📄 Fears, frustrations & lenses

The ability to shift your perspective on things is a powerful tool, when trying to make things work with people or getting people to buy.

If to you, John represents "That buyer who's been ghosting me for two weeks, and that I now have to follow up with", that will have you write: "Hey John, any news on that proposal?".

But it's very different when John represents "That buyer who tries hard to stay on track, but his boss always creates chaos by coming up with new ideas", because then your followup might look like:

"Hey John, not heard back from you yet... I suppose your boss came up with yet another great idea for a project. Anything I can do to help?"

The first will get you ignored.

The second will probably get you a "Yes, he did - but there's no way around it. Thanks though!" - which doesn't get you the sale, but you sure stopped being ghosted.

This is why it's so important to use lenses when dealing with people, where a lens is a specific set of questions to help you learn your people and figure out what life is like for them.

Taki Moore, an Aussie coach, taught me about Fears, Frustrations, Wants and Aspirations. I like to add Identity, and here's how it all goes together:

Fears What three fears are the most important in your buyer's mind? What concerns them most, what's the biggest thing that could go wrong - what 3 things are they most afraid will happen?

Frustrations What single frustration does that add up to?

What's the "I've had enough!" conclusion you can derive from the fears, what are they fed up with?

Wants What three things do they want most, which are the three most important gains or achievements or enablements, as a result of solving the problem you can solve for them?

Aspirations If they were to get what they want, what would they attain? On a personal or professional level, what outcome do they aspire to?

Identity If people don't buy products but a new version of themselves (as per Steve Jobs), and buying from you solves the problem, what does that say about them and who they are?

In what way will they upgrade their self-view when they win, what new version of themselves are they looking to become?

How to: Any time you get ghosted, or a deal is stuck, or you're abut to send followup that doesn't do anything other than nag the other person on:

Sit down with a piece of paper, and give yourself 10 minutes to jot down some answers to the questions above.

Make it a habit to reflect on your buyers this way, and I promise you'll see your messaging get more calibrated, relevant, and effective.

Next up: For a deep-dive on these questions, check out the free Empathy Edge series.

And, for a proper and transformative learning experience that will radically improve your communications skills for the rest of your life, consider Sales for Nice People.

Tired of hagglers, stalled deals, and getting ghosted?

You're not alone: everyone who sells faces that. Subscribe for a short daily email, and get better at selling every day.

Bonus: Instant download of the 📈 SFC Pipeline Habit Scorecard 👇

Need some help?

Send a message to Martin