I suffer from a hereditary condition called lymphedema. It causes your lymph nodes fail to extract wastes and water from your body. A few months ago I was reading a marketing white paper targeting the pain points of the affliction. When I finished reading, I immediately purchased a product designed to help.
As I sat back in my desk chair, it occurred to me that this white paper had just separated me from my hard earned dollar. Their empathy was so remarkable that I neglected to do my due diligence, reading customer reviews and looking for competing products and prices.
This is when I began to appreciate the strong affect that empathy can have on a marketing situation. This company made a strong connection with me because they demonstrated that they understood my pain. They expressed their understanding using emotionally stimulating verbiage. Well done, marketing department! Mission accomplished!
Why Does Empathy Work?
We are so used to being sold that we have our guards up, ready to repel sales pitches. Coming in the back door, showing a genuine concern about their pain points isn’t really expected. Demonstrating that you understand their business and their problems ingratiates you and builds trust. You can build a common ground with that contact who has missed all his kid’s ball games this summer due to working late. Solving that problem will almost make you his hero.
How to Learn Your Targets Pain Points
I have long been an advocate of building a strong partnership with sales. After all, you do both work for the same company and share a common goal of increasing revenue. This is one of those times that the partnership can help you as a marketer. No one knows your potential customers the way sales knows them.
Sitting down individually with the reps will only take a few minutes of their time. Know what you want to ask in advance. Make sure the rep understands that their answers could generate more qualified leads, making their jobs easier. I am sure they will have some great stories to tell. If they draw a blank, ask them to make a few phone calls to their contacts. Learn what their biggest problems are and how it affects them personally.
This is crucial for getting into the mindset of your audience. To get people emotionally involved in your stories, you need to take into account their perspectives. This is the foundation of building empathy. You must get into the shoes of your audience and really understand their perspective.
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