Pain and Gain

Know Their Pain and Gain

Problogger published a podcast describing a technique to write better sales copy. While aimed at copywriters and bloggers, their technique has obvious uses in nearly every aspect of our communication with others. Of course, every communication involves selling something, even an idea, to someone. 

The key takeaway is to know your clients’ / listeners’ / readers’ pain and know their gain. Then offer pain relief or gain creation.

The podcast recommends, as a first step, spending two minutes brainstorming the possible pains they may be experiencing. It does not have to be physical pain. The pain can be emotional or mental. It may be financial. It may be fear. It may be a lack of knowledge or a lack of skill. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. Be as specific as you can.

The next step is to spend two minutes brainstorming their desired gains. Some of these may be related to the pains, but there may be others beyond the pain list. For example, the pains may be related to survival needs, but the gains may relate to recognition or self-actualization.

After completing these steps, brainstorm ways that you can offer pain relief or create gain. Don’t jump ahead to this step. [Have you ever noticed that we try to skip the first step of every process?]

This idea triggered a storm of  potential uses:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Board Presentations
  • Employee Conversations
  • Networking
  • Product Design
  • Family Conversations
  • Neighborhood Over-the-Fence meetings
  • Moving Mom to better care
  • Lobbying  Your Congressman
  • Donor Thank You Calls, etc

Can you think of other places this technique applies?
[Hint: it’s everywhere]