The Trigger Point Phenomenon

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Very little is known about Trigger Points in the mental health profession, and yet the concept is incredibly important for understanding the buying phenomenon.

In essence, Trigger Points are events that create an essential need for a person or group of people.  When we apply this to a business development model, we see that Trigger Points are the stimulus behind any buying decision and/or action that moves someone toward a buying decision.
And here is the most important point with regards to this phenomenon – If a person experiences a trigger event, THEY WILL ALWAYS BUY.

Once this kind of event takes place the only real question becomes, who will they choose to buy from.  Recognizing, anticipating, and understanding Trigger Points in people will help you position yourself so they choose to buy from you.

Let’s look at two examples to help clarify what we mean by Trigger Points and then discuss their overall utility in the mental health profession.

A family is struggling with a child who is demonstrating increasingly bizarre and dangerous behavior.  The problem behaviors have escalated to the point where no one is safe in the home.  When this unfortunate scenario becomes a reality, it serves as a trigger event for the family to seek out mental health services.  It may be unclear what will best meet the needs of the family, but they will no doubt be seeking and using some type of mental health service.  A mental health professional, who successfully speaks to this trigger point, whether it is in an advertisement or through some other form of communication, will be the one most likely to be given the opportunity to provide services for the child and family.

Now let’s look at another scenario and see how it might be different and why.

A father contacts a therapist with questions about his 17-year old son who has run into some trouble at school.  School counselors and administrators have noticed a change in the young man’s behavior to include skipping class, angry outbursts, and suspected use of alcohol.  The school spoke with both parents and gave them the therapist’s contact information as a referral source.  On the day of the session the family does not show, and they do not return the therapist’s follow up phone calls.  In this scenario there really is no true trigger point from the family’s perspective.  As a clinician, you may believe that the young man’s problems suggest a definite need for clinical intervention, but the family obviously does not view it as that critical a situation.  They were ambivalent from the start and most likely contacted the therapist to appease the school.  Whatever the rationale behind their decision, it is clear that there was no current pressing need that would motivate them to seek out and use counseling services.

An understanding of Trigger Points can help mental health practitioners grow their business by addressing two core components.

1.    Using Trigger Points As A Market Research Tool

  • Trigger Points help you to recognize and focus your resources only on situations where essential need is present, thereby, improving your ability to generate business.
  • Trigger Points are an effective prospecting tool.  They give you the ability to work more efficiently and to be more targeted in your outreach efforts.  They offer a system for qualifying customers so you can choose what population to focus your business development efforts on.
  • Trigger Points serve as a barometer to help you decide whether or not to offer a service and to better understand where consumer need is most pressing and most important.
  • In larger organizations, an analysis of trigger points can help you determine overall marketing campaigns and business relationships/partnerships to seek out.
  • In private practices, Trigger Points can help you define your market niche.

2.    Using Trigger Points To Bring About Hidden Buyer Motivation

  • Trigger Points give you the ability to speak directly to the pressing needs and hidden concerns of your target market.
  • Your awareness of specific trigger events can help you move people along the buying process continuum.
  • Eliciting behavioral responses by uncovering trigger events is not about manipulating people to do something they don’t want, rather it is about freeing people up and giving them permission to access things that are of important value to them and their well being.  It is about finding the emotional triggers that speak to people and giving them permission to act.

Are you looking to increase your chances for success in whatever services you choose to offer?  Do you want to work smarter and be more productive with your time?  Understand and explore the presence of trigger events, qualify your prospects, recognize the behavioral cues that lead to buying decisions, and use this knowledge when conducting your day-to-day business.

David Diana



  1. Drew Elks  November 27, 2010

    This is a top quality post. Loving it dude!

  2. Dion Balzarini  December 15, 2010

    This is an exceptional. Loving it dude!

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