A while ago I was listening to a man named Burt Dubin. He was being interviewed and he said something that caught my attention. The interviewer asked him what advice he would give to a professional speaker wanting to get more clients.
Here´s what Burt said:
"Create an environment where people want to know more about what you do and how it might help them achieve their goals."
I like this because it tells us exactly what our goal should be as we strive to promote our businesses. It tells us what outcome our marketing should create.
The power in this strategy is that it advises us to stop selling. Stop telling. Stop shoving our sales pitches in front of people without knowing if they´re even interested yet.
Too many people still promote their businesses and nonprofits by telling people all about who they are and what they do. Their entire marketing focus seems to be to tell the world they exist. (As if just knowing your business exists will compel people to interrupt their busy day to come visit you.)
Sorry. It doesn´t work that way.
I call it "me marketing". It´s all about "me" (the person or company doing the marketing). It´s entirely focused on shouting to the world "this is who we are and this is what we do!"
You see it in salespeople who cold call on people just because they´re in a certain industry or community. You see it in direct mail that goes out to people who have no use for and no interest in what they´re selling. You see it in TV commercials for local businesses where the owner proudly tells us "your satisfaction is our claim to fame" or some equally unclever slogan. You see it in magazine and newspaper ads that talk about some new industry award a company has won.
The problem is one of intent.
These ads are created with the intention of telling people how great a business or product or service is. But people don´t care about that. Business owners, managers and the people who create these ads are the only people who care about that stuff.
People (the people who would be your customers) care about what you can do for them.
How can you help them have a better life, a better year, maybe even just a better day? What can you do for them? How can you help them reach their goals? How can you help them make their dreams come true? And, why should they believe you?
So, how to you do this?
This brings us back to Burt Dubin´s advice.
Stop throwing the wrong information at people. Setup a situation where they will come to you. Help them become interested in what you can do for them by talking about something that interested them.
Make your marketing deliver a message that people want to hear. Make it about them. Make it about helping them have a great life. Make it about helping them get what they want.
Provide them with information that helps them see (clearly and directly) that you can help them reach their goals and make their dreams come true. Show them other people whom you´ve helped. Give them detailed and enticing examples of how your product or service relates directly to them.
For example, if you´re marketing a college or training organization you might showcase successful people who have taken your classes. Tell their stories and you´ll connect with other people who want to achieve something similar.
If you´re a dentist, maybe you talk about people who are now proud of their beautiful new smiles you helped them have. They feel better about themselves because they like the way they look. And you helped them get there. So, tell that story.
Every business and organization helps people. To find out how, just ask your customers. Ask your happy customers. Ask your unhappy customers too. They´ll tell you how you COULD help them.
Focus your intentions and your marketing on helping your customers meet their goals. Make this your number one rule. Use it to drive all your marketing and promotions. You´ll see better results than ever before, because you´ll be giving people a good reason to come to you.
When people are interested in what you can do for them, they are much more likely to become your customers. They´re more likely to become loyal customers who tell others about you. They´ll do this for you because you´ve done something for them.
You´ve helped them get one step closer to living their dreams.