What do people HATE about the industry you’re in?
You know, the thing that drives them nuts?
That’s this month’s Clarity Question to help you sell unique – and the answer will help you connect more deeply with your audience.
First up, I know – hate’s a strong word…
But c’mon, we all have a little hate in us… it’s healthy!
(No sir, I am not a doctor.)
Personally, I try to avoid getting all negative and complainy about things I can’t change…
These days at least, I’m kind of an optimist.
Generally, I like to adopt a zen-like, ‘Big Lebowski’-esque, live-and-let-live approach to things, to see the best in people, relax (man), try not to sweat the small stuff etc.
Because there’s also my inner Larry David.
(You know, the uptight bald guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm.)
And Larry sees things differently…
Sometimes my Inner Larry sneaks out when my Outer Lebowski isn’t looking (distracted by Creedence, a beverage, or bowling) and starts picking at a thread that irritates him…
Some minor incident or perceived slight from a person, or an organisation, or even an inanimate object – that’s like a red rag to Inner Larry’s sacred value system.
Like when somebody walks in circles in a narrow corridor while they’re on the phone (UTTER MADNESS)…
Or an inexplicable yet temporary error in some software I’m using, that causes me an extra few seconds of work (THE HORROR)…
Or just the rigid, suffocating anti-logic of German bureaucracy (in which I’m currently knee-deep).
Next thing you know, Inner Larry’s escaped and in charge, and all my “c’est la vie” is replaced with sarcasm…
Soon, the pedantic griping and one-upmanship takes over, and my previously easy-going, robe-wearing ‘El Duderino’ persona can only watch helplessly, as Inner Larry rants up a storm.
This transformation happens about twice a week, lasts no more than an hour (thank God) before normality resumes and “The Dude abides” once more.
That’s why, if my life was a TV show, it’d be called:
‘Curb Your Lebowski-ism’
Paying attention to this Larry David-esque frustration, irritation, exasperation and pure unfettered hatred can be valuable…
At least, when it comes from your potential customers.
Because when you understand exactly what has them tearing their hair out with rage, you can appeal to their Inner Larry and draw them over to your side.
Your goal is to become a kind of Larry-Whisperer, painting a distinct picture of your ideal customer’s irritations, and creating empathy.
You might sell a WordPress plugin that removes the need for constantly re-formatting text when creating a new post…
That’s when you should remind your prospects of that annoying moment when they hit publish, only to be faced with an unholy mess of random double-spacing, mixed-up fonts and all-over-the-damn-place justified text.
Or maybe you ship products to customers abroad, and know how hard it is for people to reliably receive an overseas package to their home address…
…BUT your company uses a much more dependable delivery process that takes care of those pesky hold-ups and customs issues.
So, tell them how the inconsistencies of international shipping grind your gears too, and that ordering from you means they won’t have to waste their lunch hour chasing up redeliveries, or waiting in line at that PITA collection point 3 miles away for something they’d paid good money to receive to their door.
If there are problems in your market that get your people hot under the collar, talk about them.
Scratch that itch.
Remember, nobody can be Dude-like all the time…
Everyone’s Inner Larry is clamouring to escape at any moment.
So: embrace the hate…
Or at least, embrace your prospect’s existing irritations.
Your sales message needs to address your ideal customer’s Inner Larry, to remind them how maddening your market can be.
Then show them you care, that you get why they feel this way, and why things can be different with your unique product or service.
Need help uncovering exactly what drives your best customers crazy, so you can create a more effective sales message and truly Sell Unique?
The Dude abides, over here.
(Don’t worry, I keep my Inner Larry on a short leash these days.)