This is a guest post from Kirk Ward of http://secrets-of-marketing-accounting-services.com/.
Does your prospect know what business you’re in? Do you think they care?
Your prospect doesn’t give a Snail’s Hoot about you, or what business you are in. All they care about is getting their needs met. Contrary to what you think about yourself and your ilk, human’s are a very selfish lot. We really don’t care about your great credentials (unless we need someone with that particular credential), and we certainly don’t care about your beautiful packaging (unless it is one of our needs).
We do care about whether you can help us solve the problem of how to get a hole dug in our backyard where we want the new swimming pool to go. That hole is a need. The shovel you sell us is going to help us fill that need.
I’m an accountant. Actually, to be more specific, I’m a retired accountant.
My clients didn’t come to me because they wanted some light reading material in the form of a beautifully prepared and well-balanced financial statement each month. No, they came to me for some solution that would help them avoid problems with the IRS, or some similar agency. They came to me to keep them from being audited. They came to me to keep their records straight, so they would know how much money they had available to spend on some other need.
It’s that way everywhere. Your customers are not coming to you for a thing. They are coming to you to have a need or a want filled.
And that’s what you have to let them know you have … presuming of course that you do have it.
You’ve got to let them know you have a solution that will provide them with that hole they need for their swimming pool. You need to let them know that you have a solution that will help them look good for their 50th High School reunion.
If you can’t show your prospects that you have a solution to their problems, and can fill their needs, then your bank account will just sit there looking empty as you slither away to the poorhouse.
In my line of work, the one method I preach to my subscribers at Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services (http://secrets-of-marketing-accounting-services.com), is to do a needs analysis. Find out what your prospect needs, and know what they need even before they do.
It gets a little bit more complicated if you can’t do a face-to-face meeting with your prospect, but if you have a website, you can generalize by gathering data through a practice of offering surveys or polls on your site and tabulating the answers in a way that lets you identify your average visitors needs.
Most often, their unstated needs will be for security or safety, for more of something, for relief from guilt or anger, or something like that. You’ll usually find that your prospects needs are to solve some emotional need rather than some physical need.
If you are marketing offline, and in person, you can easily ask your prospect to allow you to meet with them again after you have drawn up a proposal. This gives you time to analyze their needs and prepare your proposal. If you are marketing online, you can easily define links at important points in your web page or sales presentation that take the reader to a page that fills the need they were feeling when they clicked the link.
All this boils down to the requirement that whatever environment you’re in, you must do a needs analysis before you can fill the need. Understanding your prospects needs is the key to marketing any product or service, even yours.
Kirk Ward is a retired accountant who runs a cute little website at http://secrets-of-marketing-accounting-services.com where he teaches accountants how to market their services to their local community. He also creates seasonal promotions such as the Bean Counter’s Cookbook (http://beancounterscookbook.com/) for accountants and their ilk. Drop by and see what you think. If you want to contribute a guest post to his blog, drop him a message using the Contact Us form listed in the menu.