When we take the time to understand where a person is coming from, we can better illustrate how we can help them get to wherever they’re going.
There’s a classic marketing sentiment that says “focus on the benefit of the benefit.” People don’t buy quarter-inch drill bits. They buy quarter-inch holes that screws fit into that pictures of their kids can hang on. Outside of trade supplier magazines, no one markets drill bits, they market the benefit of the benefit – the satisfaction of seeing the right picture neatly hanging on their wall.
The benefit of the benefit has cousins we should know too – the benefits of productive behaviors and the benefits of non-productive behaviors. They’re each based on productive and non-productive emotional states. On the productive side we’ll find Home Depot’s “let’s do this” TV ads, and on the non-productive side we’ll find CNBC special reports for “Markets in Turmoil.” Home Depot appeals to you doing something (producing), and CNBC appeals to you rubber-necking in horror (non-producing).
This makes for three personality types with three types of marketing campaigns that each utilize their own unique form of magnetism. We have Admirers who love the finished product, DIY’ers who want to be inspired to act, and Quagmire’rs who want to get lost in the story. Professionally, we can use these labels to our advantage. By looking closely, we can see how each type tells us where they are capable of seeing value. From there, we just have to show up with the right story.
Admirers want to see finished products, not the work. If we know a person likes to step back and admire the finished product but doesn’t like to get their hands dirty, we need to educate them how we’ll do all the drilling and setting for them.
DIY’ers want to feel involved in the work. If we know a person likes to be involved in the production, we need to educate them how we’ll put our orange apron on and help get them everything they’ll need.
Quagmire’rs want private curation to get lost in. If we know a person likes to get lost in a story, we can give them access to additional stories/research/information that gives them a perceived edge. The scarcer the better.
When we know where they are and what’s already appealing to them, we can better show our professional value in a way they understand. Look for the clues based on how they’re behaving or what they see as benefitting them already. There is no one-size fits all, but these are three that fit most.