A technique to develop uncanny skills to discover true desires
My daughter is in her first year at university and working extremely long hours to meet her study goals. She’s very structured and visits my office during her study breaks. In fact, she comes in and asks me “what shall I eat?” because she’s not leaving herself the thinking space to contemplate something as basic as food.
One reason why she’s so successful with her studies is her total focus and that she schedules time to relax. She defines upfront what she will do during her breaks because she knows what optimally refuels her body and mind.
Part of that is watching something on Netflix and often I join her in the evening for one episode of whatever she’s watching.
Right now, that’s season six of Lucifer. As an angel (in that show every angel has a “signature skill”), Lucifer has got this one particular skill: finding out what other people’s true desires are.
To be honest – these moments are the highlight of the episode for me because the responses are often quite unexpected and sometimes even seem to be out of character. And my first question is “why”? Why do they desire that one thing and not something that we believe to be better aligned with them? Something that we believe their real problem is…
Unfortunately, we mortals don’t have that skill. We have to spend some effort and dig deep to find out what our avatar really desires.
What we think we know about our ideal clients is not always what they actually do desire. It’s quite common to make assumptions and create an avatar that is not on point, especially if your avatar is not aware of what they truly do desire.
Not understanding what your avatar desires makes it very hard to write and talk about those desires – which in return makes it hard to connect with your ideal clients.
We know that people only listen up when they get the feeling that we truly understand them (including their deepest desires).
With understanding what they truly desire, comes the understanding of what they want to feel. Tapping into someone else’s emotions is possibly the most powerful thing that you can do to become visible, heard and loved.
Understanding the feelings that your avatar (sometimes only subconsciously) desires, sharing these feelings with your avatar through your content and copy so that your avatar recognises them, and ultimately creating these feelings through working with you, is your path to become visible, heard and loved.
At this point I’d love to share Maya Angelou’s quote that stresses the significance of understanding your avatar’s true feelings even more:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
How do you want to make your clients feel? I want to share an exercise with you, that helps you understand your avatar’s current and future emotions better.
Their current emotions are where you pick them up right now – and their future emotions are what you need to make them feel after working with you.
Write down a few adjectives that describe your ideal client. They might be…
Brainstorm each adjective and define two things:
And that’s where it’s getting interesting!
A busy person might want to get away from their to-do list, from the “daily grind” and continuous demands that others have, from having no space to think or do things they enjoy…
How does that make them feel?
They might feel trapped, uninspired, unappreciated, desperate, misunderstood, reactive, stressed, powerless, having no control…
A creative person might want to get away from being fenced in, from having to deliver mediocracy, from meeting deadlines…
And that makes them feel suffocated, misunderstood, pressured, misaligned because they don’t feel they can be themselves, feel that they are not serving their purpose…
My advice – back this up with research and talk to people to verify your assumptions, or if you can draw on client data, then make the effort of writing this down.
Because – this is real gold for understanding your clients and finding the words to speak their language and connect with them on a deep level.
Look into your clients’ future and the time after they’ve worked with you. Then ask yourself the following questions:
The busy person might want to feel productive because they achieve a lot more every day. They feel relaxed because they have created more time and space in their schedules. They feel balanced and full of energy because their stress has gone…
Imagine that you could be the source of these feelings – and that you would be the person who makes them feel that way!
Imagine that you could paint a picture with your words and stories that allow your prospective clients to envision their desired life.
Imagine that your clients remember you for helping them create their desired emotions. They will remember how you made them feel – and that leads to them remembering you (and often to refer you to people who find themselves in similar situations they found themselves in before working with you).
I hope that you can see the power in this simple exercise and try it out to understand your clients more deeply so that you can develop the language that they need to hear to enter your world.
If you feel that you need help with this – or a partner to dive deeper into your clients’ avatar – then send me a message.
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