Today we’re going to be discussing a little three-letter word that can help you get to the root of your customer’s problem and speak to that problem in a meaningful way in your marketing materials. That word is:
You know how three year olds constantly ask “why?” about absolutely everything? I know you’ve probably had a conversation or two like this with a little one before:
3 y.o.: Why are there clouds in the sky?
You: Because they are made from moisture in the air that condenses into clouds. *secretly hopes that’s actually right*
3 y.o.: Why?
You: Because there’s a water cycle where water from the ground evaporates and rises back into the sky so it can fall again as precipitation.
3 y.o.: Why?
You: Because the earth needs water. Most of the stuff on earth is made of water so it needs to replenish itself.
3 y.o.: Why?
You: *sweat bead forming on brow* Because….it just does.
But maybe those 3-year-olds are onto something, especially when it comes to our clients! It’s time you start using this tried-and-true technique to help you in your business.
According to Storybrand, our clients have two different types of problems: external problems and internal problems:
External problems are the problems that a client presents as the problem they have to solve (i.e. they need a website), but the thing is people don’t buy solutions to external problems, they buy solutions to internal problems. So as entrepreneurs, we need to tap into both the internal and external problems that our customers are struggling with.
Internal problems are usually associated with feelings your customer is having (i.e. they want a website that’s gorgeous and makes them feel confident about their business so they can go out there and and create new clients). This is why we need to understand what our client’s internal problems are before we will ever be successful in convincing them to invest in us and our services.
Here’s a different example illustrating my point: Imagine you’re a wedding planner and you’re trying to tap into your client’s internal problem. You have to start with their external problem and then dig a little bit to reveal the internal problem hiding below that.
External problem: A bride feels like she needs to have the perfect wedding.
Client: I have to plan an incredible wedding and I have no idea where to start. The whole thing seems so overwhelming to me. Help!
Client: Because there are so many details, so many things to remember, and so much pressure to do it all perfectly.
Client: I want to make sure that I don’t miss anything. I want to have a gorgeous wedding that impresses all of my guests and blows people away.
Client: Because I want both of our families to get along and have an amazing day. I want to feel special and confident that I can throw an amazing wedding because if I can handle planning a beautiful day, then I can handle anything life may throw at us. People will know that I am going to be a great wife!
Your client’s thought process may not always be obvious to you because you are in this industry and solve this problem every day. What you think is common sense, is brand new knowledge to them or it feels really insurmountable and overwhelming. (Remember The Curse of Knowledge? Yea, that’s what I’m talking about when I say that!) So when you speak to those problems in your client you are showing that you understand what their problem is and that you know how to solve it.
So why don’t you take a second to sit down, do the work and see if you can identify your client’s internal and external problems. Once you do that you can begin to brainstorm ways you can start speaking to that in your brand messaging to get those clients hooked!
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