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Marketing like the medical industry—with pain


The key to making a sale is uncovering pain. If you can discover your prospect's pain and help with that pain, you're much more likely to make a sale.

In Sandler terminology, "pain" really refers to any compelling emotional reason to do business together. It can be a pain in the future, pain in the present, pleasure in the future, or pleasure in the present.

A cup of coffee is usually a pleasure in the present. Insurance, on the other hand, typically solves pain in the future.

There are three levels of pain to look for:

  1. Surface Pains (a.k.a. symptoms)
  2. Causes
  3. Personal Impact

In sales interactions, you can ask questions to dig deeper and deeper until you get to the impact the problem has on an individual on a personal level.

But in most marketing, you don't get to drill down that deeply on an individual basis. Regardless, it can still be powerful to appeal to all three levels of pain in your marketing. So how can you do that without asking questions?

The most powerful marketing appeals to the most frequently occurring pains across all three levels.

Think about how medicine is often marketing. Good marketing for medicine talks about the symptoms you may be experiencing, what could be causing them, and how the medicine might make a difference in your personal life.

There are not a lot of absolutes in there, right? That's because you probably still need to see a doctor! A trained medical professional will actually determine if the medicine's right for you.

All your marketing should be doing is starting a conversation. It should appeal to your ideal prospect, but you're not prescribing a solution. Don't talk in absolutes. Tell them your solution might be right for them.

Once you're actually having the conversation, you can see if your solution will solve their pain or not.

So the next time you're putting together marketing material, ask yourself if it's speaking to multiple levels of pain. It will be a lot more powerful if it is.

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About the Authors

Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall

Sandler of Oklahoma

Mike Crandall is a Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Trainer focused on Sales, Management, and Leadership Development.

He's also the owner of Sandler Oklahoma, a world leader in innovative sales, management, and leadership training. They offer consulting, coaching, and training for individuals and organizations serious about professional development and growth.

Mike is the author of "Motivational Management The Sandler Way" and has written a sales column for several years.

Tim Priebe

Tim Priebe

T&S Online Marketing

Tim Priebe is a public speaker, author, columnist, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim’s company helps with websites, social media, blogging, email newsletters, Google rankings, and online video. Tim is the author of several online marketing books, including "102 Tweets," "Blog a Week," and "Online Marketing Mindshift."