home owners were later faced with the possibility of tough coastal rebuilding laws – either raise your home above the flood plain or face soaring flood insurance costs.

Officials say now is the time to prepare for the future: Sandy will happen again. But many residents don’t believe them and are choosing to take the risk in lieu of costly preventative measures.

As a small business owner, it’s hard to sell prevention. Your prospects don’t especially want to hear what’s good for them.

They want to know how your widget or service can solve their problem NOW.

If you do want to sell ‘prevention’ it’s much easier to sell it as part of a cure rather than try to convince someone who hasn’t experienced the problem yet.


Picture this scenario: You’ve just invested in a new website for your business. You’re probably not thrilled when now asked to invest in a monthly protection plan to keep your website safe from online predators looking for an inroad to wreak havoc on vulnerable websites.

Unless you’ve experienced a crashed website in the middle of a new product launch or a much anticipated vacation…it’s more likely that you’ll take your chances on the bots leaving you alone and attacking your competition’s site instead.

Until the inevitable happens, it’s tough to see the value of a website protection plan now.

And that’s ok – it’s human nature to only make a doctor’s appointment when you have a real problem rather than get those yearly check-ups that we all know we should make.

Joe Polish, carpet-cleaning and marketing expert explains it this way:

He (Joe) insists that however hard you promote the fact that you can kill carpet mites and take toxins and allergens out of your house, the real reason that Suzy Jones calls a carpet cleaner is that she’s got company coming and she doesn’t want her friends to see the spot where Uncle Ned puked.

So you can bet Suzy will have her carpet cleaned before the party, not after.

“After” would actually be prevention for the next party. “Before” is cure for her dilemma right now.

Seize the day!

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