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The Most Useful Question In Marketing?
In this week’s 5 Minute Marketing Tip I reveal what I think is the most useful question you can ask yourself in marketing.
Whenever I’ve run workshops with clients and we’ve been trying to figure out how to get more meetings with potential clients or get them to return our calls and emails or buy more of our products and services; asking ourselves this simple question has always helped us come up with a great answer.
Try it yourself in today’s video…
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Hi, it’s Ian here. Welcome to another five-minute marketing tip. In this week’s tip, I’m going to reveal the most useful question you can ask yourself in marketing. I’ll tell you what it is and how to use it after this short break.
Hi, welcome back. Over the years, I have done dozens and dozens and dozens of workshops with clients and other business people where we have asked ourselves questions like, “How can I get more meetings with potential clients? How can I get clients to return my calls and my emails? How can I get them to buy my products and services?”
Like good business people, we’ve been very goal-focused. We’ve taken that goal and we’ve brainstormed lots of different options of how we would achieve that goal. We thought about if I wanted to get a meeting with a potential client, should I call them, email them, use a LinkedIn message, ask for a referral, should I outsource the job to someone else?
The problem with that sort of thinking is that it starts with you. It’s very seller-push focused. It starts with you thinking about what you want and how you can get it. Really, you’re much better off starting in the mind of your ideal client. Being much more client-pull focused, starting with what they want and how you can position what you have so that they would want it.
So the most useful question that you can ask yourself is, “If I was a potential client, why on earth would I want to …” Then whatever it is you want them to do, “… Right now?”
Let’s give an example of that. Let’s say you wanted a meeting with potential clients. Instead of thinking, “How can I get a meeting with …” this particular potential client, think, “If I was a potential client, why on earth would I want a meeting with Ian right now?” That really changes your thinking. It gets you away from all the tactics and the stuff you might try to push to get them to have the meeting and gets you thinking, “What would motivate them to really want that meeting?” That’s going to have much more impact than any little tactics that you can use. For example, if you were an expense analyst and you help companies reduce their expenses, then you’d be thinking, “Why on earth would a potential client want a meeting with me, an expense analyst, right now?”
If your answer … The key’s also in this right now bit, because if your answer is future-focused, if your answer is, “Oh well, because I’d be able to tell them about how I could help them reduce their expenses,” that’s future-focused. That doesn’t happen in the meeting. The value is after the meeting after they’ve started working with you and that’s not going to get you a meeting. You need value in the meeting itself because they could hire you at any point in time. You have to remember that most points in time, your clients are not looking to hire someone. Instead, as an expense analyst, you might think, “Why would they want a meeting with me right now? Well, I could share some useful case studies of how other companies have reduced their expenses and they could learn from that and get some value from the meeting.”
If you’re a leadership coach, for example, rather than thinking, “A client will want to have a meeting with me so we could discuss how I might be able to help them improve their leadership in the meeting and I could be a valuable supplier to them in the future,” again that’s no value to them in the meeting, it’s only valuable to them in the future so it doesn’t make them want to have the meeting right now. As a leadership coach, your clients are not sitting there thinking, “I wish I knew a really good leadership coach who could help me”. What they’re usually thinking is, “I wish the performance of my team would improve. I wish I was more confident about that presentation I’ve got to make next week,” etc, etc.
Deal with those immediate problems. Give them value related to those immediate problems in the meeting. You could offer them a meeting to share some benchmarking on what leading-edge companies are doing to improve the performance of their teams. If I’m worried about the performance of my team, that’s a meeting I would have to get that useful information in the team. I wouldn’t have a meeting to talk to a leadership coach about what their services are. If I was worried about my presentation skills for an upcoming presentation I’ve got to make, then a meeting offered to me about three key methods for gaining confidence and making your presentation zing when you next deliver it, that would be a meeting I would have to hear about that because I could use it immediately.
That’s the key thing. Ask yourself the question, “If I was a potential client, why on earth would I want to …” And then what you want them to do, “…Right now?” If you can answer that clearly and give your client a big reason to do what you want them to do right now, then many, many more of them with do it than if you just start it from your perspective and started thinking about tactics you could use to try and get them to do it. Use that technique. It will really work for you and I’ll see you next week.