This is the 2nd to last post in the series dedicated to the sales copy ‘customer awareness graph’ that was created by copywriting legend Gene Schwartz.

Read the first post of the series here

This graph helps marketers tailor a more targeted sales approach to their key demographic. By understanding what your prospects already know about your brand, you can pinpoint how direct you should be with your sales copy.


Most Aware         Product Aware       Solution Aware       Problem Aware         Unaware


DIRECT APPROACH                                                                        INDIRECT APPROACH


Targeting your ‘Problem Aware’ prospect.

A problem aware prospect knows there is an issue that’s bothering them, but doesn’t know there is a solution to remedy it.

As you can see on the graph you need to lead with a more indirect approach. This means you need to first build rapport with your prospect – well before you start to outline your benefits or price.

With this type of customer, you need to lead with empathy. You need to let them know that you ‘understand their pain’. It not just a matter of acknowledging that you know they have a problem, but you have to express that you understand the discomfort, frustration, and displeasure it causes. This is called the ‘maximum point of anxiety’. When you pinpoint this, be sure to twist the knife a little – putting emphasis on their troubles. By doing this, you make a connection with the prospect on an emotional level. Your chances of making a sale on an emotional level are much higher as the prospect is not thinking practically. With emotions involved your prospect is more likely to make more of an impulsive purchase.

empathy in sales


A great way to get your prospects attention is using “the proclamation lead”. This is where you make a bold statement or eye-catching shock headline that commands closer attention. This gets your foot in the door to start building rapport. When it comes to sales videos, you can do this with your video headline combined with an interesting thumbnail. Remember you can add text to your video thumbnail – which can make it even more clickable

The key point to remember is to make that emotional connection using empathy. This has to be your main focus. Then segway into addressing the solution to the problem and outlining the benefits of your products.

The final post in this series will shed light on selling to completely ‘Unaware’ prospects. These are the toughest to sell to because not only have they not heard of your brand, but they have no idea what your company offers.