One thing that’s essential when selling anything to anybody, or persuading anybody to do anything, is understanding what’s important to them.
Sure, if you walk up to every single person on the street and try to sell them a slicer dicer, you might get one or two sales out of a hundred. But you’ll also get about 80 polite, “no thank you’s” and maybe ten or fifteen angry looks, and maybe one or two, “F-Off!”‘s.
The more you know about your target market, the better. Would you sell a slicer dicer to a homeless person? To a kid who can’t cook to save their life? Or to a gadget junkie that spends all their time in the kitchen?
One way to understand your market is through “meta programs.” These are these filters that we all carry around in our heads, through which we see the world.
One of the most powerful one is the “motivation” frame. Do we move away from pain, or do we move toward pleasure?
Most of us are a mix of the two. Some are more away from pain, some are more toward pleasure.
People who are always just above broke are away from pain. They feel terrified when they’re about to get kicked out on the street, make a bit of money, and once the motivating pain goes away, so does their motivation.
On the other hand, there are those that are always looking toward a better future regardless of their current situation. These are entrepreneurs with big ideas but can’t seem to pay the rent to save their lives. Pain doesn’t bother them too much.
When selling, if you’re using a “toward” strategy on somebody who is motivated by moving away from pain, it won’t work.
If you’re trying to use a “move away from pain” strategy to somebody who is interested in achieving more pleasure, it won’t work.
Understanding your target market, (or target) is essential. That way you can construct a message that will resonate with them on a deep level.