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If you’re not working to jolt your prospects awake and give them a reason to keep listening, times will be harder than they need to be.

Let me show you what I mean with a Tale from the DMV

I recently had the good fortune of standing in line at the DMV. Some people hate going there, but I think of it as an amazing opportunity…

All manner of people—rich, poor, washed, unwashed, smart, less smart—all tossed into a tense, uncomfortable environment that they can’t escape from until their number is called and they get to face the government pain machine.

There’s never a shortage of entertaining human moments to learn from.

Back to our story…

As I stood there marveling at this edgy, uncomfortable humanity, the woman in front of me stepped up to the counter.

Since we’re all packed in there like sardines I could hear the whole dialogue…

The first thing I noticed was the DMV officer’s voice: a high-pitched warble that can generously be described as falsely chipper.

The lady in front of me seemed normal enough, but imagine my delight when my ears picked up the following exchange…

DMV AGENT: “Welcome to the DMV! How can I help you?!?!”

False chipperness in high-form.

LADY: “I just moved and need a new driver’s license.”

DMV AGENT: (Still fake perky) “What state were you born in?”

LADY: “San Francisco.”

… pause …

My more conservative friends will argue that San Francisco is its own state, so the woman was accurate.

And since the DMV Lady didn’t correct her, they might be right.

But the real reason she said that should be far scarier for business owners…

The Thick San Francisco Fog Clouding Your Prospect’s Mind

While my conservative friends snicker, my liberal friends roll their eyes, and the rest of you think this was a simple lack of focus, there’s something going on here we need to pay attention to as business owners.

I’d argue the lady identified San Francisco as her birth state because she’s just like many of your prospects…

In fact, she’s like many of my prospects…

Our dear DMV customer was half asleep…

  • Focused on problems at work
  • Thinking about relationships–good and bad
  • Wondering if that weird smell is coming from her patent leather shoes

And cutting through the fog to get to the awake half of your prospect is critical to get your message heard, processed, and acted upon.

Burning Off the Fog and Getting Attention Starts By Ignoring Your Business

Hear me out…

Your prospects are wandering around with their minds on other things.

Work, kids, spouses, bills, dates, parties…

9 out of 10 times, they’re not thinking about your product.

This is important to remember because for them to focus on you and your product, you have to interrupt them… and whatever you interrupt them with had better we worth it.

So how do you interrupt your prospects in a way that makes them receptive to your message?

Meet Your Prospects in the Fog

This is where the work begins: you have to know your prospects well enough to understand their daily grind.

  1. What does a typical day look like for them?
  2. What are the challenges they’re facing? Not necessarily the deep, big challenges of life—but the daily, “I just gotta get through to tomorrow” type problems.

Unless YOU are your ideal prospect, this will take research.

One-on-one, in-person conversations are best for this. Casual, non-threatening, and friendly conversations.

The purpose of this conversation is to get to know your prospects on a personal level.

PRO TIP: Get their permission to record the conversation. This captures the precise language they use to describe their day, which you can use in your marketing to create faster bonds with new prospects.

When you know the struggles your best prospects face every day, you know where you need to begin the conversation.

Show a Safe, Easy Path into the Clear

Now that you understand what your people are facing, it’s your job to walk them out of the fog and into the sun.

What mode you use to do this depends on your business, of course. Radio, TV, print ads, email marketing, social media marketing, media buys—these are all viable options depending on the type of business you’re running, and what I’m about to say applies to each of them…

  1. Acknowledge what they’re dealing with—show them you understand what they’re facing on a deeper level (this is where using your prospect’s language comes in).
  2. Empathize
  3. Tell a story of struggle
  4. Connect that story to a solution
  5. SHOW how this solution helped people just like your prospect
  6. Give them a way to take advantage of the solution

These things can be done quickly on ads through imagery and pithy copywriting, or you can make it more of a narrative via videos, blogs, magazine articles, etc.

Wrapping Up

The point is to meet your prospect where she is.

It’s much harder to get your prospect’s attention and then hold her interest when you’re talking about something that just isn’t on her radar.

So, to recap…

  1. Your best prospects are walking around in the fog of their daily struggles
  2. Get to know your prospects at a deep level so can empathize with what they’re going through and tap into the language they use to describe it
  3. Provide a clear path that leads them away from their struggle and helps them achieve their goals
  4. Make the path clear, simple, and easy to understand how they get from where they are to where they want to be

Talk about something relevant to her daily life, and show her a better way out of the fog—you’ll have her interest, and if your product helps her achieve her wants and goals, you’ll have a new client.

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