One of my private coaching clients was once working on a 6-figure deal with Amazon.
He didn’t get it, unfortunately, but once he knew he’d lost the deal, he called the prospective client up and said:
“Now that we’re not going to do business together, would you mind telling me why you chose someone else – and what I could have done differently to win your business?”
^ A question I encourage you to ask anyone who doesn’t become a client of yours.
The prospect replied that she would’ve liked my client to position himself as more of a thought leader. She suggested sharing information about the industry, changing trends, and what they need to look out for in order to maintain an advantage.
To the average entrepreneur, that might sound like she’s looking for free information… She’s actually saying:
“How can I be sure you know what you’re talking about?”
The significance of this can’t be overstated.
You see, over 90% of all your competitors are selling the same way:
- Selling on price
- Selling features of their product/service
…But that’s not enough to compete today.
Your prospects are slammed with an onslaught of marketing messages from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed, and the trend is only getting worse.
According to Empire Research Group:
“Buyers are desensitized, distracted, jaded, and even hostile towards traditional sales and marketing efforts. And surveys indicate these attitudes are only worsening.”
Business owners are spending more money than ever to reach a buyer, and yet, they’re getting fewer and fewer responses.
Gone are the days when you could simply hit people over the head with a sales pitch.
Today, your prospects know more about you, your product/service, and your competitors than ever before.
So, what can you do about it?
Stop selling, start serving.
Educate Your Prospects
When you educate your prospects using market data (instead of pitching them your product or service), you’re establishing yourself as a leading expert and authority.
The traditional sales approach used by most businesses is along the lines of:
“Hi, my name is Charles Gaudet, and I’d like to talk with you about business coaching.”
The more strategic approach is:
“Hi, my name is Charles Gaudet, and we have a new program that teaches busy business owners 3 ways to double their business in 12 months flat – without working any harder.”
…The second approach begins to pique your prospect’s interest.
This concept is called a “Core Story.” It was made popular by the late Chet Holmes – a man widely recognized as “America’s Greatest Sales Executive.”
The Core Story quickly became the foundation behind Chet’s highly-acclaimed success – and with the increased noise and competition you’re facing right now, it’s more relevant than ever before!
AND the Core Story instantly opens up more selling opportunities for your business.
Chet discovered that, regardless of industry, only 3% of all potential buyers are actively buying what you’re selling.
Only 7% are open to the idea of buying (either because they’re dissatisfied with their current vendor or not opposed to change).
The remaining 90% fall into 1 of 3 categories:
- Not thinking about it – 30%
- Don’t think they’re interested – 30%
- Know they’re not interested – 30%
The traditional sales approach works for only 3%-10% of the market, while the more strategic approach suddenly opens you up to 70% of the market.
…Instantly increasing the amount of your potential buyers by as much as 600%!
Think about it:
What happens when you put your product/service in front of the 90-97% of people who aren’t interested?
Very simply – they’ll ignore you.
But as we’ve seen, up to 70% of the market could be open to buying from you with a compelling enough argument.
Core Story In Action
For example, a buddy from college, Jamie Simonoff, started a company called Ring a couple years ago.
It’s a video doorbell.
In the beginning, he tried to sell the doorbell on the idea of a new, convenient, and innovative doorbell technology.
Sure enough, thousands of people (the 3%) purchased immediately.
…But what about the others that didn’t think they were interested?
He took a different approach and awakened the market to something they never thought about before…
A video doorbell could protect you from a thief… Maybe even save your life from hardened criminal who’s sneaking up to your door in the middle of the night while you’re alone.
Suddenly, more people started paying attention – and Jamie went from selling thousands of doorbells to millions.
He got people’s attention.
And that’s the first step to establishing a strong and compelling Core Story.
The litmus test Chet uses for a strong story starts with what he calls the “stadium pitch.”
In other words, let’s say you had all your potential buyers gathered together inside of a giant stadium:
What could you say that would keep everyone in their seats?
Some examples I got from Empire Research include:
- Pay Off Your Home in 3-5 Years
- How to Buy an Investment Property For Under $40 a Week
- Lower Costs, Increase Employee Productivity, and Boost Your Competitive Advantage [note: this example from Empire could be stronger with more specific results, such as “Lower Costs by 42%”]
- How to Avoid the 3 Most Common Mistakes With Temporary Housing
- Got Mice? These Rodents Are Responsible for Starting 1.6 Million Fires ANNUALLY
Once you have their attention (your headline), it’s time to build your Core Story and provide value by being a market expert.
Give them relevant statistics and data they didn’t know, but will find interesting and compelling…
AND your market data must make your product and service more important.
The goal is to provide such hard hitting data, we can get our ideal prospect to gasp with a “Wow!” When we accomplish that, we know we’ve hit a homerun with our message.
Nothing makes your product/service more important than focusing on data that illuminates the worries, pains, frustrations, and concerns of your prospects (just like Jamie is doing with Ring).
Your Core Story Answers Questions
Now, as you develop your Core Story, think about these questions:
- What do you want your prospects to know about the market?
- Are there pain points that would motivate your buyers to take action faster?
- What would scare your buyers away from buying from someone else?
- Which data points are going to impact their decisions?
- What do you want to prove?
Begin your Core Story with a strong stat and general information that most people don’t know – and then dig deeper.
Start with the problems (remember, people do more to avoid pain than they do to gain pleasure).
Once you’ve addressed the problems, move into the solutions.
This is KEY. With solutions, you’re setting the buying criteria for your products/services. You want to weave in information that sells your products/services without pitching or actually mentioning what you sell (yet).
Step By Step
Here’s the flow:
STEP 1: You want your prospects to feel a pain point in the beginning of your Core Story and say to themselves: “Wow! I didn’t know that… What can be done about it?”
STEP 2: Move to the solution, so your prospect is nodding their head and saying: “Wow! You’re right. I need this… Now where can I get it?”
In both step 1 and step 2, you’re setting the buying criteria for your product/service (without mentioning it), and making the case for the need and importance of what you’re selling
STEP 3: Finally, you – very softly – tell them what to do next. You give them a call to action. No hard pitch. No hype. Just tell them where to go for more information about your solution.
And that’s it!
By offering to teach something of value, you’ll attract more buyers than by trying to sell them.
Remember that most of your competitors are price and product focused – relying on the 3-10% of people buying right now… And that’s why most of their messages are falling on deaf ears.
Build yourself a Core Story. Use it as the premise behind your lead generation, and you’ll see that it’s A LOT easier to get leads, set appointments, and close deals when you focus on delivering information that they’re keenly interested in.
Do it right and I promise you’ll thank me.