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You’ve heard a million times that potential customers are looking to buy your service to unlock key benefits.

Marketing experts say: “Simply tap into these benefits and include them in your sales content, and by this time next year, you’ll be a millionaire (Rodney)” Yada, yada yada.

What you might not know is that yes, a potential customer may say they are looking to achieve a specific benefit. But, in many cases, these spoken benefits are simply code for a ‘hidden benefit’ that you might not be aware of.

There are two possible reasons why you may not be aware of the real benefit they are looking to achieve:

1. Your prospect hasn’t told you the real benefit they are seeking.

2. They aren’t even aware, or are unable to admit to themselves, that they are actually trying to achieve this specific benefit.

How could they not know which benefits they’re looking for?

If you’re responsible for any aspect of selling or marketing a service, it’s your job to identify the benefit that your potential customers are looking to achieve, and convince them that your service can deliver this, in spades.

But, it’s not always that simple.

Some desired benefits are kept hidden by your customers and sometimes not even consciously identified, because they are, well, rather humiliating. Or, at the very least, a bit embarrassing.

These are the type of desires that we have because we’re human animals with base instincts driven by our genetic need to survive and reproduce. And, because these desires are sometimes not socially acceptable to articulate, or too deep rooted for us to even recognise ourselves, we disguise them by verbalising other, more easy to talk about, benefits.

For example, a friend of yours might say: “I’m joining the gym….because I want to get healthier”, when really they are thinking (consciously or unconsciously) “I’m joining the gym…because I want to look hotter and get a new boyfriend.”

Frankly, it would be so refreshing if we all started talking to each other like this, but I don’t see it happening any time soon, unless the robots take over, and being open with our feelings is the only thing we have left to keep us viable. I digress…

No matter how much digging you do during your sales conversations (and please don’t try it) you’re unlikely to get a customer to admit to these sorts of embarrassing desired benefits. Often, they don’t even show up in anonymous surveys. So, it’s time to put your psychologist’s hat on, and try to identify what potential benefits your customers might really be looking to achieve, whether they verbalise them, or not.


Some commonly stated benefits and what could be the hidden benefits behind them.

We’ve split these into B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) contexts so you can see how they work in the different types of markets. Some of the hidden desires are relevant to both.

1) When they say: “I want to save time”

The hidden benefits they want to achieve in a B2B context could be:

  • I find this part of my job boring and I want someone else to do it.
  • I don’t really know how to do this myself. I don’t want my boss to find out, so I want you to do it for me.


The hidden benefits they want to achieve in a B2C context could be:

  • I dislike doing this myself, but I still want it done.
  • I know I’m not very good at it but I want people to think I am, so they think I’m cool / socially acceptable.
  • I feel like this task is a bit below me, and I want someone else to do it for me, to improve my social status.
  • I’m feeling a bit lazy, but I don’t want anyone to know.


2) When they say: “I want to save money or increase revenues”

The hidden benefits they want to achieve in a B2B context could be:

  • Our business is struggling, we need to find a way to increase our revenue fast or we’ll be go bust.
  • We’ve realised we can sell more if we outsource part of the job, this help us get more clients.
  • We can’t afford to hire someone in house to do this full time, we want to outsource because it’s less of a commitment.


The hidden benefits they want to achieve in a B2C context could be:

  • I’m struggling financially and I this could help me to survive.
  • I’m fed up of spending money on this area of my life when I could be buying the things I really want instead.


3) When they say: “I want to feel better / increase my confidence / be a market leader”

The hidden benefits they want to achieve in a B2B context could be:

  • We need this because our competition is beating us and we’re trying to get the edge on them so we can win more clients.
  • We’ve seen that our competitors have this, so we want/need to have it too.


The hidden benefits they want to achieve in a B2C context could be:

  • My confidence about myself is very low and I need a boost.
  • I don’t like myself, I want to change that.
  • I want to be more attractive or popular.
  • I think this will make me happier.
  • Peer pressure is making me think I need this too or I might lose friends.

Quite eye-opening isn’t it? Some of the hidden benefits are pretty sensitive. You can see why people rarely spell these out.


Your job as a business owner…

…is to consider these secret benefits, and gently show potential customers that you can help them to achieve the spoken benefits, as well as the hidden ones. You can do this through sharing case studies, testimonials, written and social media content which outlines how your business delivered both the spoken and the hidden benefits that your potential customers are looking for.

We know it can be quite tricky to work out what those hidden benefits might be! But, we’ve helped heaps of clients to do just that, so that they can start to magically connect with their ideal clients and generate more revenue.

So, if you’d like some help uncovering them for your own target audience, visit our Services page to learn more about how we could help.

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