I had a dream last night where I was working out the core marketing message or “ultimate outcome” of a product of some kind.
As I woke up, I pulled out my iPad and wrote down the five “ultimate outcomes” of working with my clients:
Higher End Clients – who will pay you more (High-end services and programs)
More Clients – who choose to work with you (More visibility + connections)
Better Clients – who you love to work with (Clearer targeting)
Right Clients – who will get the most value (Clearer communication)
Faster Clients – who start working with you sooner (Better sales process + offers)
You know, it’s funny, you ask somebody what they do and they never, ever tell you the ultimate outcomes they produce for their clients.
They give you their label or their process, but rarely an actual result or outcome they produce.
I’m not exactly sure why this is, but I think it has something to do with language.
Somebody asks you, “What do you do?”
And you make the mistake of actually answering them!
If you answer “What do you do?” with some lame answer like, “I’m a marketing coach,” you’ll get a blank look.
I suggest when somebody asks that question, you should hear instead, “What results do you get for your clients?”
Then you’d answer, “I help my clients attract more and better clients,”
And the response will be more like, “How do you do that?”
People have a “listening” for results, outcomes, and solutions.
They don’t give a damn about labels or processes.
But because it’s so habitual to talk that way (because it’s easier and more comfortable), it’s hard to get out of the habit.
To answer with a result you produce for your clients may feel a little strange, awkward, perhaps boastful.
But I used to say, “If you don’t want to have a conversation with someone, just give them your label.”
Remember, labels come with preconceived ideas.
If someone tells you they’re an accountant, what do you automatically think?
If someone tells you they’re an attorney, what do you automatically think?
When somebody tells you they’re a salesperson, what do you automatically think?
OK, but when you tell your result or outcome and they say, “How do you do that?” what do you say next?
Well, trying to explain your process is just as bad, if not worse.
Nobody cares or wants to hear about your “seven-step clients attraction process.”
Really, the only way that works is with a story. People also have a built-in listening for stories.
“I help my clients attract more and better clients.”
“How do you do that?”
“Well, a guy in my program was attracting clients who were too small. He just closed a new client for $60,000!”
“Hmm, can I have your card?”
“Sure, can you tell me about your business?”
This is so basic, so simple. I’ve been working with self-employed people for 35 years but most are still hopeless at this.
I challenge you to try this simple two-step process.
1. Write out several results or outcome statements about your business. Run them past some people until you find the one that gets what I call a “that’s for me response.”
2. Then work on a few stories that you can tell as a follow-up. Again, write them out and practice them a few times until you can tell them without any stress or effort.
Actually call up some people you know and practice this until you can do it naturally and easily. “Hey, can I run this by you?”
And then, when the pandemic ends, get out there and meet a lot of new people. You’ll be ready to network with real impact at long last.