Top ten ways to turn client pain into consultant marketing gain

Chris Stiehl is a voice of the customer expert. I call him a "pain of the client" expert too. No client pain, no consultant gain.

If you are a professional or consultant who struggles with marketing, you are not alone. Many independent professionals and consultants are tired of the rejection, frustration and mystery of marketing.

There is a better way to attract clients. The secret is to turn their pain into your gain. Start by asking clients about their pains.  Then gather information on how to solve those worries, frustrations and concerns.

Let me ask you this (now be honest): Do you really understand the problems of your prospects and clients? Or do you just think you know? Make no doubt about it, the stakes are high. Wrong marketing messages will cost you potential clients and lead to more struggles and frustration. 

So here’s how to become a new client magnet. Each group of prospects experiences its own unique frustrations and pains. What’s the secret to crafting a marketing message that will maximize your attraction factor? Ask them (or have someone ask for you) about their pains. Start by asking a sample about their ideal professional or consultant, and then segue into problems. Listen carefully to the exact words they use (you will want to mimic them in your marketing messages).

The following was developed by my friend and co-author of Pain Killer Marketing,  Chris Stiehl of , a market research guru. Chris and I are on the marketing faculty together at University of California San Diego Extension. When you interview some current, past and potential clients about the pains you solve, here are the top 10 questions you should always ask:



  1. Describe for me the “ideal” experience with a ____________ (your profession or line of consulting). How do most compare to this ideal?

  2. Describe for me a recent time that the experience was less than ideal.

  3. What are the three most important aspects of doing business with a___________.

  4. If I said a __________ was a good value, what would that mean to you?

  5. In what ways does dealing with a  _________ cost you besides money (time, hassle, effort, etc.)?

  6. What is the biggest pain about working with  a _________.

  7. Would you recommend a  _________ to a friend or colleague? Why, or why not?

  8. How does working with a _________ help you make money?

  9. What does a _________ do really well?

  10. If you had the opportunity to work with a ________ again, would you? Why, or why not?

About Henry DeVries

Best-selling author and “marketing with a book” expert Henry DeVries is an authority on typing and talking: how to maximize revenues by writing books and making speeches. He speaks to thousands of business leaders, professionals, and consultants each year, teaching them successful tactics that shine a spotlight on their company, cause, or career. Along with his best-selling books — Self-Marketing Secrets, Client Seduction, Pain Killer Marketing, and How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett — the buzz-building tools of Henry DeVries have been used to dramatically increase revenues and leverage marketing budgets for two decades. He speaks to thousands of professionals and consultants each year, teaching them scientifically proven tactics that bring them new clients.

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