For most business owners, sales and marketing are a necessary evil to be able to do what they want to do for their customers. Sales often feels adversarial and almost hostile. What if there was a way to engage with people whom you can help that put you both on the same side without the us vs them feeling of traditional sales?
What has been very effective for growing my coaching business, bringing me nearly a client a week is Solution Oriented Marketing. It is also the system that I teach my clients to help them achieve their own success.
It is a marketing system for generating organic leads through Facebook and engaging with them in a process that put their problems and the solutions to those problems front and center.
In every step of the process, the focus is on your prospective client. You are there to help them in every step. This is about them, not you. You are here to provide them value, and if you are able to do so in a substantial way, then you will have earned their business and the resulting revenue. It is only by not thinking about your own needs, and only focusing on their solutions, that you will fulfill your needs.
This process also means that you will turn away business that is not a fit. You will speak to prospects that you cannot provide substantial value to. You should not take their money, even if they are willing to give it to you. Your job as a business person is to provide value. If you cannot do this, and you take their money without providing results, it will always come back to bite you.
There are four stages: Lead Generation, Engage By Chat, Strategy Session, and Collaboration Session.
The first thing you need to do is know who your ideal client is. Hopefully that is something you have done. If not, you’ll want to do that first. Once you know who they are, then it’s a simple matter of finding where they gather and engaging with them there.
You will post content that provides value to the community. It could be a post starting a conversation with an interesting question. It could be a useful tip they will benefit from. It will not be some cheap sales pitch or sleazy come on.
Engage By Chat
When you post good content, people will engage with it. They’ll like and comment. This gives you the opportunity engage them in a conversation through Facebook Messenger.
This is a simple, pleasant conversation in which you are seeking to understand the situation they are in now, where they would like to be, and what it would take to get them there.
If the solutions you offer match the solutions they need, then you can invite them to a brief phone call to further dive in to their problems and if and how you can solve them.
At this step, you are engaged with the prospective client, and there is a mutual agreement that you may be able to help them. My show rate for Strategy Sessions is over 95%. How does that compare with what you’re doing now?
The Strategy Session is a 10 minute phone call. The purpose of this call is to learn more about the prospective client and determine if and how you can help them.
It is so short for a few reasons. First, if it turns our that this person is not a fit for what you do, wouldn’t you rather know in 10 minutes than in 60? Second, it keeps you focused on task. Finally, if this is a good fit, it will create curiosity and interest in the prospect.
People are not interested in having a pile of qualifications and data dumped on them. They are eternally interested in their own problems and how they might be solved, and that’s all you’re going to talk about in this call.
You will ask more about their situation, their goals, what is and is not working. You will compare this to what you can offer. If you can help them, you’ll offer a second, longer call. If you cannot help them, you’ll let them know politely and, if you know of other resources that would help them, you will refer them to those resources.
This last part is extremely important. A salesy salesman would not refer a mismatched prospect anywhere, because once they see there’s no sale to be made, they’d lose interest. A practitioner of Solution Orient Marketing, however, is not just in it for the sale. She is in it to help people solve their problems, and if she cannot solve their problem herself she will want to provide resources that can.
In all the time I have been using this system, I have never had someone decline a Collaboration Session that I offered at the end of a Strategy Session. How does that compare to what you’re doing right now?
If you determined that you can help your prospect, you will schedule them for an hour long video call to really dive in. The structure remains simple, and you will even repeat some parts of the Strategy Session. You’re going to ask for more information about their current state, where they would like to be, and what they need to get there. You’ll dive in more on what is missing or broken.
The difference is that at the end of this call, you will make an offer. You will not make a pitch. You will not “attempt to close.” You will simply make an offer.
You will recap the problem they have and the solution they need. Then you will share what solution you can offer and confirm that solution has value. You inform them of the investment needed to purchase this solution and what the next steps would be to proceed.
If you have followed this process properly, by this time, you will have a good sense of what they need and want, a good sense of what they can afford, and a good sense that you can help them. You are now showing them a solution that will solve their problem and that should fit into their budget.
Because the Solution Oriented Marketing system provides such a ready source of people you can help, you never have that feeling of desperation that salespeople so often have. You know that if this person says no, you have hundreds more behind them.
They may not say yes right away. They may have some questions or concerns, but if you have structured your offering properly, these should be easy to deal with. And if they say no, you move on. After all, there’s only one of you and hundreds who need what you do.
Over 75% of prospects that I believe to be a good fit sign on to the program I propose at the end of this step. How does this compare to what you’re doing now?
Deploying Solution Oriented Marketing
Hopefully, you have gotten some value from the principles presented in this article, but the purpose of this article is to give you an overview of the concept rather than a detailed plan of action to follow.
If you are interested in learning more about this system and how I might be able to help you grow your business, there are three ways to connect with me:
In the ensuing conversation, we will discuss how I can help, but you will also receive a demonstration of a sales process that doesn’t feel like a sales process. Choose one of the options to contact me and learn what this Solution Oriented Marketing thing is all about.