How to make selling easier

How to make selling easier. Picture of Simon asking if people want what I want or what they want?

Why do selling and marketing so often feel like an uphill struggle? I believe it’s because we’re often trying to persuade people to get interested in the products or services that we have created. It’s tough to convince someone they really need something they don’t even know about. Trying to sell coaching or consulting can be especially hard when the people you’re pitching at haven’t even begun to consider those services.

But here’s the secret to making marketing easier: switch your perspective 180 degrees.

Instead of trying to find people for what you’re selling; trying making and selling what your people are interested in and asking for.

In other words…

Don’t start with the ‘what’

The problem may be that you’ve started with ‘what’ you want people to buy.

But are you really clear on ‘who’ you expect to buy it; or ‘why’? Or was the plan to create what you want to sell and then hope you can find people who are interested? Be honest.

The difficulty is that starting with ‘what’ is so tempting – you get deep into the detail, crafting a finished product that you’re really happy with; that you’ll be proud to put out there. This is completely natural – you want to offer a perfect product, but perfect for whom? Them or you?

Start with the ‘who’ and the ‘why’

Getting clearer on exactly ‘who’ you want to work with as a coach or consultant is a better starting point.

Who is your ideal client? How much do you know about them? If you don’t understand who they are, your marketing (and your product) is unlikely to appeal.

The temptation is to just pick a high-level job title or broad group of people as your target audience and move quickly on to working out what it is you can sell them.

The problems start when you realise that you don’t really know who is going to buy that product, or where to find them. This is why working out the ‘who’ is really important. It makes marketing easier.

What does your ideal client want to know?

Potential clients want to know who you work with, what you work with them on, and why they can trust you. All of these need to align in their minds before they’ll say yes to working with you. Your marketing has to answer all three questions.

The two that take the most work are the ‘who’ and the ‘why’. Answer these two and the ‘what’ isn’t as hard to crack as it might appear.

To get started, answer these questions through your marketing content. In doing so you’ll start to build an engaged audience.

When you talk about who you work with and why these people can trust you, these people will ask you if you can do that for them.

People who are your ideal client will start to ask you to work with them, without you needing to sell at all.

What they ask you to help them with is what you can then develop into a product to offer to others.

This rarely happens quickly, but it will build over time if you show up consistently and share generously.

For example, after I had been posting my content on LinkedIn for a few months, people started to ask me if I worked with people 121. They asked me to help them get clear on their who, what and why. So I started offering 121 sessions, without having to sell any sessions at all.

But… I need to make some money now!

Absolutely. I understand the need to generate some early sales. I’m not suggesting you don’t offer anything to people, rather that you are flexible at first in what you offer and how you deliver it. Experiment with different formats, pricing structures and delivery methods; constantly refining your concept and product through conversations with your audience.

As you get clearer on what people want to buy, you will be able to hone the offer you can make that aligns with that.

Start by building your audience, then market to them…

To build your audience, you can use a mailing list, podcast, LinkedIn, YouTube channel, etc. to share ideas and get people curious and thinking (and engaging!). Invite them to ask you questions. Start those conversations. As the audience grows and the conversations deepen, you can refine what you’re offering so it aligns more closely with what they really want. The goal is a combo of ideal client (for you) and ideal product (for them).

As Seth Godin says, “The big win is not to find people for your stuff, but to find stuff for your people.”