Focus on the clients’ problems, not your solutions

Do you talk about the core problem your offering helps people solve in your marketing materials?

Or do you just write about the individual services you provide?

When it comes to selling services, many consultants and experts often overlook the importance of addressing the target audience’s problems and pain points before pitching their solutions.

In this tip, I explain why this is something to avoid.

Meet potential clients where they are, not where you are

It’s common for service providers to write marketing messaging from their own perspective instead of the potential clients’ perspective.

Yet, although solutions to client problems are obvious to you, the vast majority of people don't have your level of expertise – so it’s important to meet people where they are.

This idea is known as the curse of knowledge.

We as service providers have a tendency to downplay our expertise and assume people understand the ins and outs of our service offerings – but this is rarely the case.

When you think about this, it makes sense – we have spent so long studying the solutions to client problems that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a beginner.

And the truth is, most clients are beginners.

To expand on this idea, not only are potential clients unaware of the solutions available to them, some of them may not even be aware they have a problem in the first place.

This leads on to my next point.

Consider the symptoms that signal problems

You can dig even deeper into your target audience’s problems and consider the symptoms they are experiencing that indicate they do in fact have a problem.

To give you an example, here is what this could look like for a social media consultant:

Target audience’s problem: the social media content they’re posting isn’t resonating with their followers.

Symptom of the problem: their posts are getting little interaction in terms of likes, comments, and shares.

Do you see how it’s easier for a person to recognise they have a symptom rather than a problem?

This is why it’s important to talk about symptoms in your messaging – they speak directly to the clients’ specific situation.

And by showing that you clearly understand the target audience’s symptoms, it gives you permission to talk about your solutions.

Your solution comes last

The bottom line is that expert business owners are putting more emphasis on selling their solutions without first addressing the problem or symptoms their audience is experiencing.

This is a common mistake but if you solely focus on your perspective in your messaging, you are talking about a subject your potential clients have no interest in.

So instead, we must put ourselves in the shoes of our target audience and start our marketing communications by discussing their problems and symptoms.

The reason for this is because it's hard to create demand out of thin air. It's much easier to hone in on an existing desire. It's your job to bridge the gap between their problem and your solution.

Conclusion and action point

The key takeaway here is to view everything through the eyes of a potential client and flip the perspective of your messaging.

Only then do you stand a chance of cutting through the noise and attracting their attention.

Your action point for today is to pretend you know nothing about your business and read through your marketing materials as if you were a novice in your domain.

As you review your messaging, are you talking about your offering in ways that are interesting and inviting to potential clients? Or is everything framed from your own perspective?