There’s this phenomenon I see quite often with marketers…
My good friend Bill has often called it “We’re So Bitchen” Syndrome.
It’s when a business owner (or top management in a corporation) is so focused on how amazing their product or service is that they don’t step outside of it for a moment to see what perils may befall it in the marketplace.
And today, because I’m in a teaching sorta mood, I want to discuss briefly one such pitfall as it relates to (wait for it…)
*Cue shocked look*
Specifically, I’m going to share with you how to approach your advertising with Customer Goggles on— so you can see how your business looks from her perspective, and help HER see your business as the solution to exactly what she wants and needs.
Because you ARE pretty bitchen, yes?
**NOTE: For the purposes of this article, ‘advertisting’ means ANY customer communication— such as any social media post, website copy, or email— because it should all be working toward the same goal.
Okay, so what do most people do when they craft an ad?
Often they ask themselves, What should I say?
Not a terribly effective question.
And it’s almost just as often followed by the statement, I have no idea what to say.
*Cue deflating balloon sound.*
(Followed by sophomoric chuckle.)
Fortunately, there’s a better way.
Rather than crafting an ad by digging around in your OWN thoughts for something to say, a much more effective method is to begin with your customer’s thoughts.
Specifically, the 3 thoughts that will prevent her from getting the help she needs by purchasing your totally bitchen product or service.
Thought #1 // “This is what’s bothering me.”
You have to get familiar with the customer’s psychology around your product or service.
- What is it that bugs her, that you can help her solve?
- What is it that keeps her up nights worrying, that you can help her get rid of?
- What’s broken and needs fixing?
Now if you know me at all, you know I don’t really believe that ultimately ANYTHING is ‘broken’— but my ego sure does step in to disagree quite often.
In other words, I’m human.
Which means that on a regular basis I’m quite convinced that things need fixing, from my waistline to my shoe collection to my pile of desktop papers.
And your customer is just the same. She can always find something she’d like to see improved or transformed in her life.
And this is where you want to begin.
Create a list of everything she wants or needs that she doesn’t currently have.
And then climb inside her mind AGAIN, because the next thought on it is:
Thought #2 // “This is what I don’t want to admit about it.”
Now this is where it gets really juicy— because if you’re reading this then I KNOW you’re all about using marketing principles for good and not evil.
And I KNOW you’re out to make a difference in people’s lives— not just sell ‘em a SUPER DUPER WIDGET™ and move on.
And when you start to examine the things-she-thinks-but-does-not-say, you start to get to the heart of where true change occurs.
Fact: if someone claims they want something yet they don’t have it, it’s because they’re still getting something out of NOT having it.
They’re blocked from the receiving of it by a thought or belief, which may be so deeply rooted that it’s almost imperceptible to them, but which nonetheless creates a tremendous amount of resistance.
As a marketer, if YOU can pinpoint this resistance and bring it to light, you’ll be the Holy Grail of customer transformation.
Meaning— you’ll be THE answer she’s searched high and low for. The thing that finally solves her problem, meets her need, or gets her out of the massive pain she’s in.
(And how cool is it to help someone get out of massive pain?! I mean, SERIOUSLY.)
But even when you’ve clearly addressed the hidden, underlying resistance and shown your customer just how she can ultimately benefit from your offering, most of the time you’ll still be met with:
Thought #3 // “I don’t really want to fix it.”
How is that possible?
Here is this person in a great deal of pain or frustration, or even just discomfort— and when handed a valuable solution in exchange for a fair price…
She’s like, No thanks. I’ll stay miserable.
But yes, that’s how we humans operate.
As I teach in The Honeygirl Customer Attraction Method, your REAL competition lies within your customer herself.
We humans are notoriously horrible at fixing our problems.
When someone comes along with a solution, we can actually feel a little irritated that they’ve given us a renewed sense of hope.
We thought our issue was unsolvable!
And now here you are telling us you can solve it for us?
What are we to do? Should we trust you? Will it be worth handing over our money to find out?
The psychological complexities of this particular thought process are far too profound to cover in detail here.
The important thing for you to remember is:
Always assume your prospect does NOT want to buy what you’re selling.
I know that sounds kinda harsh (and it may not be true 100% of the time) but if you approach your advertising from that standpoint…
Then you’ll take the time necessary to ferret out those objections she’s clinging to and demonstrate that what you offer is even more valuable than the money she’ll exchange in return.
Okay, let’s pull it together with an example.
You’re a personal trainer, and a prospective client says she wants to get in shape.
So, okay— what’s bugging her is that she dislikes looking at herself in the mirror naked.
She dreads any activity that might require her to wear a sleeveless dress, shorts, or a swimsuit.
She hates the feeling of flab jiggling around her waist when she walks.
She really, really wants to get fit.
She wants to feel tight and toned, to admire her reflection in the mirror, and to be able to easily slip her favorite pair of sexy jeans over her hips.
But she’s resistant.
She’s worried that she’ll become boring if she starts taking care of herself.
That she won’t have time for her work and family anymore if she carves out time for workouts.
That she’ll spend all this time working on her fitness and end up looking bulky.
That if she starts looking at her diet and changing her habits, she’ll end up taking the lonely Detour of Deprivation while all her friends will be riding high on the Indulgence Interstate.
That the workouts will actually work, (and I know this one might seem nuts but it is SO valid) and she’ll get too skinny for her clothes and have to buy a whole new wardrobe, and how much will THAT cost?
And these are just a few areas of potential resistance. There could be LOTS more.
(When you start looking at it through this lens you can see that your job as a marketer is MUCH more than just ‘sell a product’— it can be ‘transform an entire belief system’!)
In order to address all this resistance it’s important to paint a picture of the customer’s ULTIMATE benefit from working with you.
To give just ONE example (for the sake of brevity here)— perhaps you have a specific method of tracking your clients’ measurements that assures she reaches her target goal and doesn’t go TOO far— thereby relieving her of the fear of being too skinny for her wardrobe.
Is it making sense how this works?
(Just checking, ‘cause I can get pretty geeked out on this stuff…)
Okay, so now you’ve addressed the problem, uncovered the hidden resistance— and now it’s time to look at objections to taking action.
Those might include:
I can just do it myself using the workout I saw in Shape magazine last week.
I don’t have the money.
Has it ever worked for other people who are just like me?
I’m not sure I can trust this trainer— where did she receive her certification?
I hate waking up early for workouts.
And on and on.
And for each possible objection (and remember, assume she has a LOT of objections!) you can come up with at least one alternative to that objection.
And here’s where it gets really interesting.
If you find that your product or service needs some tweaking after you’ve walked yourself through this entire process— it’s not too late to do something about it!
You see, marketing is NOT something you tack on at the end of product development.
When done right, marketing is a living, breathing part of your entire product lifecycle.
Okay, that’s it for today, fearless marketing genius.
Be sure to take ACTION on what you just read.
Take out a sheet of paper and jot down your customer’s thoughts around your particular product or service and how YOUR bitchen work addresses each of them.
Your customers are depending on you to change their lives. :)