Today we’re going to talk about building relationships with your prospects (the people who haven’t bought from you yet).
I’m a big fan of Jay Abraham’s Strategy of Preeminence. It starts with the belief that I, as the business owner, am not trying to sell you but serve you.
Our goal, therefore, shouldn’t be to get our customers to buy a product but to become a trusted advisor and help them solve their most pressing problems.
And we must do that before money ever exchanges hands. As business owners, we should be taking on all the risk.
Why? It’s better for the customer, which means it’s better for you. Happy customers keep coming back, and they tell their friends about your business.
Customers who feel like they were sold or pressured into buying only to discover the product or service doesn’t solve their problem will tell a lot more people.
The hardest part for most business owners is building that relationship and delivering the right kind of value to become someone’s trusted advisor.
I’ve seen many in the internet marketing world give too little value. Usually, these are videos or PDFs that don’t teach you anything meaningful but are sales letters in disguise.
Have you ever found yourself being asked for your email to get this awesome thing only to download it, read (or watch it) and be left feeling like you just wasted your time because all they did was try to get you to buy their product?
I like to believe this happens out of ignorance instead of malice. Most people are good. They simply don’t realize what they’re doing isn’t the best way to build a relationship or business.
Now the other wrong way to do it is giving too much value. There are a lot of new eager business owners that give away too much for free.
The Profile by Polina Pompliano is an excellent example of this. She writes this fantastic Sunday newsletter that is jam-packed with knowledge and information.
And her paid subscription is an offer to get even more. The problem is it would take a person their entire Sunday to read everything in her free newsletter.
By giving me more information, she’s not solving a problem but creating a new one. Where am I going to find time to read all of this?
So, where is that Goldilocks zone of value?
There are two general principles to keep in mind:
- Give them the what and the why but make them pay for the how.
- Show them what they need to believe that would naturally lead them to buy your product.
So what the heck does that mean?
Let’s pretend I own a pizza shop, and my biggest problem right now is increasing sales.
And you just happen to sell a Facebook advertising service that brings in new customers.
Before I even consider your services, there are a few things I have to believe (in a specific order).
First, I need to believe I should be advertising. Maybe I’ve been in business for a long time, and word of mouth has been good enough.
Next, I need to believe I should be advertising online. I’m a dinosaur, and this online stuff seems weird to me. I just got a smartphone a couple of years ago.
Then I need to believe that the best way to advertise online is with Facebook. I never go on Facebook, so I don’t think it’s a platform I need to be on.
Then I need to believe someone else should be doing the advertising for me. I’ve figured everything else out with my business. I can probably figure out this Facebook stuff too.
Finally, I need to believe you’re the best person to help me advertise online. Why can’t I just have my nephew do this? He’s pretty good with computers.
If I’m a pizza shop owner and I don’t even believe that advertising online is a good option for my pizza place…
Do you think I’m going to listen to someone trying to pitch me a Facebook advertising plan?
Probably not. But if instead, you showed me how advertising online (the what) could help me increase my business (the why), you have now become a trusted advisor.
You’ve shown me that I could be doing something that would make me more money, and even better, you helped me sift through all the noise and showed me the best way to do it.
Now when you tell me you’ve worked with dozens of pizza shops setting up their Facebook advertising and helped them grow their business…
I’m going to want to work with you.
The best part of following this strategy is that you can provide a ton of value to potential customers without ever having to share how your service works.
You don’t have to give away your secret sauce when you focus on what beliefs a customer needs to have to buy your product. Which means you’ll never risk giving away too much so that they don’t need to buy.
And if you focus on helping them believe the right things, they’ll come to see you as a trusted advisor and a relationship they value having.
I hope this makes sense.
In the next Pulse Check, we’re going to talk about one of the best (and cheapest) ways to grow your business that just about every business owner forgets.