Stop selling vitamins, start curing headaches


Imagine you’ve just had a really stressful meeting. Your head is thumping. You’ve got 20 minutes until your next one. What will you do?

You’ll find some paracetamol NOW. You’ll leave the office if need be.

You’re curing a problem and you NEED it sorting. The trouble is, far too many marketers are trying to sell vitamins – the nice option to have. You don’t NEED vitamins. With a headache, you have no option.

I was at an event last week and I asked three different people what headaches they had in business and what headaches they solved. Funnily enough, they could tell me their ailments instantly. Cash flow, lack of lead conversion, struggling to find the right premises BUT they couldn’t really tell me what headaches they solved for their customers. They couldn’t explain why they were needed, just that they were useful.

The ‘useful’ aisle rarely has a queue of customers but the ‘essential’ aisle will.

We’ve heard for years that you should sell the benefits, not the features, although people still get wrapped up in listing the latter. Instead, we need to know what the feature solves or fixes. ‘It makes it faster/cheaper/easier/greener/ etc.

In my case, I make brands and businesses better known to their target customers by leveraging the press. However, the problem/headache I solve is key. It might be slightly different for different customers but the most frequent headache I deal with, certainly in the initial consultation, is ‘I can’t get our news covered’.

Now, I have a range of strategies or prescriptions if you like, to deal with this headache but the key is not to confuse the issue with a plethora of potions. I simply need to explain that I can cure that headache for you.

So, next time you are asked to give your elevator pitch or simply explain what you do, try to think in terms of what headaches you cure. Your prescription can be written once you understand the problem.

I’d love some free PR tips and tricks please