Putting the Problem First Makes Your
Solutions Appear More Enjoyable
Thank God for DVRs. Not only can
we store all our favorite programs and
view them at our convenience, but we
can also skip past all those annoying
commercials. Awesome, right? Not so
fast. Commercials can be a nuisance, but
if you’re smart and pay attention, they
can also teach you some valuable lessons.
After all, commercials are designed to do
one thing: sell.
Advertisers have gobs of research
around what tempts us and motivates us
to buy, and it’s pretty fascinating–all the
different things that govern our buying
decisions. At its core, advertising is based
in large part on two powerful forces that
drive every human being: the desire for
pleasure and the desire to avoid pain.
Therefore, advertisements are geared to
promote pleasurable associations like convenience, relaxation, love, and
security; they are also chock full of painful associations like frustration,
fear, and loss.
A simple formula of many ads is to exaggerate the pain of your
problems, so their solutions will appear more pleasurable as a result. For
a great example, look no further than commercials for laundry detergent.
Typically they begin with some hapless homemaker whose entire family
seems constantly slathered in everything from mustard to motor oil. Only
after they’ve shown the litany of stains–and the associated misery for the
homemaker–do they unveil the miracle solution: their detergent.
This is a great lesson to consider when presenting system solutions to
your clients. Many integrators, when proposing ideas for a new system,
focus their attention almost entirely on the pleasurable contributions the
system will make to the customer’s lifestyle–how it will add convenience,
security, entertainment, and more. But as appealing as these feelings are,
they can be even more potent when presented in stark contrast to the
“pain” the customer is currently experiencing. This is the part that too
many integrators glance over too briefly, or overlook entirely.
What Hurts Your Client Most?
To give your presentations more teeth, take a page from the advertiser’s
playbook and spend more time focusing closely on the pain first. During a
consultation, start by asking questions that uncover problematic situations;
then poke the stick deeper and ask more questions geared toward the
consequences that stem from those problems. This will help foster negative
associations toward the customer’s present setup, and better set the stage
for the positive solutions your system offers.
|A simple formula of many ads is to exaggerate the pain of your problems first, so their solutions will appear more pleasurable as a result.
For example some integrators, when proposing a front door camera,
might simply ask, “Would you like a camera for the front door, so you can
see who’s there before answering?” This sounds convenient and may sell
the camera; however, it’s only aimed at the pleasurable benefits associated
with the camera.
To better illuminate the potential pain or frustration that the camera
may alleviate–and thus make the benefits even more desirable–consider
these four questions:
1) “Your office is in the back of the house…that’s a pretty good
distance from the front door, isn’t it?”
2) “What happens when the doorbell rings while you’re
3) “Is it pretty frustrating when you drop everything to answer
the door, only to find you didn’t need to?”
4) “How convenient would it be to immediately see who’s at
the door every time the doorbell rings?”
You’ll find this formula works great for virtually any element of the
system you’re proposing.
Customer consultations should be enjoyable, positive experiences,
and the products you offer represent a lot of positive associations and
experiences. But don’t be afraid to
learn from the experts and focus
real energy on some of the pain
in your customer’s lives–it’ll make
what you have to offer even more
appealing, and will help you sell