A few years ago, I found myself in some pretty serious pain. The kind of pain that was interfering with work and sleep. A bunch of doctor’s visits and medical tests later, we determined I needed some abdominal surgery. Now, let me back up a bit and mention that, up to this point, I had never had surgery or stitches. The most serious medical issue I had up to that point was a broken toe. They taped it for a couple of weeks and I wore open toed shoes. No big deal.
So the prospect of major surgery should have scared me witless. When my surgeon came in for the pre-surgical consult, she asked me if I was nervous. But I wasn’t. I was actually looking forward to general anesthesia, hospitalization, and a 6 week recovery.
I was in so much pain at that point that I was desperate for relief. And surgery was guaranteed to provide that relief. So I was eager to go under the knife. I didn’t care what specific techniques or tools she was going to use. It didn’t make any difference to me as long as I got the desired result. Whether she preferred staples or sutures, what size scalpel she likes, how many assistants she needed – these were details that I didn’t need to know and wasn’t actually interested in. They were simply the means to the desired end.
An end to my pain.
Not to spoil the ending, but I survived the surgery and recovery and all is well. I still remember practically begging my surgeon to quit talking and start operating. And I’m no longer in pain.
So why the long, personal story? It’s to make a point:
Your customers don’t really care how you do what you do, they only care about the end result.
You can end their pain.
So quit telling them about the tools and techniques. They don’t care. Talk about their pain.
But how do you find their pain? Listen to them. Customers will tell you what is bothering them. They will use emotional words. Words like:
- I’m worried that
- I’m afraid of
- This has been bothering me
- This frustrates me
Now that you have your customer’s pain, you need to listen for its impact. How is it affecting their life or business? Listen for things like:
- I can’t
- I used to be able to
- I’ve had to change
Now I want you to echo that back on your website.
“Are you worried that your back pain will keep you from enjoying your summer vacation?”
“Frustrated that slow internet speeds will cost you business?”
“Have you had to quit going for evening walks because of that nagging knee pain?”
You are using their language to talk to them about their issue. This is how you talk about your product or service. This is the kind of writing that website visitors will connect with. This is what will show that you understand their problem and how important it is. This is what will convince them to contact you.
The next time you are talking to a customer, I want you to write down the emotion words they use to describe their issues and how it impacts their life or business.
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