You already know that you need to name your ideal customer’s pain. You need to show them that you acknowledge what they’re going through and that you have a solution.

However, naming the pain is rarely enough.

In order for your potential [and existing] customers to trust you, you must demonstrate that you fully understand the depth and scope of that pain. You need to be able to describe how it feels and how it specifically and negatively affects their lives. You need to use the words that only a sufferer of that pain would understand.

Many of you have the best kind of experience with your customers’ pain—personal experience. In fact, when you speak to your ideal customers, it’s like speaking to your younger self…before you had this figured out. This is an ideal situation, not only because you know just what to say to bring that pain to the surface and to show sympathy for sufferers, but because you are living proof that the solution you’re selling really does work.

This isn’t always the case, though.

Maybe you’ve created a genius solution to a common problem, even though you’ve never personally suffered from that problem. Does this mean that your brand is worth less than those created from personal experience and need? Not at all. It does pose a different type of challenge, though.

You are charged with proving to your ideal customers that you really do get it—that you really do understand the havoc this problem is causing in their lives and the scope of their desire to fix it. Otherwise, why should they trust you?

I have some tips for you, to make your audience understand just how close you are to their pain (and their solution).

Gain Experience in Your Customers’ Pain

People have an innate sense for identifying others who have been through challenges similar to their own. You might be able to fool your audience long enough to snag the first sale; however, after that, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up appearances.

So how can you establish customer empathy (i.e. a genuine understanding for your customers’ pain) if you’ve haven’t been through the pain your brand promises to relieve? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Put Yourself Through the Pain. Well, if there’s one sure-fire way to establish empathy, it’s to experience the pain for yourself. This will only be feasible in certain situations; however, whenever possible, I suggest you take the time to do it. Does your brand sell affordable used cars? Then borrow a jalopy for a week so you can feel the pain of owning an unreliable vehicle. Does your brand provide financial counselling? Then allow yourself no spending money for an entire week, so you can know what it’s like to be broke (or in fear of going bankrupt). Do you provide a dating or match-making service? Tell your mate and your friends that you’re spending a week in solitary study, so you can feel the pangs of loneliness.
  • Conduct a Survey. If you want to improve your empathy for your customers, then ask them important questions. Create a survey with industry-specific multiple-choice answers using a service like SurveyMonkey or SurveyPlanet. Ask them who they are, what they want and how they feel. Offer to include them in future offers and events, or to give them a free gift for completing the survey. Use what you learn to put yourself in their shoes…and I mean really get in there.
  • Establish a Panel. Most likely, you know of a group of people with a vested interest in the successful growth of your brand. They may be your ideal customers; they may be an outside group that will benefit from your brand’s achievement. Gather these people together regularly, to learn about their experiences and what they’re seeing ‘in the field.’ Use what you learn to deepen your customer empathy.customer-pain
  • Ask for Objectors' Opinions. As you proceed with your empathy study, the last thing you’ll want to do is ask ‘YES’ people for their opinions. These people might be your family, your friends…or anyone who thinks they need to spare your feelings or agree with you, for any reason. Instead, seek out those people who like to play ‘bad cop’ and challenge the status quo. Not only will you get a 360° view of your brand, you will be prepared to field objections from potential and existing customers.


These are just a few suggestions for gaining experience in your customers’ pain. When you really get to know your ideal customer, you will come up with more ways to get inside their heads, and to feel their pain right alongside them.

Do you have experience with customer empathy? Or would you like to talk with business owners and brand builders who do? Then I invite you to join the Brand Builders Club, where freedom-focussed entrepreneurs gather to discuss how they’re building their purpose-driven businesses…and getting expert advice and 90-minute monthly masterminds along the way. Sound interesting to you? Learn more here.

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