All I Want for Christmas is You

All I Want for Christmas is YouDecember 20, 2021

All I Want for Christmas is You

Mariah Carey wrote “All I Want for Christmas is You” when she was 24 years old. Released in 1994, this song quickly became a holiday standard. By 2017, it had become the 11th best-selling single of all time.

According to the 𝘌𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵, Carey made $60 million in royalties on the song between 1994 and 2016, averaging $2.6 million per year.

Why did this song become so popular and remain so? Maybe one reason is how the word “you” is used.

Two marketing professors recently conducted a study of what makes songs popular, using natural language processing to study lyrics and the commonalties in successful songs. They analyzed some 2,000 songs and looked at the Billboard charts.

What they found was that songs which featured the objective use of the word “you” were more likely to be hits. The objective use of “you” is where “you” is the subject. One example is Whitney Houston’s megahit, “I Will Always Love You.” (A song written, by the way, by Dolly Parton.)

There are important nuances to the findings, but what this study affirms is the idea that as humans, we are hardwired to gravitate toward messaging which is about us. We like to hear others talk about us and our problems. We like to talk about ourselves. If we have an ounce of self-awareness, we know this about ourselves and others.

So when it comes to professional services, clients and prospects glaze over when we talk about our process or certifications or any other language which is couched in us instead of them. Instead, if our focus is on the outcomes they receive from our work, clients lean in. When we talk about them--their problems, concerns, fears, and dreams--the hardwiring they have which craves attention lights up.

When we talk about value, it’s not the value we deliver. It’s the value which clients feel they will receive.

Imagine if Mariah Carey had written a song entitled, “What I Want for Christmas.” You think it would have done as well?

Make it about the client. When you make it about other people, it never goes wrong.

Merry Christmas!


Image created using Craiyon (Formerly DALL-E Mini)

(This blog post was also posted on LinkedIn.)

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me: I help solo or small professional services firm owners with the confidence and positioning necessary to improve their pricing and change the trajectory of not only their business but their life.

I have a podcast called The Price and Value Journey, which features interviews with industry leaders and audio versions of my blog posts. You can find the podcast on your favorite podcast app.

I also have a book coming out in 2023:  The Price and Value Journey: Raise Your Confidence, Your Value, and Your Prices to Grow Your Business Using The Generosity Mindset.

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