What is Your Prospect's Problem?

by Jody Gabourie - Date: 2008-07-25 - Word Count: 584 Share This!

Once you have identified your target or niche market, the next step is to determine what their unmet needs or wants are - in other words, their problems.

You need to answer this question in order to write your marketing message but also for the good of your business. If you don't know what people need, then how will you figure out what solutions your products and services can provide? If you can't figure that out, then you're not much use to your prospective customers!

The secret to crafting a compelling marketing message that makes your potential clients sit up and take notice is to clearly identify the problems they are facing. People are living in, thinking about and immersed in their problems. If you can articulate their problem clearly and demonstrate that you do understand what they're going through, you'll grab their attention immediately. How do you determine what their problem is?

To isolate the key problems or issues your target group is grappling with, you need to get inside their heads. There are basically two ways to accomplish this:

1) ask your prospects and clients

2) do some research

To get feedback from your current and potential clients, you can do some of the following:

* ask questions on your blog

* have a question page on your website

* set up a specific email address for people to send in questions

* do a survey - online, at the end of a presentation/talk/workshop, via telephone, form at a tradeshow, etc.

* gather information from your website contact page

You can also spend some time researching the people in your target group. Find out what they're "saying" in the following ways:

* read competitors newsletters, articles and blogs - see what problems they are discussing or touting solutions to

* eavesdrop on online forums that are made up of your target group - What are they seeking answers for most often?

* read magazines, newspapers and industry publications that cater to your target/niche market - What is their content focusing on? Any surveys or studies they've conducted?

Another way is to spend some time thinking about when you've been in the same situation as your target group or niche market. Ask yourself what were the main things that bothered you and what kind of feelings and emotions did you feel as a result of your problems.

The majority of prospects and customers think from a "problems" point of view, while the rest see things from an "opportunities" viewpoint. Keep in mind that an issue or a problem is not always negative. They could have a need or desire you can fill. Although, a desire or need usually has a problem at the heart of it.

You can use both in your marketing materials - opportunities are simply the flip side of the problem.

For example:

Problem vs Opportunity:

inefficient processes vs efficient processes; low profitability vs increased profitability; lagging behind in technology vs technology leader; losing employees vs retaining employees; ineffective communication vs effective communication; not enough clients vs more clients; ineffective management systems vs effective management systems.

Another important aspect to look at when you're trying to identify the problem is to listen for the emotions people are experiencing as a result of having the problem. Are they feeling frustrated, angry, hopeless, tired, overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, annoyed, etc.

It's important to be aware of these emotions because you can use them as trigger words in your marketing copy or marketing message.

It's all part of understanding your prospects and clients and being able to communicate with them using words and phrases that catch their attention and sum up how they're feeling.

Related Tags: marketing, business, client, marketing strategies, niche market, marketing systems, marketing tips, target group, marketing message, marketing solutions, marketing basics

Jody Gabourie, The Small Business Marketing Coach, teaches simple, innovative and powerful marketing strategies to help business owners find and keep their most profitable clients. To learn more about how she can help you take your business to the next level, and to sign up for her FREE special report, ezine and articles, visit her site at http://www.JodyGabourieMarketingCoach.com

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