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Leveraging the Power of Pain in Marketing

Let’s talk about human nature for a second.

Leveraging the Power of Pain in Marketing

If I were to offer you a succulent, moist, still-warm-from-the-oven piece of triple chocolate cake…

…while simultaneously slamming my heel into your toes…

…which one would you notice? Which one would you react to?

And which one would you still be thinking about tomorrow?

People will spend an enormous amount of time, money and energy to avoid pain. They’ll avoid confrontation with bosses, neighbors, spouses and kids to avoid emotional pain. They’ll take drugs to suppress physical pain.

Your job as a successful marketer – whether you like it or not – is to use this pain to help them find a solution.

Some might call this exploitation – digging around in the pain and agitating it to motivate people to take action. You’re making the pain worse before you finally prescribe the cure.

But it’s the pain that makes people take action. And if you can help people, then it’s your job to do it. And to help people, you’ve got to use the best method possible to motivate them to take action – which is aggravating the pain and making them feel it until they cry ‘uncle.’

I know what you’re thinking – you won’t make their pain worse to sell them the solution. Instead, you’ll motivate them with a positive picture of what their life will be like once they have the solution. Well, you’re half right.

Understand this – Humans will do far more to avoid pain than to receive reward. They’ll run as fast as they can away from the stick, but they’ll creep up on the carrot and many times never even reach it.

Most people cannot clearly describe what they want, which is why they never get it. But they can tell you exactly what they don’t want. By rubbing their noses in what they’re trying to avoid, you momentarily make the pain worse until it’s unbearable. They want to take action now. They NEED to take action NOW.

And then you motivate them with the positive picture of all the benefits they’ll receive from doing this thing you want them to do.

The niche doesn’t matter, either. Whether you’re selling software, information, washers and dryers or stocks and bonds, agitate the problem, then offer the solution.

Examples:

Software – How much work are they having to do, and how much business are they missing because they don’t have your automated solution? They’ve already wasted tons of time and lost a fortune. Their competitors are ahead of them, and soon their business will be on the scrap heap. Unless… unless they grab your software now, because then they can get x benefit and y benefit and z benefit, etc.

Health Information – They’re overweight, tired, catching colds and at risk for serious disease. From here, it only gets worse – much worse. Sick, in pain, bed ridden, in the hospital, heart attacks, chemo and drugs and … but wait. They can turn their health around, starting right now.

Washers and dryers – Think how much extra they’ve already paid in water bills because they don’t have energy efficient models. Plus, the wear and tear to their clothes from inferior washers and overheating dryers, their shoddy appearance wearing these clothes, making a lousy first impression at work because of how bad their clothes look. But you can solve it all today…

Investments – They’ve already lost a fortune by not using your services. Just look at the returns your clients have been getting, look at how much money they started with versus what they have today. If only they had started with you sooner, all the time and money lost. But right now you have perhaps your best investment advice yet, and timing is critical…

Okay, you get the idea. No matter what you’re selling, you can agitate the problem and then offer the solution.

Remember, in movies the hero doesn’t arrive to save the day until things look completely bleak and desperate and the cause is all but lost. Effective marketing is no different.

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