One of the most challenging marketing situations occurs where we are marketing to a market who does not perceive a need for what we’re selling. For instance, that is often the difficulty that many life coaches experience when they attempt to sell their coaching services. The prospects perceive no need to be coached. Marketing completely fails to connect with the target market. You end up trying to convince them that they need something they seem to have no interest in. It’s a “hard sell” and a frustrating and fruitless endeavor.
When they prospect has no perceived need – they perceive no need – for your services, you’re wasting your time and effort. you must first build their perception of a need. Here are some ideas about how to do that.
1. Examine the benefits that your service provides and explore which of these benefits your target market might strongly desire.
You may want to revamp your services, so that you deliver more benefits targeted explicitly to expressed needs. Often, this is simply a matter of emphasis. It’s common to focus on what we want or think is most important, but it is critical to keep the benefits prospect-centric. Don’t make the mistake of taking for granted any of the benefits you regularly provide to your clients.
2. Be sure that your target market and the problem you solve are aligned.
You may be aiming to solve a problem for your target market that they don’t experience to be a problem. Again, if you’re a coach, you might want to sell success coaching to an under-performing target market. Yet, this is a group who does not value success. Be sure that your target market considers the problem you solve to be a problem for them, and that the value the solution.
3. Be sure the changes, solutions, and “new lease on life” that you provide are desired by your target market.
You may be offering a new life where your clients get “balance between work and play”. However, what your target market wants is to increase the profitability of their business so they can worry less. If you are providing something other than what your target market wants, you’ll never get their attention or hold their interest long enough to turn them into clients.
4. You must use the language that your target market would use to describe their problem, lack, pain, or suffering.
If you’re using only the words and phrases that you would use, you’ll never connect with your audience. You must be able to “get inside their head”, understand their thinking, and describe their situation from their viewpoint. When done correctly, this can be the beginning of your prospects’ perceived need for your services.
5. Learn to recognize when the market you’re addressing perceives no need for your services.
Most of us – when we run into resistance from our market – think that we should just become more emphatic about insisting our way into their attention. No, your prospects are communicating and you’re not receiving that communication. Become more astute at understanding what’s happening. Do some “market research” in these situations to see what the disconnect is. Don’t take prospects’ behaviors or attitudes personally. Instead, learn what you can. Rework either your marketing or your target market.
When you market your services, make sure that you are marketing to a target who perceives a need for your services. Understand this concept and align market and perception. Your marketing and sales will immediately be much easier.
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.