You know the old adage, everyone likes to buy things, and no one wants to be told what to buy? Isn’t it true, that when someone tells you what to do, the thing you wanted has already lost some its allure? Think about it. How do you feel when someone else’s “request” of you sounds too much like a command? Are you enthusiastic?
But too much marketing is just that. It operates like a command. A great deal of marketing and of what passes for persuasion, sounds like this: “I’m smart. I know what you need. Here it is. Buy this and your problems are history.” Now everyone wants their problems to be cured. And for some people, the pain of the problem will motivate them to overcome the traditional marketing message and to actually buy.
But, if you take an honest look at your marketing and if it has repeated references to you, your credentials, and thinly veiled commands to buy, then you’re counting on only the most motivated buyers to overcome the distaste we all have for someone else telling us what to do. You marketing is persuading only a small number of prospects to act.
So how do we reach and genuinely persuade the bigger audience?
Think of your marketing as coaching. When I first heard this analogy from Eben Pagan at an event in LA, it struck me as an elegant way to think and to change what we are doing. So that’s what we should do. Now how do we do it?
First, you want to find out what your prospects really need and value. You want to deliver that and the highest possible value to them but you want them to discover, on their own, that you have their best interests in mind and the best solutions, products and services to achieve what you know they want. Remember, when I say you know, I mean that you have learned from them. Not that you have decided for them.
This takes marketing that inspires curiosity, that educates, and that gives the prospect everything that they need to evaluate your product (service or solution) and to come to that conclusion on their own.
Does that sound like a multi-step process? It probably is. The first step should lead to a series of steps that lets different people decide to buy, on their own, according to their own processes. You can do this in any medium of marketing. You can use blogs, web articles, books, magazine adds, direct marketing such as post cards and letters… well, you get the picture.
It may be a bit harder, but your competition probably won’t do it and when you do…
By the way, what if I’m wrong and they do start before you? Better think about this. Note to self: “Implement marketing that looks, sounds, feels and is more like coaching the customer than selling them.”
When you implement that idea, your next note to self might be: “Go to the bank more often for deposits.”