Your prospect doesn’t know what they want, and they don’t necessarily know what’s best for them…

That’s not to say they won’t find out. In fact, they will.

When any prospect enters a market, meaning they decide that they have a problem or challenge they want to have solved, they don’t necessarily know what that solution looks like.

They have a general idea. They have a feeling for what their ideal result will be. But because they don’t know the market and the solutions available, they don’t know the specific details around what they want and which solution will be the best fit.

Every customer journey follows the same path…

They start without any awareness of the market, the products or services available, or the problem that is being solved.

They become aware of the problem first. That problem can be a challenge that they’re facing, a need that they have, or simply a desire unfulfilled.

Once the problem begins to keep them up at night, or draw undue attention from other parts of their life, they start to look for solutions. Notably, they are not shopping yet. Rather, they are simply trying to find any good solution.  Whether that means buying something, creating their own solution, or simply finding a way to live with the problem.

Once they’ve weighed the solution possibilities, they start to look at specific products and services that fit the solution that they desire.

And if one of your products or services is an ideal fit, then they are just looking for the right deal or offer, or opportunity, or timing to make their purchase.

Your job is to help them on this path…

You need to help them understand the problem, and why it needs to be solved.

You need to help them consider all solutions available, long before they’re ready to focus on yours.

You need to make sure that they have a clear understanding of your product or service.

And then you need to make them a great offer.

My book, The Ultimate Selling Story, actually shows you how to walk through this process using story selling.

And I’m not going to go into all of the details here that you can get in the book. But I do want to highlight one powerful principle.

Done right, you help them define their buying criteria…

What does this mean? Put simply, you help them decide what they want, and what is best for them.

You take on the role of educator, and advocate…

When they are trying to understand the problem that they face, you give them all the details of how others have faced a similar problem before. And you agitate their experience of the problem by showing them what happens if they don’t solve it.

As they start to understand the problem you help them figure out what an ideal solution would look like. Because you are an expert in your market, you can help them fill in many details that they do not have already.

Your goal in defining the solution is to really help them understand all of the intricacies and details that they need to understand in order to identify and select the best solution for their experience of the problem.

Done right, this will establish a set of buying criteria that will make your product or service the natural choice for your ideal prospects.

Note that I do say ideal prospects. If a prospect is not an ideal fit, the buying criteria may send them to an alternate solution. For example, if your price is too high, you may help them identify the lower-priced solution that still fits at least some of the criteria that they aren’t willing to give up in exchange for a cheaper price.

Once your ideal prospects understand how your product or service fits with the buying criteria established for the solution to their problem, then you just need to get them to take action.

In order to make that happen, you make them an offer they can’t refuse. That is, you offer to solve their problem for less than the perceived value they’ve put on the solution.

You can make marketing complicated, but you don’t have to…

The process above is relatively simple. It can take place in a single piece of marketing copy. Or can take place throughout an extended campaign. You can do this with words on paper. Or you can use audio, video, or other media.

The exact same process also applies to selling in person, whether selling to a single person, or a room full of people.

The biggest thing to remember is that your prospect has a problem or challenge in their life that they want to have solved. And you understand the solutions available to them better than they do.

They can make a better decision about what is right for them, when they understand the solutions.

And so your job is to share enough of that understanding for them to make a decision.

When you do this, you’re giving your best prospects buying criteria that will lead them to choose you.

And this is a selling and marketing breakthrough.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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