So in all honesty, there could be many reasons why clients don't hire you.
Maybe you're just not meeting enough of them. Either virtually or in real life (when we finally get back to real life meetings).
Or maybe your offer is weak: they just don't want or need what you're selling. Or at least the way you're communicating it to them.
Maybe they don't trust you, or you haven't established enough credibility.
Or you just can't "get them over the line" when you meet with them to talk about working together.
All of those could be true.
And of course, I don't know your specific situation.
But I can tell you that in the vast majority of cases I've seen, it's not really any of those things.
Sure, you could probably do with meeting more potential clients. You could probably do with sharpening up your elevator pitch, beefing up your testimonials and honing your sales meeting skills.
But most of the time you're probably doing OK in those areas.
The REAL reason is much more insidious than that. Much more difficult to spot.
The real issue is that the vast majority of the time you're marketing to your potential clients, they're simply not ready to buy.
The timing's not right.
They don’t feel an urgent, pressing need to fix the problem you help solve.
And so they're just not interested in anything you have to say about the benefits of working with you, all the wonderful things people say about you or any other traditional marketing messages.
Getting better at any of those things isn't going to help you if the timing isn't right.
To get to the bottom of the timing issue, let's think about how people actually buy things for a minute.
Not commodities. But the kind of big, high-value services people like us deliver.
No one wakes up in the morning and out of nowhere starts thinking "I really need to hire a presentation coach". Or a sales trainer for my team. Or a strategy consultant.
Initially, even if they have a problem you can help with, they're most likely not aware of it.
Then over time, slowly but gradually, they begin to see signs that something is wrong.
Maybe they couldn't get their point across in that big meeting. Maybe the sales of their team have flatlined. Maybe they were blindsided by that new product their competitors introduced.
Do they jump to hiring someone straight away?
But they do start thinking about that problem more and more as the symptoms start piling up. As they get feedback that the board wasn't impressed by their last presentation. As sales begin to dip further and their best salesperson leaves. As sales of the competitor's new product begin to eat into their core.
And eventually, they decide they need to do something.
Do they hire someone now?
They start looking around for insights and ideas as to what's causing the problem and what they might be able to do about it.
They speak to their colleagues and peers. They jump onto google and start searching for "how to improve presentations" or "new sales techniques". They start noticing relevant information in their Linkedin newsfeed.
Do they hire someone now?
Now they start piecing together the puzzle to decide what the problem is and what they're going to do about it.
They make tentative plans. Bounce ideas off their colleagues. Look for recommendations.
Do they hire someone now?
Not quite yet.
But they do begin to put feelers out. See who is offering what and whether it's in line with what they're looking for. Pull together criteria for who to hire.
And then finally, if they decide they need outside help, they begin looking to hire someone.
And while sometimes that whole process can move fast, usually it's months from first becoming aware of an issue to hiring someone to help.
And the bigger and more complex the problem, the more costly the solution, the longer it takes.
Here's what that means in stark terms...
Out of that whole period of time, for 90% or more of it they're not looking to hire anyone. And so they're not interested in hearing about why they should hire you or anyone else.
And yet think about the marketing you see around you.
90% or more of it is about why you should hire someone.
And, be honest about it, is that what your marketing focuses on?
The benefits of working with you. The success they'll see if they hire you. Testimonials from people saying what great results they got from working with you.
Let that sink in for a minute...
90% or more of the marketing being pumped out is sales-oriented. It's all about why someone should buy from you.
And yet 90% or more of people just aren't ready to buy at any given time.
You only have to look at your own Linkedin feed to see how true that is. How much sales-oriented noise there is and how little of it is actually of interest or value to you.
But think about what sort of opportunity that opens up for someone who's prepared to create marketing designed for the 90%+ of potential clients who aren’t ready to buy yet?
Something that's valuable and interesting to them right now and starts off your relationship with them.
That allows you to build the credibility and trust you need for when they're finally ready to buy.
Think about how much you'd stand out.
And about how different it would be if you had a big pool of those potential clients who you'd already established credibility and trust with when they were ready to buy.
More on that soon.
PS Want to get a shortcut to implementing Value-Based Marketing in your business to get the timing right and start getting more leads and clients right now?