You know, you can learn things in the most unexpected places. This is what happened to me this week while learning how to provide a better customer experience (and increase sales) from a well-known marketer.
The concept is called bridging the gap, and the premise is that you don’t address ‘pain points’ so much as guide the customer through envisioning what her situation could be. After she has that “ideal” picture in mind, she can better see how much she needs the widget or service you are selling. And she’ll want it all the more because it gets her to that ideal place.
Think about that from a personal perspective for a minute, as if you were trying to sell yourself the life you really wanted.
If you normally gripe that you don’t have any money, or your relationship sucks, or you are too fat – your ‘pain points’ – turn the situation around and envision what the ideal would be.
- If I had enough money I wouldn’t worry about paying the bills every month. I would have a savings account and take a vacation every year. My relationship with my parents would be better because I wouldn’t borrow money from them anymore. They would finally treat me like an adult.
- If I had a healthy relationship, my partner would treat me with respect. We’d share in the duties around the house, and we’d enjoy spending quality time together. We’d have sex more often and go out like we did when we were dating. I’d be able to trust my partner completely.
- If I had a healthy body, I’d have plenty of energy during the day to work and spend time with my friends and family. I’d feed my body nourishing foods and get plenty of sleep every night. I would exercise regularly and enjoy more outdoor activities with family and friends. My partner would be proud to be seen with me. I’d finally feel in control of myself and be able to wear the clothes I’ve always wanted.
Once you envision the ideal, you can start thinking of ways to bridge the gap. You can see how this is much more productive than thinking only of the gaps in your life. It’s like jumping over a big puddle. You have to look at the dry ground on the other side to figure out how much effort it will take to get across.
The key steps in guiding the customer (you!) toward the sale:
- Where do you want to go?
- Where are you now?
- What’s stopping you?
- Establish your product/service as the gap closer.
Are you a gap closer or do you focus on what’s missing?