Skip to Content
Custom Growth Solutions LLC Change Location
This site uses cookies. By navigating the site, you consent to our use of cookies. Accept

Discouraged by your marketing? Use more pain


If you've been exposed to Sandler for any time, you've probably heard about pain. A core Sandler concept is that you have to sell based on the pain you solve, not based on features and benefits. It's one of our Sandler Rules: No Pain, No Sale.

But are you utilizing pain in your marketing as well? If not, you're missing out.

In sales, you dig for the pain specific to a particular prospect. In some ways, marketing can be more challenging. You need to appeal to a broader audience while also staying focused on your ideal prospect. If your marketing isn't doing that, you may already be fed up—or at least discouraged—by its ineffectiveness.

Two questions

Here are two questions you should ask yourself.

If you're working on your marketing in general, ask this:
What pains and pain indicators do my ideal prospects have in common?

Or, if you're working on marketing a specific product or service:
What pains or pain indicators does this typically take care of?

The answer to those two questions should drive not only what products and services you offer, but your marketing for them as well.


Here are some headlines pulled from marketing materials that utilize pain:

  • Frustrated with the time needed to effectively use social media?
  • Are you struggling to protect your property from the elements?
  • Unsure what financial reports really mean?
  • Worried you are missing your ship dates due to late vendor deliveries?
  • Concerned you're not getting enough information from prospects to help your team?
  • Tired of the lack of communication with your current insurance agent?
  • Overwhelmed with the process of moving to a new home?

And here are some places in your marketing where the concept of pain can and should be used:

  • Postcards
  • Fliers
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Email newsletter subject lines
  • Blog titles

Remember, Sandler Rule #35 applies to marketing, too: If your competition does it, stop doing it right away. If you're frustrated by ineffective marketing, stop using wish-washy language and start using pain!

Bonus Resource

Making this switch in your marketing can be intimidating, especially if you've marketed the old way for a long time. To help with the process, we've made a list available of 78 pain words you can use in your marketing.

Subscribe to Marketing the Sandler Way

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 incest 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. Time is the author of several online marketing books, including "102 Tweets," "Blog a Week," and "Online Marketing Mindshift."