Step 1: Know What You’re Marketing

by Charlie Cook

You market your own business or you direct marketing for your company. You know what you are marketing – it’s obvious.

Or is it?

If you’re a financial advisor, you probably think you’re marketing financial advice. If you’re a sales consultant, you may think you are marketing sales training. If you are a realtor, you may assume you market homes or commercial properties. If you market big screen TVs you may think you’re selling the latest technology.

In each case, you’d be right in terms of your deliverables, but you’d be wrong about what your prospects are buying.

Over the years, I’ve worked with service providers ranging from plumbers to financial advisors, to data management firms as well as numerous marketing consultants. Despite the diversity of services they provide, they all face the same hurdle to increasing their sales. Each and every one has the product or service they deliver confused with what they are marketing.

What you’re marketing and what you actually deliver are two different things. The key to increasing your sales is to realize that what you are really marketing is hope – your clients’ hope of achieving their goals.

You’re marketing to your prospects’ hopes that they’ll be happier, more successful, more attractive, smarter, richer, more comfortable, more secure, etc. Target your marketing to the real reasons people buy, and you’ll be much more successful in motivating them to make a purchase from you.

Focus your marketing by identifying what your prospects want. Make a list that describes their hopes. Following are some samples to give you the idea:

What Your Prospects Really Want

Residential Realtors’ Prospects
– I hope I can find a home I can afford
– I hope I can find a home to accommodate our growing family
– I hope I get the best possible price for our current home

Sales Trainers’ Prospects
– I hope I can generate more leads
– I hope more people understand how I can help them
– I hope I can sell more of my products and services

Plumbers’ Prospects
– I hope I can get the leak stopped as soon as possible
– I hope I can get a plumber to show up
– I hope it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg

Financial Advisors’ Prospects
– I hope I have enough m0ney to pay my childrens’ college tuition
– I hope I have enough to afford to retire comfortably
– I hope my money is secure no matter what the stock market does

Online Data Management Firms’ Prospects
– I hope more people find my site
– I hope more prospects understand how they can benefit from using our services
– I hope more prospects contact us and buy from us

What are your prospects hoping for when they buy your products or services?

Why Marketing to Hope Works

Much as you’d like to think your prospects make logical, well reasoned purchasing decisions, in most cases logic plays a secondary role to emotions. If you’ve made the rounds with a son or daughter looking at colleges, you’ve experienced this first hand. You talk the whole thing over thoroughly with your child and make a decision to visit a college that appears to be a great fit.

You drive up to the campus and they won’t even get out of the car. What’s going on? They’re making a decision based on some unspoken set of criteria that defies parental logic. Find out what those criteria are, and you can move forward. The same goes for your prospects.

Your prospects may bring logic to bear when researching service providers but their ultimate selection will be based on emotions. Market directly to what they hope and want and tap into these emotions to help them pick your product or service.

No matter what business you’re in, your objective is to help your clients be more successful and to achieve their hopes and dreams, both small and large. Appeal to their motives and you’ll increase your sales.

Remember HOPE stands for:

Use hope to market your products and services and you’ll capture your prospects’ attention, their hearts and more of their business.

(VALUE: $200)
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