Preparing for today’s short marketing course, yesterday I was helping a financial planner with a tremendous service he had recently developed. Unfortunately, like many seeking small business help, he could not explain the service well enough that people could understand what it is that he’s offering and why they should buy.
This is not as strange as many of you in today’s short marketing course may think. I’m fascinated by how much difficulty so many people with large and small businesses have defining what they are selling, in terms their customers can understand.
Perhaps it’s because the kind of person who is technically savvy enough to go into business with a product or service that’s really great, is often the same person who lacks the communication skills to articulate that message in a user-friendly way.
A Small Business is Helped by the Power of a Simplified Explanation
So the lesson for today’s short marketing course is simple. When you are able to simplify the explanation of what you are selling, the marketing for your business or product will suddenly become much simpler and more people will buy.
This is not simply a problem for people taking today’s short marketing course. Look through the ads in a typical technical magazine and I think you’ll be amazed at how many small businesses do a really poor job of explaining what they’re selling or what makes it different from all the competitors.
Einstein used to explain his concepts to young children in a park across from his home. He believed that you should be able to simplify virtually any advanced concept enough that kids can understand it. Plus, something extraordinary happens when you reduce it down to such simplistic terms. You yourself become clearer about the concept.
If It Sounds Too Complicated, Maybe It Doesn’t Really Make Sense
Many of you taking today’s short marketing course may remember the collapse of the not-so-small business, Enron, a few years ago.
Funny enough, the Enron scandal in Texas, where a Fortune 500 booming company went bankrupt virtually overnight when it was discovered that their so-called sophisticated deals that nobody really understood were fraudulent figments of their imagination–reinforces the point that you should slow down all important concepts so just about everyone could understand them, especially before you proceed to try and market it.
As many small business owners may have heard me stress in previous episodes of our short marketing course, communication is one of the most critical elements to effective marketing. For all of you taking today’s short marketing course, you could have the greatest product or service on the planet. But if you cannot articulate that message to your potential customer, they will not buy it.
A Simple Formula for Today’s Short Marketing Course
Here’s a simple way to clarify your message so people can more easily understand it.
FIRST: Define who specifically you are selling to. I laugh to myself when people tell me, “Everyone is my potential client.”
I’m not laughing at them. Rather, I’m laughing because so many people seeking large and small business help start out saying this, when asked who they’re selling to. But… the more you can articulate what makes your BUYER different from everyone else, and the more you can define what your buyer is really like, the easier it becomes to get them to buy.
In the case of the financial advisor, he finally explained that his ideal client is over 50, with at least $200,000 of his money under management by some financial broker, where he or she is paying more than 1% commission.
SECOND: Now that you have defined WHO your ideal customer is, next is–why should they buy from you?
In this case, the advisor finally explained that for these people, he shows them a simple way to manage their own portfolio so they save at least $2,000 to $3,000 while keeping their money safer than when someone else manages it.
Once I got him to answer these two questions, suddenly, getting people to buy became dramatically easier. And here’s how.
From this point forward, he needs to make sure these very words are on his website, on his brochures and flyers, in his talks, perhaps even on his business card. Basically he can say something like:
Is this you (the definition of your ideal client)?
If yes, here’s something that may be interesting to you. It’s a way to (achieve the result your product or service achieves for them).
In the financial planner’s case, here’s what he could say:
Are you over 50 and paying someone to manage more than $200,000 of your money? If yes, I have a simple way you can save $2,000 to $3,000 a year while making you money safer, all at the same time. Are you interested?
See how that works?
Try it yourself. Answer the two questions above in a way that even a child could understand it, and you’ll start to find it much easier to get people to buy from you.