What are you selling?
Have you ever really asked yourself that question? You might think that you know the answer to it very quickly: coaching, consulting, graphic design, writing services, etc. But those answers are “what” you do and actually have nothing to do with what you should be selling.
The question of what you are selling starts with “what would people like to buy?” because without buyers you aren’t exactly selling anything. This may surprise you, but people are not very interested in buying coaching or graphic design or any other services. They are, however, thrilled to pay for the results that they get when your service meets a need and satisfies a desire.
People buy results. It’s essential that you sell (and market!) results. Marketing the process or the “how” does not speak directly to the results that people get from working with you.
If you’re like most service providers, then you have been probably been marketing your process and not your results. It’s natural for newer business owners because they are quite enmeshed in learning and mastering the process. So let’s start from there and use mind mapping to find offers that will spur sales. The steps below will show you how this mind map was created:
Step 1: What process or service are you selling?
Suppose the answer is coaching. Write “coaching” in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. Don’t worry about what kind of coaching or any other details yet.
Step 2: Why would someone want your service?
Draw a set of lines coming out from the word coaching in the middle of the page and at the end of each line right a few words about why they would want coaching. For example, if you are a weight loss coach, you might write “lose weight,” “feel better,” “be healthier,” or “look better.”
Step 3: Why would someone want those results?
Draw lines from the node and write tangible reasons that your client would want the result in that note. It’s important that you create specific, measurable reasons here – not more concepts. For example, for “look better,” you could write “to attract a partner” and “to find a better job” but not “be more confident.” That’s not specific and tangible so if that’s a goal state, it needs to hang off the main process node.
Step 4: How will your client know when she has achieved this goal?
Drill down again on a certain node and create evidence that the goal is being achieved. Again, be very specific here. No bit of evidence is too small.
Step 5: What offers are inspired by the edges of your mind map?
It’s at these evidence nodes that you can begin to create specific offers.
Imagine two offers from a weight loss coach:
a) Three months of weekly coaching to help you uncover your issues with food.
Or, based on what we learned in the mind map:
b) “Date Your Way Thin”: A six-step program to help you find love and lose weight at the same time.
Which do you think more people will buy?
Let’s do it again for a graphic designer. This time, just peek at the mind map:
From this you could contrast a traditional offer like “Business cards, rush service available” to “Three Day Dazzling Business Cards, Guaranteed.”
In these examples, I drilled down on one path at a time but I recommend that you sample multiple paths and notice what would feel fun to offer and appealing to your clients as well. You might not be excited about offering three-day business cards but you might be thrilled to work your clients to create “Confident First-Time Websites.”
Evidence-based offers are the hot sauce for creating spicy sales. Next time you get the feeling that people don’t understand what you’re selling, revisit this exercise to drill down for offers that are sure to attract the attention that your services deserve.