I recently noticed an area between two teeth that needs flossing after I eat certain foods.
My first thought was that I better go to the dentist soon to see if it needs attention. But the funny thing is, I now find myself flossing all my teeth daily instead of randomly each week.
This has to be a net benefit, right?
Either way, I’m now taking action on the problem and considering further action in the near future (going to the dentist).
Pain and discomfort is a funny thing.
They motivate you to take action better than almost anything else. Without sufficient quantities of them, it’s easy to let things slide or put them off indefinitely.
The relevant lesson here is that people don’t hire consultants without some form of pain or discomfort going on.
It could be a downward revenue trend, an income plateau, or a lack of confidence in making a strategic change in their business—or any other number of examples.
If you’re purely selling “get more customers” to your clients, you might be missing the underlying motivation your potential clients really have, which is pain removal.
People value specificity—especially when it comes to solving their pains. They don’t notice the generic marketing language we all use.
But they will recognize their own pains and discomforts when they see them articulated in language they relate to.
“Worried your teeth will fall out one day?” works a lot better than “Create a healthy, happy smile.”
When you understand the true underlying pains of your ideal clients, you’re able to speak to them better than the generic “build a better marketing engine” messaging we all use.
Specific identification of pain is what gets people’s attention. And that’s where research and thoughtful analysis comes into play.
The person who can articulate the pain of another in better words than they can themselves is much more likely to be able to solve that problem.
Your clients instinctively know that.
Talk about those pains. Isolate them in your messaging. Show them there’s a way out of it—and how you’ve done it for other people before.
It’s not manipulative, it’s empathetic.
It’s about speaking the language of the people most likely to hire you using real examples of the pains and discomforts you solve.
Examples of this kind of messaging might include:
- Worried about your recent declining revenues?
- Is the competition eating your breakfast?
- Are investors breathing down your neck for better performance?
- Ever feel like it could all go away tomorrow?
- Tired of trading hours for dollars?
- Feeling overwhelmed in your business?
- Unsure about what to do next?
- Tired of grinding out deadlines on a deadline?
The nuanced language and specificity you use to call out the context along with the pain or discomfort of your ideal clients’ situation is what gets people’s attention.
So while everyone is talking about helping companies achieve mega growth and scale, help your clients see your value to them by articulating the underlying pains they’re experiencing.
They may be financial in nature or something less tangible, such as a lack of confidence or uncertainty. Probably a combination of both and a variety of other things you’re not considering.
Remember that “what is most personal is also universal”. One client’s pain is likely held by many more like them.
Study your clients. Analyze their underlying motivations for hiring you. Put that in your content, copy, and messaging to better resonate with (and attract) more clients like them.
The better understood your clients feel, the more likely they are to hire you. It takes effort, time, research, and introspection.
That’s the hard work that separates the rainmakers from the survivalists.
P.S. This letter is sponsored, as usual, by Mindshare.