Can we talk about the difference between what your client thinks and what your client says? Okay, cool.
We need to talk about something. No, it’s not Kevin.
It’s not major as in: “OMG, the world will end if you don’t do this thing!” More like major as in: “Hey, this can make a difference in how your audience receives your message.”
I mean, totally correct me if I’m wrong. But I think we all want our target audience to receive our message in the way we’re intending. And (more importantly) in a way that makes them a paying client – not just someone who reads your blog posts when they’re in between client calls but don’t want to get up from their desk because they finally found the perfect angle and position so they aren’t getting a weird reflection from their web cam that makes them look like they haven’t washed their face in three weeks.
(Right? About the computer angle…the lighting struggle is real.)
Your client thinks LOTS of things
We have about 60,000 thoughts a day, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Clearly, we have a hell of a lot of things on our minds.
We’re thinking about how cloudy and dreary it is, how we made the right decision getting up early to run so we didn’t get caught in the rain, how maybe it’s high time to get a dog and personally test this dog/mental health theory…
We’re also thinking about our businesses and what they need. Just last night, as I was trying (and failing) to fall asleep, I had a choo-choo train of thoughts chugging along my mental tracks: how to get a flaky prospect to book a meeting, how to word an email, good ideas for a new blog post, how I really should finish setting up Dubsado, and on and on because apparently my mind thinks I don’t need sleep.
But the way we think about things and the way we talk about them is totally different. You see, I might think that I need to close the door. Except what I’m saying is, “Jesus H Christ, why are they constantly drilling outside my front door?! How the hell am I supposed to concentrate with this infernal racket?”
Big difference, yes? What I’m saying is a lot more unfiltered. A lot more emotional. A lot more passionate.
(I have no psychological evidence to back this up. Just my own decidedly un-scientific findings and observations. At least I followed some of the scientific process: I had a hypothesis.)
When you’re using language that your client is thinking, here’s what happens:
They’ll agree, nod politely, and think, “Yeah, she’s right. I *do* need that.”
Then…they’ll go along their merry way. Probably reading other blog posts, listening to more podcasts, and signing up for even more freebies, challenges, and courses on that topic. (Also probably quadruple checking that the lighting hasn’t gone downhill since last time they pulled up FaceTime to check.)
There’s a disconnect between what they’re thinking and what they’re saying, which means, if you’re using their thinking language, you’re not reaching them and they’re not resonating with what you’re saying.
Your client says what they really mean
Your client might be thinking, “I could stand to lose 10 pounds.”
And you wouldn’t be wrong to use that language. You just won’t get a ton of clients if you’re putting all your proverbial eggs in your wicker weight-loss basket.
Because, even though she’s thinking it, what she’s really saying is, “I don’t want to be so embarrassed to be seen wearing a bathing suit that I waste my entire vacay in Costa Rica hiding my ass in a one-size-fits-all caftan.”
Some more examples because…why the hell not?!
“I might need therapy.” vs. “Can someone please tell me why an elderly couple holding hands as they shop for strawberries makes me blubber like a baby?”
“Maybe I do have chronic fatigue syndrome.” vs. “I have never been more exhausted after a full night’s sleep than I am right now. I’ll be asleep under my desk if you need me…but fuck off.”
“I should probably hire a bookkeeper.” vs. “Umm, can I write off my Internet bill?”
So here’s what happens when you’re using the words they’re saying:
They’ll nod. Slowly at first and then more enthusiastically (like a slow clap that gains some serious steam) because…HOLY SHIT! Yes! They totally need that and how did you know?!?
The message resonates. It not only hits home…it slides right in and makes itself nice and cozy with some cushy velvet slippers (I clearly have a thing for slippers, eh?), a fluffy robe, and a face slathered in some weird homemade brightening mask it concocted. Not too unlike Mrs. Doubtfire’s lemon merengue mask…
It makes your people wonder where you’ve been hiding all this time. This magical, mystical, mystery love shack that gets them like no other coach, consultant, chef, clergy member, or Corgi has ever gotten them before.
And it makes them want to work with you.
Anyone can muster up what their dream clients are thinking. It’s not hard because it’s what we’re selling and what we want to help people with.
But it takes a little more effort to show that you really get your client. To take the time to know that she’s not whining about 10 pounds over a carafe of Merlot. She’s bitching about how bathing suits are akin to burning down the rain forest and how she’s worried her caftan will stick to her belly in the insistent tropical breeze and make all her efforts to hide her body pretty damn pointless.
Take it one step further, my friend.
Be the business owner who makes that wild leap from the basic knowledge of your audience to such a deep understanding of your client that you not only know what she’s thinking but you know how those thoughts tumble from her mouth when she’s having a vent session with her bestie.
Be a mind reader.
Need a little help channeling that ESP? If you’re not sure you’ve dug deep enough to strike gold in them thar hills, have you met Sales Page Second Look? No? Let me introduce you ‘cuz I’m on an acronym-name basis with it. Sales Page Second Look is a copy review service wherein I provide another perspective…because sometimes you’re too close to your copy. One of the things I’ll focus on? Yeah, you know it – client language. Find out more here.