When we’re selling our services, it is easy to delude ourselves into thinking that because we want to sell a specific service, our market will want that service. Often, what’s going on is that we have a “pet project” where we have passion, but it’s a very tiny niche. There is little or no real market demand for that service. We delude ourselves into believing that there is demand because of our own interest in the project.
Even when no one buys, and it is a constant “hard sell” struggle, we insist that we are right and that the market is wrong. Rather than accepting reality, and understanding that the market is demonstrating lack of enthusiasm, we clutch our fantasy even tighter. The market will tell you what it demands. It’s your job to listen and provide what is needed.The market is not driven by your desire to sell a particular service. If this describes your situation, let’s look at a few ways you can release yourself from this delusion.
1. Accept the fact that the market tells you what it wants, and give up your fantasy that the market should want what you want to sell.
If you don’t accept this reality, you are building struggle and difficulty into your business. You’re literally choosing to make it hard on yourself. Examine what aspects of the service you can retain as strictly a hobby, and what is still workable as a foundation for your business. Don’t look at any of this as failure, but rather as strictly informational – and move on.
2. Examine what it is about the service as it exists now that is so satisfying to you.
“Pull apart” all the strands and isolate out what is emotional attachment, habitual behavior, past success, and simple fantasy. What are the aspects that excite you and that you feel 100% committed to? If you are not going to get your needs met by providing this service, how can you still get the same personal satisfaction elsewhere?
3. What is your best analysis of why this service is not creating market demand?
If you don’t know why the service is failing in the market, you can’t “fix” it. What are you in denial about? Where and how have market changes impacted demand for your service? What does the market want instead? What is lacking in your service? What changes could create that demand?
4. Explore with your existing and past clients what you need to do to meet market demand.
Have a few conversations with trusted clients, and let them know you’re thinking of making some changes. Ask for their opinion on what would meet market demand. Listen. Don’t be defensive about your “pet”, but be open to truly exploring new possibilities. Just because you hear the ideas doesn’t mean that you have to commit to them. Consider this a research project.
5. Look for ways that you can change your service to meet market demand, and still retain some of the characteristics that “feed” you.
Explore what successful competitors are doing – not to copy them, but to get general ideas about what the market wants. Retain your own unique way of providing services, but see what you could find that would allow you to have at least some of those rewarding aspects you love. You don’t have to give up entirely on doing things as you have been doing, but do be open to changes.
6. What can you do to update, tweak, edit, or modernize your service, meet market demand, and retain the unique nature that you appreciate about your service?
Now, get down to the hard work of changing your service so that the market does demand what you sell. Once you let go of insisting that the market meet you, and instead meet the market, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to sell your services. Your market starts to pursue you and it is not so difficult for your business to thrive.
Your desire for the market to demand your service is not enough. We’d all like things to work that way, but the more that your business meets market demand, the easier it will be to sell your services and succeed with the market.
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.