The ability to effectively address your customer's needs and concerns is a crucial aspect of successful marketing and sales. Understanding the driving forces behind customer behaviours will help you tailor your messaging, product offering, and strategies to better cater to these needs, and to overcome potential objections and barriers.
This exercise aims to delve deeper into the mindset of your potential customers. By understanding their motivations, pains and desires, and potential barriers and objections, you can craft a more resonant and persuasive value proposition.
Instructions & Resources
Identify Motivations: Start by examining your customers' motivations and answer the following questions. This step aims to uncover the 'heart and mind' of your customer.
- What are their primary goals or desired outcomes?
- What does the better life version look like?
- What do they want to achieve?
- How do they want to be perceived by others?
Identify Pains: Next, list out the pains (problems your customers are facing). This understanding will inform your value proposition and the benefits of your solution.
- Why haven’t they been able to reach their desired outcome yet?
- What challenges from the outside world stand in the way of achieving their goal?
- What personal challenges stand in the way of this persona achieving a goal?
- What anxiety, thoughts, and emotions do they have over things that might go wrong?
Identify Steps Think through all the steps the customer needs to take to get from their current situation to their dream outcome.
- On their side, what do they have to do with the product, and within their organisation?
- On your side, what do you have to do with the customer?
- What do you do for the customer?
- What does the customer have to do, and who is involved from our team?
Identify Obstacles: For each step that the customer or you have to take, what are likely objections or roadblocks that will prevent them or us from completing the step and the customer thus not becoming successful?
Identify Solutions: For each obstacle, come up with a solution to help overcome the obstacle. Think through different dimensions:
- Format: feature, guide, workshop, service
- Delivery: 1-to-1, small-group, or 1-many
- Do-it-Yourself, Done-with-You, Done-for-You
- Support: Phone, SMS, Email, Zoom
- Consumption: video, audio, written, live
- Speed: 24/7, 9-to-5, Mon-Fri
Identify Credibility: Finally, what makes you or your company credible to help the customer achieve their goal?
- Expertise: Which credentials, training, education, profession, publication or experience do you have to show that your company has the skills and knowledge to do what you say you can do?
- Reliability: What reviews, testimonials or case studies do you have that show your ability to consistently perform well over a period of time?
- Empathy: How can you show that you understand what your customer is feeling and that you hold the same beliefs as them?
- Guarantees: What other trust builders and assurances can you provide to overcome common objections?
- After you've gathered this information, use it to craft or refine your value proposition, social proof elements, anxiety-reducers, reasons to believe, and incentives.
For instance, consider an early-stage startup developing an AI-based task management tool:
- Motivation: Customers desire a seamless and efficient way to manage tasks and enhance productivity.
- Pains & Desires: Pains include a lack of task organisation, difficulty in tracking progress, and inefficiencies in collaboration. Desires include efficient task management, easy progress tracking, and improved collaboration.
- Barriers & Objections: Potential barriers could include scepticism about the AI's effectiveness, concerns about data privacy, or the perceived hassle of migrating from an existing tool.
Early-stage startup example
Let's consider a hypothetical early-stage mortgage loan provider focused on helping first-time homebuyers. Here's a structured response for the exercise:
|Motivations||1. What are their primary goals or desired outcomes? 2. What does the better life version look like? 3. What do they want to achieve? 4. How do they want to be perceived by others?||1. Primary goals include securing a mortgage loan, purchasing their first home, and transitioning from renting to homeownership. 2. The better life version includes having a place to call their own, making a sound investment, and gaining the stability that homeownership brings. 3. They want to successfully navigate the mortgage loan process and make a wise investment. 4. They want to be perceived as responsible, financially savvy individuals who made wise decisions in their home purchases.|
|Pains||1. Why haven’t they been able to reach their desired outcome yet? 2. What challenges from the outside world stand in the way of achieving their goal? 3. What personal challenges stand in the way of this persona achieving a goal? 4. What anxiety, thoughts, and emotions do they have over things that might go wrong?||1. They may have been overwhelmed by the complexity of the mortgage loan process, deterred by high-interest rates, or have an insufficient credit history. 2. Challenges include fluctuating housing markets, high property prices, and a lack of affordable mortgage options. 3. Personal challenges might include a lack of understanding of the mortgage process, fear of long-term financial commitment, or difficulty in saving for a down payment. 4. They worry about getting locked into a high-interest rate, not being able to afford the monthly payments, or home prices dropping after purchase.|
|Steps||1. What do they have to do with the product, and within their financial situation? 2. What do you have to do with the customer? 3. What do you do for the customer? 4. What does the customer have to do, and who is involved from our team?||1. Customers need to provide financial information, make sure they have sufficient credit scores and evaluate their ability to make monthly payments. 2. We need to assess the customer's financial situation, provide a suitable mortgage option, and guide them through the application process. 3. We provide tailored mortgage options, offer guidance, and facilitate the mortgage loan process. 4. The customer has to provide required documentation, make regular payments, and communicate any issues. Our customer service and financial advisory team are involved in this process.|
|Obstacles||What are likely objections or roadblocks?||Potential objections could include concerns over high-interest rates, long-term financial commitment, the complexity of the mortgage process, and fear of a potential financial crisis.|
|Solutions||For each obstacle, what are the solutions?||Solutions could include competitive interest rates, flexible loan terms, simplifying the mortgage process with user-friendly digital platforms, and providing financial counselling to mitigate fears about the financial commitment.|
|Credibility||1. Expertise 2. Reliability 3. Empathy 4. Guarantees||1. Our team comprises experienced financial advisors and mortgage specialists. 2. We have successfully assisted numerous first-time homebuyers, as evident from our positive reviews and testimonials. 3. Our company was created to simplify the mortgage process and make homeownership more accessible, indicating our understanding of customer challenges. 4. We offer tailored mortgage options, transparent pricing, personalized guidance, and dependable customer service.|