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Meet your clients where they are today

Even if your positioning statement describes your potential client perfectly, there’s still a reason that they may ghost you before you make the sale.

And it’s down to a thing called the “Curse of Knowledge”.

You see, clients are on a journey.

Some clients don’t even know they’ve got a problem.

Others know they’ve got a problem, but aren’t sure what the solution is.

Some know the problem and have a choice of three or four potential solutions.

And some have chosen which solution is their ideal; they’re just looking for someone to help them with it.

Very very few will know the problem, know their ideal solution and will have settled on you as the person to fix it for them.

That’s Five Levels. The Levels of Marketing.

If you’re talking to a client at Level 1 (they don’t know they’ve got a problem), it doesn’t matter if you can see the problem a mile off – they will not care.

If you’re talking to a client at Levels 2 or 3 (they know they have a problem but don’t know about solutions) and you’re talking to them at Level 4 or 5 – it will be an extremely animated, lively and compelling conversation. The client will be excited – they know they have a problem and you’re obviously an expert here – but most of what you say will go over their head. So when it comes to closing the deal, they won’t actually be that interested; they just wanted to learn more about their options .

It’s only when you talk to a client at Levels 4 or 5 that you can actually close the deal. But you’re very unlikely to meet someone at that point – especially if what you do is quite technical.

So trying to close the deal at this point is going to lead to the social awkwardness I mentioned the other day. Which in turn is going to result in you being ghosted.

Instead, you need to gradually lead them from their current level – wherever they are today – through to Level 5 – and only then, try to turn them into a customer.

Push to early and you scare them away. You’re the ghost, not them.

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Why most sales go wrong

Most sales fail long before you have the sales call.

They fail because you’ve not set the expectations correctly.

They fail because the client doesn’t believe that there’s any urgency to getting involved.

They fail because the client doesn’t fully understand why they need your service.

If you look at LinkedIn (please connect with me – I do a lot of good stuff on there), you’ll see a lot of people have a headline in the form “Helping X achieve Y through Z”. For example, “helping redheads achieve mindfulness nirvana through 3d printed furniture”.

This is a positioning statement – it explains, in one sentence, who your ideal client is (redheads), the problem you solve (mindfulness nirvana) and how you solve it (3d printed furniture).

If the potential client doesn’t feel like they’re not a good fit, that what you offer isn’t what they’re looking for or that the way you solve the problem doesn’t work for them – then the sale has gone wrong before you even begin.

They might sound genuinely interested – matching two out of the three criteria means you will have an extremely compelling conversation with them.

But not fitting your positioning exactly removes all urgency from the client’s situation. They will just have a nagging doubt in the back of their mind, which translates into “I don’t actually need to act today, it can wait“.

But even if your positioning is perfect, there’s one more reason the client may ghost you

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Ghosted by a potential client

So you’ve been ghosted by a potential client.

And you’re somewhat annoyed.

“How rude! They could at least have let me know”.

But really?

What’s actually going on here?

You are trying to get them to buy into your services. To buy into you.

You expect them to get back to you when they’re not, for some reason, interested.

What do you want them to say to you?

What would you say when someone wants you to buy their services and it’s not really the right thing for you (or the right time, or the right person or you just don’t have the cash)?

If you’re expecting them to get back to you, they are going to expect to have to give you an excuse. Social niceties demand it. So they’re going to have to be put on the spot and come up with something that’s plausible, but won’t offend you. Because you’re a nice person and they’re a nice person and it’s only polite.

Basically, you’re demanding that they feel awkward when the real problem is that you failed in your sales pitch.

Because 99.99% of sales fail long before the sales call.

They fail because of positioning.