Why you need to understand people before you can persuade them - Identifying your client's context

What exactly do I need to understand about my perfect clients and how do I put it into context to allow me to connect with more ease?

A lot has been said about the need for understanding your ideal clients down to their core. But what does that actually mean?

In this article, I want to shine the spotlight on a few details that are often forgotten or ignored, very much to the detriment of the business owner who is ignoring them.

One of the problems with understanding your clients is that you might not even be aware that you don’t understand your clients very well.

You might be experiencing symptoms of not understanding your clients in every little detail.

The symptoms you might be experiencing could be a sales page that is not converting or getting the wrong people into sales calls.

When that happens (i.e. not understanding the root cause) you might make wrongful assumptions.

  • You might blame the copywriter (or your lack of copywriting skills)
  • You blame Mark Zuckerberg and his continuously changing algorithm
  • You blame SEO and your funnel software…

And then you try to fix the wrong things.

In the worst case, you might blame yourself, feel self-doubt, suffer from imposter syndrome. You might even think about giving up and getting a job.

Instead, you should investigate why your actions are not bringing the expected results.

In one of her latest podcasts, Mel Robbins states: 

“If you go deep with everybody, you get to the things they are working on.”

And that’s where every business owner needs to get to – to the depth that allows you to understand what your clients are working through and what obstacles your clients are trying to overcome.

You need to get to the level of daily experiences and scenarios that your ideal clients find themselves in – because that is the point where you as a problem solver can connect with your clients.

That is the point where you can make potential clients feel seen and understood.

That is the point where you can connect with potential clients through your narrative.

And when you can do that, then you can…

  • Talk to the right pain points
  • Align with the right values and beliefs
  • Pick the right audience for your ads
  • Show up on the right platform
  • Get the right people to engage with your content
  • Talk with your ideal clients in your sales calls

But how specific do you need to be?

Let’s talk about specificity

Specificity comes from in-depth understanding.

You can develop this level of understanding when you listen deeply. When you listen to your clients, you need to go beyond hearing the words and actively start decoding the message between the lines.

And that is very hard in face-to-face conversations because there is something that is called “speech-thought differential”.

“Speech-thought time differential is the difference in our rate of speaking versus our rate of thinking.”

That means that your audience is talking slower than you think, which makes it hard to be fully present because your mind might be drifting off all the time.

In conversations with your clients, you need to stay focused on every word they are saying and banish your thoughts from your head so that you are fully able to process their explicit AND implicit messages.

When you “listen” to their written messages, then you need to see the context and interpret the clues your conversational partner is giving you between the lines.

That’s especially important for all those who engage in instant messaging.

When someone is messaging you that they are busy with a launch – then don’t send them a link to participate in your latest challenge and then follow up because they haven’t opened your emails…

You should rather ask them when they launch and when would be a good time to pick up the conversation again. Even better – ask them whether there is anything you could do to help them. Even if you can’t, they remember you for offering.

Taking the example of the launch, think about what the other person is really saying:

  • I am focused (or even overwhelmed) on my launch and cannot spare a single minute in chit chat
  • I do not want to get distracted
  • I need someone to cheer me on
  • I need someone to give me accountability
  • I need someone who allows me to let off some steam
  • I need someone who can give me useful advice on how to get things done faster or better
  • I’m a bit stressed and just being polite because I generally value relationship building
  • I don’t want to offend you – but give me space and let me get back to my launch…

So, what could be an appropriate response?

You could tell them that you’ve had a few successful launches and are happy to share your experiences.

Or that you are happy to schedule another call where you can brainstorm some solutions for something that got them stuck.

You could leave the contact details of a launch specialist or a VA that is specialised in launches…

It is important for you to understand the context they are currently in.

Understanding the context

To uncover the details of their specific context, you could ask yourself:

  • What exactly are they dealing with (technical things, mindset, a partner who doesn’t understand that they have to work long hours …)?
  • What happens during their days? (picking kids up from daycare, suffering from back pain, software not working, partner asking for more attention, no time for shopping…)
  • Where do they run into problems (can’t figure out how the email automation is working…)
  • What are the root causes for the symptoms/problems that are showing up?

What can you do to alleviate these issues? How could you help to solve them?

Some might not need to be solved and can simply be parked. To understand which are important to them, you can ask questions like:

  • What are their aspirations and dreams?
  • What do they care about?
  • What has power over them?
  • What are they personally into?
  • What solutions have they tried and considered?
  • What do you have in common with them?

When you know the answers, you can connect with them and pick them up where they are now. A good way is through storytelling and sharing your experience and expertise.

Understanding their context also helps you to connect with your ideal clients and serve them better.

When you know which details you need to mention or which information to share, then that shows that you understand their emotions and feelings, their hopes, and aspirations.

That allows you to create content that makes them feel like you’ve been inside their head and tell stories that are relevant for them and that they can relate to.

Understanding your client’s context makes it easier for you to enter their world. When you’re having conversations with your audience, you know exactly what you’re listening out for.

After all – you need to understand people before you can persuade them. Feel free to take a look at my previous article (by clicking on the image) where I talk more about persuasion. 

And lastly, Max Dickins in his book “Improvise!” makes a point when he says that

“An objection is a signal that either someone has misunderstood what you’ve said or isn’t clear on the value, your idea holds for them.”

That is an insight that makes it worth learning as much about your audience as possible because it confirms that you can avoid objections by demonstrating the value of your solutions.

Now, if you are feeling that you need to not only learn that much detail about your ideal clients but also how to write content, stories and copy that connect and “warm up” your audience – then take a look at my new content and copywriting membership.

These are exactly the kind of topics that we’ll be looking into. You can check more details by clicking on the image: 

Categories: : Customer Avatar, Customer dreams, Ideal customer Avatar, Idealcustomeravatar, Influencing, Messaging

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