Although there could be a number of reasons you might be getting poor marketing results, there is one mistake I see entrepreneurs and small business owners making over and over.

The good news is that it’s self-inflicted and can be easily fixed.

More on that in a sec… 

Does this sound familiar? 

The other day I was talking to a business owner who was frustrated because his marketing was floundering. Before he even started in, I almost knew what he was going to say.

‘My marketing isn’t earning its keep. My website isn’t generating sales leads. Social marketing isn’t getting me anywhere. And hardly anyone is opening my emails.’ 

After he finished explaining his frustration, he went on to say that he spends a lot of time trying to make it work.

Reads all the guru stuff. He’s constantly changing his web copy. Forever jumping on marketing webinars.

And, he admits he’s a serial “bright shiny thing” chaser.

Hmmmmm…It didn’t take me long to spot the issue.

Before I tell you what it was, consider the following scenario:

You need to buy a new suit. Maybe you have a job interview or a special occasion is upcoming. Doesn’t matter. You’re ready to buy. 

At the mall, you walk into a men’s store. You’re hardly through the door and an employee comes up to you and says, ‘Can I help you?’

It’s tempting to tell him ‘yes, please leave me alone’ but instead, you say ‘NO THANKS’ and keep walking. Your new “friend” stays right on top of you as you start working your way toward a rack of suits.

‘We’re having a 30% sale but it ends today,’ he informs you. 

Great. Pressure. Just what you wanted.

The torture continues. ‘You’ll probably be interested in our blah blah blah. They’re going like hotcakes.’ 

The salesperson might as well be saying, ‘Look, why don’t we save ourselves some time here…you look like someone who doesn’t have a mind of his own. How about I just pick something out for you?’ 

Do you see what’s going on here? This shopping “experience” is being FORCED on you. No romance. No ‘look around and call me if I can be of service’.

The salesperson sees you as simply another potential transaction.

You need to sell yourself first

And that’s the #1 problem I see when I look for reasons why marketers struggle with their online marketing.

They don’t sell. They TELL. 

Instead of providing prospects with a buying ‘experience’, they jam products and services at them in a ‘stop me when you see something you like’ barrage. 

It’s pushy. There’s no value being communicated. Instead, it’s ‘Here’s the stuff we sell. You should buy it because uh, er ah….because we sell it.’

Prospects don’t want products or services. They want to know how their life will be improved if they decide to do business with YOU  

Creating a successful marketing approach means always being focusing on your prospect.

Very few prospects are ready to buy the moment they ‘meet you.’ They want to look around. Get a feeling for who you are. See if they can see signs that you may be someone they want to do business with.

Million-dollar thought: People want to buy at THEIR own pace using THEIR process.

Your prospects need to buy YOU before a sale can be made.

How Your Customers Think BEFORE They Buy

Your prospects have a buying process they rely on to help them zero in what they want. It’s the same one they use when they land on your website.

Here’s a simple (but VERY important) checklist you can use to see if you’re ticking all their buying boxes:

√ Do you UNDERSTAND their problem? (let them know you do by writing copy that taps into the pain they are experiencing by having the problem go unresolved…for example, if you’re selling business coaching as a career to people over 50 you might start with “no one knows better than you how scary it can be to start a new career after 30 years in the corporate world.”)

√ Can you SOLVE their problem? (you want to have some kind of a unique promise that catches their attention in the form of a headline)

√ Have you DONE this before? (testimonials where people with the same problem discuss how your solution saved the day)

√ HOW you do it? Use copy that details how your process of solving the problem works…many of our customers have no idea how we work. By explaining it, you’re already ahead of 75% of your competitors!

√ What do you want them to DO? (this is where you give your prospect an opportunity to get to know you better, to warm up to you…a free report or checklist containing useful information can be great ways to lower sales resistance so they can see you are truly interested – and qualified – to help them.)

By putting your prospect first, your online marketing will ATTRACT more prospects to your offer instead of pushing them away. 

Take a look at your online selling story. Are you pushing or attracting?

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