You'd be pissed if your doctor did this
Consider this scenario: You’re at the eye doctor, right? (We’ll call the optometrist Dr. Cooper.) It’s your first visit in about a year. And since the last time you’ve seen the good Doctor, your vision has deteriorated.
It’s affecting all areas of your life.
You’re irritable like an infant who hasn’t eaten in two hours. You can’t focus even though that deadline is staring you right between the eyes. And you’re constantly poppin’ painkillers to relieve the agonizing headaches caused by your incessant squinting.
All you want is a sleek pair of frames that make you feel stylish and gives you back your laser-sharp vision. This can’t be too much to ask for.
After a few minutes, Dr. Cooper finally walks into the room. You clear your throat to share how the blurriness you’ve been experiencing has been giving you the blues. But the good Doctor seems unfazed by your misery.
So you stand up, wait for Dr. Cooper to tell you to cover your right eye so you can spout off a few letters from the eye chart. But nope, think again – the good Doctor hasn’t said a word since he walked in.
Instead, he scribbles a few numbers and words on his pad, tears the page off, hands it to you and wishes you well.
No questions asked. Just a one-size-fits-all prescription that doesn’t fit your current reality or expectations.
This would piss you off wouldn’t it?
So imagine how customers and clients feel when businesses use the same approach to sell their big ideas.
Here, buy this course because I’m a graphic designer and you want a new website!
Oh hey, book this service because I’m an accountant and it’s tax season!
Look, join this community because I’m an #influencer and I’ve cracked the Instagram algorithm!
The focus is on quickly prescribing a broad solution first, asking questions later – or not at all.
While there are several issues with this approach, here’s the main one: Your product isn’t the product. The customer is.
And customers aren’t born, they’re created. You can only “create” customers by inquiring about the life they envision after dream about and showing them how your product or service is the straightest line to their new reality.
Had Dr. Cooper known you wanted to not only restore your eyesight, but also invest in a fashion-forward pair of frames, he could have tailored his prescription to help you achieve that outcome. He would have realized you cared not just about how you see the world, but also how the world sees you.
Whether it’s eyeglasses, iPhones or ice packs, we don’t care about the product itself. We care about turning our anxiety into pleasure. And if you don’t realize what you offer exists just to facilitate that transformation, then you’re just another Dr. Cooper in a culture that already has thousands too many.
So what’s the alternative?
To get your product or service into the hands, hearts and minds of the people who want and need it the most, you have to do three things: Inquire, Diagnose and Prescribe.
First, the Inquiry. Here, you’re simply probing for symptoms and setbacks. How is what your future customer or client experiencing in the way of what they really want?
Next, the Diagnosis. This step is what separates the standouts from the rest of the pack. Because when you diagnose the meaning behind your future customer’s symptom, it gives them an “aha” moment and builds trust with you (which earns you the right to sell your “treatment” to them).
Finally, there’s the Prescription: your offer that’s customized to exchange your future customer’s intense agony for immediate pleasure.
This last step is easier than it seems. All you have to do is prescribe the same “treatment” at different “dosages.” For example, a fitness trainer could offer printable meal and workout plans, group training sessions and private training sessions to clients depending on the client’s current reality (budget and time commitment) and desired outcome (fit into a wedding tux in eight weeks versus maintain a certain body fat percentage moving forward).
Can you see how this approach creates a win-win for you and your future customers?
Now that I think about it, probably not since that damn Dr. Cooper prescribed the wrong lenses. :)
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