I have news for you.
You have a snowball’s chance in Phoenix of getting your clients to listen to your solutions if you’re making one simple but incredibly common mistake.
Don’t get me wrong – they have problems and they desperately want solutions to those problems.
But they’re not going to listen to you unless you frame your solutions properly.
And guess what? You’re probably not doing that.
Firing Up The Wayback Machine
Let’s go back to high school for a moment. At some point in your teens, you dated someone who your friends or your parents didn’t like. And how do most people tell you they don’t like someone you’re dating?
They just blurt it out, don’t they? They say, “I don’t care for her because she’s ________.”
So there’s your solution delivered like a sledgehammer to the head. Boom. They tell you what they think you should do point blank.
Now that we’re all grown up, we can admit that a lot of times they were right. They had valid points that we probably should have listened to – and they were sincerely trying to help. But based on how their solution was delivered, we didn’t listen, did we?
When that person bluntly “criticized” the person you had the hots for at that time, how effective was their message?
You probably found yourself discounting their advice by saying or thinking things like…
“You just don’t know him/her.”
“You don’t understand our relationship.”
“You’re just like everyone else.”
There’s something about human psychology that makes us reject bluntly delivered black-and-white solutions. So much so, that sometimes solutions delivered in that manner actually motivate us to do the opposite. It’s kind of an, “Oh yeah? Well, watch this!” rebellious reflex.
Pick Your Role
There are two sides of this unwanted advice scenario you can wind up on. You can be the hammer or the nail.
If you’re the nail, as we discussed above, you get pretty fed up with being whacked over the head with solutions and ultimately wind up ignoring and resenting them.
If you’re the hammer, you can keep on hammering your solutions into people’s heads and then wonder why they don’t listen to you.
Inside the “Head” of the Hammer
As aspiring influencers, this is pretty alarming, isn’t it? I assume you have sincere intentions of really helping people, right? And you probably have some useful advice to share.
So why do people with problems resist your solutions? It seems totally backward.
When people ignore or reject your solutions, you might think it means that maybe your solutions aren’t particularly useful. It makes logical sense, after all.
But in most cases, that’s not what’s going on. The problem likely isn’t the quality of the solutions you’re presenting at all.
To explain the real reason, I’ll have to let you in on a private conversation from a while back.
What’s That Thing In Your Head?
I’ll take you back to a discussion I was having with Danny Iny about copywriting. If you don’t know Danny, or his insanely popular blog, Firepole Marketing, let me catch you up.
During this conversation, I mentioned how I’d noticed that so many potential influencers seem to have trouble gaining and keeping the attention of their audience.
Danny reminded me of one of his strategies that is both simple and brilliant. This concept is pure gold for anyone who is in the business of influencing others. But before I spill the beans, I’ll do to you what he did to me…
Watch this short video right now. You’ll be glad you did!
Ok. So that’s pretty funny, right? But let’s dig down for a deeper message in this video.
It’s Not About Sex
While you might think that the video portrays a classic man-woman situation, there’s a more important psychological interaction going on here.
This is really an empathy issue. It’s more a matter of, “you’re not even trying to understand what’s bothering me” than it is about gender.
Consider how you usually react toward people who you think are telling you what to do without making an effort to understand you. I’m guessing it’s not a very warm, fuzzy reaction.
Back to the conversation I was having with Danny. After watching the video, he reminded me of the copywriting formula in his Write Like Freddy program. It struck me that this formula is also a really powerful tool of influence outside of copywriting. One that any aspiring influencer can use to better connect with their audience or prospects.
With Danny’s permission, I’m sharing that formula with you right now. Afterward, we’ll discuss how the guy in that video could have used this formula to more effectively relate the woman in the video.
The copywriting formula is…
1: The hook
2: The problem as they (not you) see it
3: The real root of the problem
4: The solution
5: The call to action
So if you do write copy – there’s a free formula courtesy of Write Like Freddy. Enjoy.
But even if you don’t write, let’s talk about how this information can help you.
Suppose for a moment that the guy in the video used a similar formula to communicate with his audience (the woman) in that video.
Instead of what he said in the video, what if he actually said…
1: The hook
“I understand that you have a pain between your eyes and in your forehead, you’re not sleeping, your sweaters are getting snagged, and it’s really frustrating.”
2: The problem as they see it
“It’s frustrating because you don’t know what it is. Maybe there’s a psychological issue or maybe there’s something wrong with you. Maybe you’re sick. “
3: The real root of the problem
“I get why you would think that, but there’s actually another solution that you’ve probably overlooked. If you just reach with your finger and put it on your nose and slowly slide it up, you’re going to notice that you’re touching a nail. That nail is actually what’s causing the problem.”
(And because you spoke about their pain and you acknowledge where they’re coming from, now they’re going to listen to you.)
4: The solution
“Here’s what you’re going to do to fix this annoying situation. You’re going to take a pair of pliers and you’re going to pull the nail out of your head. And removing the nail is going to change your life.”
5: Call to action
“So here’s what I want you to do: Go to the hardware store and buy those pliers, get in front of the mirror, and make that happen. If you have any questions about how to do this, then let me know. And if you do this and it changes your life, I want to hear about that, too.”
How might have the woman in the video have reacted differently if the guy had taken this approach? She would have been much more receptive to his solution.
Stop Trying To Fix It… For Now
I know you want to help – and I know you have a fantastic plan to help people solve their problems. But stop jumping straight to the solution. You need to first demonstrate that you care about their problem before you try to solve it.
You know that old saying, “People don’t care how much you know until you show them how much you care?”
It’s like that. Show that you care first – and then show them what you know.
Do Me a Favor
The next time someone comes to you with a problem and you feel the temptation to whack them over the head with your solution… stop. Just listen. Then follow the steps outlined in this post.
Not only will you show the other person that their problem is truly important to you, but you’ll be much more successful in influencing them to take positive action.
Give it a try and come back here to let us know how it went for you.
Ok… spill it.
Tell us about a time when someone ran you over with their advice… or maybe you were the one who did the running over. Fess up. Let’s discuss it in the comments!
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