Here’s what you’ll discover: How to position your offerings so that clients wisely buy from you, instead of someone else.
Think back to the last time you decided to buy a product or service that promised to load you up with some essential skills. What made you pull out your credit card? The craving for the new skill itself? Or the dream of the change that the new skill would bring you? You may think that you were buying the skill. But dollars to donuts, my bet is that you were actually buying a chance at the change.
(Me? A couple of days ago, I plunked down $445 to have access to Seth Godin’s new online course on marketing. Am I buying $445 of Seth Godin’s fabulosity? To touch the hem of his garment? Most definitely not. But he has a knack for transferring knowledge in a between-the-eyes kind of way. And I expect that the knowledge transfer will change the nature of my business for the better. I’m buying the change. Or at least a crack at the change.)
It’s the Transformation, Not the Tool Set
Mixed metaphor Number 1: Here’s one thing I already know about marketing: If you think of yourself as a travel agent, what you need to do is to paint the picture of the destination, not lay out all the details of the plane that will get your client there. As content experts, we tend to be in love with our plane: Our tools, techniques, processes, experience.
Our prospects really couldn’t care less. They want to know that you will be taking them to the land of swaying palms and umbrella drinks. They want to know that we will safely get them to the change that they’re craving, without a side trip to, say, Cleveland (not that there’s anything wrong with Cleveland…just no swaying palms).
Going My Way?
Mixed metaphor Number 2: As a branded thought expert, your universe of prospective clients should already know what change you’re promising them before they reach out to you. If the change they’re looking for is getting that damned service light turned off on their dashboard, the change maker they’ll be headed for is a mechanic. Not you, if your change promise happens to be engaged corporate cultures.
So, with a well-built platform and clear website, presumably you’ll be hearing only from people interested in that special transformation promise you stand for. That’s when your initial conversation with them gets much easier.
Now it’s up to you to find out that that successful transformation looks like in the prospects’ imagination. What does their ideal scenario look like? You get that intel only if you keep your mouth shut, except to simply ask the questions that will pull out the answers.
To help you listen for the critical clues that will help you connect meaningfully to them after they share their hearts, here is a handy list of “R” words. When you think about the transformation you offer your potential clients, which of these “R” words help you express your promised benefit in language that will resonate with them?
- Revolution (in a good way)
How to Really Stand Out From Your Competitors
Simon Sinek famously (and charmingly) tells us that your customers don’t buy what you have to offer. They buy why you’re offering it. He says that when we attach our own personal why to our set of offerings, we can compellingly, emotionally, authentically, and therefore effectively, connect with our potential clients in ways that our competitors can’t.
Fair enough. But now whenever I review the websites of people who want me to help them build their differentiating platform, all I’m seeing is how passionate they are in the mission they’re pursuing. Suddenly everyone and their neighbor is passionate.
Here’s how to transform a prospective client into an engaged client: After carefully listening to what they have to say, paint the picture for them so that they understand in vivid detail how working with you will transform their lives, their work, their companies into a future that will bring them the joy they’re craving.