“From a marketing course I learned how to write my copy by using the hook-story-close model. The teacher showed how important it is to write to ‘the pain of my client’ in the hook part, and that I should even exaggerate the pain, make it like my client is in a dangerous situation (e.g. if you don’t act now, you’ll suffer dire consequences). The idea behind this is ‘The bigger the pain, the quicker the client will buy from you.’” — anonymous newsletter subscriber.
Sadly, this kind of mercenary marketing advice is too common.
Most of us heart-based people don’t enjoy this feeling of transactional marketing. We don’t want to create more negativity in the world.
And, we don’t want to possibly re-traumatize our potential clients.
Why do we need to hook and close people so quickly? What about developing a relationship?
If we think that instant-closing is the only way — to sell to the pain points of our clients — we might even want to give up on marketing altogether…
So what’s the alternative? Consider this:
Instead of pain points… what if we sell to the client’s joy points?
…or their relief points?
…or their gratitude points?
I’ll say more about this later.
First of all, it’s actually good to gently mention their struggle — but not as a way to make them buy from you — but more like a caring doctor might very lightly tap on a painful part of your body to make sure she is diagnosing the problem correctly, and thereby able to provide you the right therapy.
(You don’t want her giving you therapy for a non-issue!)
So, yes it’s good to make sure that you and the client are on the same page. Do you understand the actual problem they want solved? That is the only reason to gently touch on any pain points.
Then for the rest of your marketing copy (or conversation) focus on what’s possible for them if they diligently use your service or product as intended.
What kind of transformation would bring them joy?
What kind of result would bring them gratitude?
What kind of relief might they experience?
What is possible for them — and likely to happen — by using your service/product?
To be clear, we are not guaranteeing results. No one can do that.
What we are saying is that if they have the problem we’ve gently confirmed, then we have designed a service or product that is intended to produce a specific result.
We cannot promise the result, but we can promise that we’re being honest about our background and credibility, and we’re telling the truth about how the product or service was designed, and what kind of result it is meant to achieve.
We can promise our care for them, because we can surely deliver on that.
And if they are the right client, and they work well with us, then they are likely to be better off, than before they found us. They are likely to agree that the money was well spent.
In short, we can promise value, but not that they will be pain-free.
When clients see that we care, and that we are honest, we will stand out among all the others who are promising them the moon and the stars.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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