Reconciling the difference between what you do and what your client wants

​In the best business worlds, you offer the solution to your client’s problems.

But what happens when what they THINK they want isn’t what they actually need? And your business provides the solution to what they actually need?

If you talk the need you help them achieve you may miss out on reaching clients who think they want something else (but actually really need you!).

It can sound a bit complicated, so let me break it down for you. We’ll use weight loss as an example.

Many people want to lose weight. For whatever reason, weight loss is what they WANT to achieve (or are told they HAVE TO achieve). So they go looking for people or ways to help them lose weight. Because weight loss is what they WANT.

Many dietitians, nutritionists, therapists and coaches (among others) help people lose weight. But what they know is that focusing on the weight loss as the outcome is NOT what they NEED. What they NEED is to address their relationship with their body and food, not what they’re eating. Because they have a better relationship with food weight loss MAY happen, but focusing on the weight loss as the end goal is not a good way to lose weight (believe me on this).

Obviously, the people who want to lose weight are the ideal clients for the professionals wanting to help people ditch the diets and regain a proper, loving relationship with food and their body.

I’ve used quite a specific example here but you can apply it to any business where there’s a difference between what you do and what your client wants. 

  • Babies and kids who are ‘fussy eaters’ (but need help exploring food)
  • People who want to be pain free (but you can’t guarantee this)
  • Athletes who want to run their fastest (but need to learn how to breathe properly first)

So how do you reconcile this difference between people WANTING something, but NEEDING something else? 

1. Get inside their head

Getting to know your clients is THE most important thing you can do. Here are some questions you should have an answer to:

  • Who are they (age, sex, income, location)
  • What they WANT
  • Why they want this
  • Why they’re not seeing success in finding what they want
  • What they’ve tried already (and why it’s not worked)
  • What life would look like if they had what they WANT

Can’t answer these questions and want a complete profile of your dream client? It’s time to check out Catch Your Dream Client online course.

2. Write a client journey timeline

Huh?! A what?!

Go on, grab a piece of paper and some coloured pens.

  • Start with drawing a big dot on one side. That’s your client where they are now, when they’re looking for what they WANT. Write down what they want.
  • On the other side of the paper draw a different coloured dot. That’s your business services. Write down the service you provide that satisfies that WANT.
  • Now, in between those two dots will be lots of things. Information, education, life events that get your client from looking for help to achieve what they WANT to connecting with you and signing up for what you provide (what they actually NEED).
  • Write down all the information they need, events that may happen, touch-points in your business that get your client from where they are to where you are.

Here’s an example:

What you can see is a story developing. Of how what your client WANTS connects to how you know they can really achieve their goals.

And this is the story to talk to.

Let’s go back to our weight loss example.

They want to lose weight. They’re thinking about diets (or even may be aware that non-diet approach is what they want) because that’s what they’re programmed to think as soon as they think ‘weight loss’. 

They’re still going to sit there any type into Google questions like “how can I lose weight and keep it off?” or “weight loss specialist”.

So, to pick up these clients who don’t know what they NEED (yet), we need to talk to what they WANT and THEN spend time educating them to what they NEED.

But to get them into your tribe, you need to speak to what they’re initially seeking.

  • Focus on keywords they’re searching for
  • Listen to common questions they ask or statements they make
  • Blog, post and talk clearly about their WANT and each of those points that move them to what they NEED. Do this a lot.

You need to talk about the elephant in the room. Acknowledge it and start educating people on a different course of action.

But if you ignore the elephant and talk only to the action you miss a great opportunity to teach people a better way. To educate and inform them. To gather them into a tribe. And building a tribe is a sustainable business model.

“Hey? You want to lose weight? Tried all the diets? I can show you a better way. Ditch the diets, enjoy your food, and feel more confident about your body. There’s more to life than restrictive diets at all costs.” 

Building a clear brand message is the starting point to all your marketing strategies.