A Better Way To Communicate Your Marketing Promise

An alternative to focusing on pain.

Communicating what you do and what's in it for your prospects is important. You can run thousands of ads, send personalized hand-written notes, or even get introduced by a common colleague. If you are not worthy of your audience's interest, they will immediately ignore any initiative to build awareness.

If you're having trouble doing it, you should review your marketing strategy. This is one of the jobs of your positioning plan.

If you look at any classic marketing and sales book, you will find the common advice is to discover and focus on your "customer's pain". This is an effective recommendation for consulting firms.

But there's even a better way: to focus on conflict.

Your prospects always have a conflict. If there was no conflict, there would be no pain. And if they have no pain, they already achieved all their goals and have no reason to be talking to you in the first place.

Conflict is always there because selling is about engaging in the process of change.

Many of your dream clients don't really want to change. They want better results, but sometimes they don't want to do what is required to produce those results - even when they recognize this is a problem worth solving. And that is where you will find the conflict.

Here are some examples of value proposition statements for the same consulting firm, but with a different focus point:

  • Pain-focused: "We work with B2B Healthcare companies who are struggling to deal with private patient data."
  • Aspirational: "We help B2B Healthcare companies to streamline activities and reduce IT costs."
  • Conflict-focused: "We work with B2B Healthcare companies who want to reduce IT costs without HIPAA compliant issues."

In this example, prospects know that streamlining any initiative that deals with private patient data is likely to see huge issues with HIPAA regulations (specific legislation in the healthcare industry). That's the conflict.

When you call it out in your proposition, you get them to immediately nod their heads in agreement. You are resolving the conflict. And, by consequence, generating a huge interest by getting them to wonder, "How?"

Highlighting pain and clearly stating the conflict will improve not only your value proposition, but all of your marketing and sales collateral. Go check yours.

Do you use this technique yourself? If not, how can you implement it?

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