Pain inspires action.
Human beings often put off prevention. When there is no pain, there is no URGENCY!
When we are in pain, we want it stopped NOW!
Common sense would indicate that we should avoid pain, but we procrastinate preventive measures.
For example, being overweight causes emotional pain and embarrassment. People are willing to pay exorbitant prices for weight loss plans — especially when they include a “magic pill” or a diet that includes desserts. Sometimes there are physical issues leading to weight gain, but in most cases the problem can be avoided by eating sensibly and exercising. (I’m reminded of the Round Table commercial of a man watching an exercise video and eating pizza while sitting in an easy chair and waggling his feet to the music!)
Pain can be physical or emotional.
There are other reasons people take action — such as seeking pleasure or love. But pain relief, such as finding companionship when you are lonely, generally trumps positive motivations.
A big motivation for people to smoke cigarettes was to “be cool” and avoid rejection by a peer group — “All my friends are doing it.” It has taken generations to reduce or eliminate that association.
A classic emotional pain advertisement was for Listerine mothwash, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Women bought Listerine to avoid dreaded halitosis (bad breath) that they feared would drive suitors away.
Notice that advertisements for prescription drugs have become dominant on television. Viewers are desperate to have their ailments cured, including painful items like arthritis, back pain, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Even “positive” products and services can have “pain points” to agitate. Consider parents who feel guilty for neglecting or yelling at their children and invest in a deluxe family vacation package at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Consider the amateur golfer who buys golf lessons because he or she is embarrassed when he or she can’t hit a tee shot straight. (Or can’t hit it at all?)
What are the “pain points” for your product or service?
When you evaluate whether to sell a product or service, look for whether it solves a painful problem. Why choose a “hard sale” product or service when you can choose an “easy sale” product or service that relieves pain/solves a painful problem?
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