You Had Me At Hello!

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 03/29/21 •  2 min read

Emotional Impact

I was joking with a roofing salesperson by text about a big hail storm they had in Hawaii.

He said some of the worst hit areas were the million dollar homes. He sent me a picture of the hail damage and said, “…all we would need is sun block, a scooter, and a telescope ladder.”

I texted him back, “You had me at Hello!”

Beautiful Hawaii

I’ve never been to Hawaii. I’ve heard stories about how beautiful it is. I’ve heard people all my life tell their favorite stories about when they went to Hawaii.

Shoot, I even watch “Dog The Bounty Hunter” on TV because I love to catch glimpses of the island… and I think Dog is super cool.

What’s the point?

Cleveland vs Hawaii

The point is that simple words, like “Hawaii,” have a deep psychological impact on people. The same is true of images, impressions and illustrations.

Consider this…

When I say, “Cleveland”, what comes to your mind? Is it good, bad or neutral? Does the word “Cleveland” evoke any powerful emotions in you? Do you feel anything at all?

Have you ever even been to “Cleveland”?

Now, compare those feelings to what you feel when I say, “Hawaii”.

Notice any differences?

While “Cleveland” and “Hawaii” may be universally accepted as polar opposites in terms of the emotions they evoke, not every choice of words is that easy to differentiate.

That’s because words and images evoke different emotions in different people based on their unique life experiences.

If you’ve ever struggled working a hail storm out of town, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Because you don’t look right or talk just right, you throw your prospects off just enough to keep them from trusting you.

In the movie scene that made this line famous, Jerry Maguire returns to a house crowded with women wanting to share the happiest moment of his life with his wife. Not seeing her, he calls out through the busy room “Hello?”… and that’s all it took!

One word. That’s all it takes sometimes.

If you’re struggling to connect with your prospects, think about Hawaii.

More specifically, think about the words, images and impressions that make them think about their Hawaii… otherwise, you might be selling them Cleveland.

Who wants to buy Cleveland?



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Mike Coday

Mike started selling roofs in '95 while working as a youth pastor at a small church in North Texas. A decade later he transitioned to speaking at industry conferences and training outside sales teams. Today, he works exclusively as the premier consultant to roofing company owners who are driven for growth.