How to find out what they want: The biggest sales discovery ever

Golden retriever dog

It’s the big bugaboo. That’s keeping you stuck. Immobilized. Frozen.

It’s the s-word: Sales.

The one thing that makes you feel oh-so uncomfortable. But also the one thing that could open the doors to so much of what you want from your business. If you could overcome the one thing that’s keeping you from embracing it.

But the truth is, moving someone to invest in your products and programs can be exciting, inspirational, and uplifting.

If you’re willing to get one idea out of your mind forever. And that is …

… that prompting someone to buy is about “getting” them to do something you want them to do.

THAT’S what’s killing you. Because the question I hear so many of you asking to move through your enrollment blocks are:

  • How do I “get them” to buy?
  • How do I “get them” to want what I have?
  • How do I “get them” to invest in my stuff?

And the short answer is: You don’t.

Because trying to “get them” to do what “you want” is at the root all your guilt and fear about selling. In fact, I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to “get someone” to “do something” I want them to do, that they don’t want to do.

But that sales drama turns around when you:
Find out what THEY want more than anything.
And provide a faster way for them to get it.

Now I want you to stop. And hear that. Because it will revolutionize your life and your business forever. Stop trying to “get” your prospects to do what you want them to do. To buy what you want to sell them. And to agree that what you feel is important to them is more crucial that what they feel is important to them.

And simply find out: What is important to them, and position what you do as a way to have it faster.

The problem is: Most of you really don’t know what your ideal prospects want. In fact, most of you know a lot more about what your dog wants, than what your prospects want.

But almost nothing will get you through your sales nightmares faster than to find out. And to help you do that, here are four simple ideas you can use to hone in on exactly what your prospects want. Yearn for. And … are willing to pay for:

1. Ask.

Here’s an idea: Instead of trying to promote your stuff at networking events … ask one simple question: “If I was your magic success genie, and I could make 2-3 of your biggest headaches disappear right now, what would they be?” If you’re a business coach, those would be “business headaches”. If you are a health / fitness expert it would be “biggest obstacles to having the body you want, and looking and feeling great”. You get the idea.

Take your next 2 networking events and instead of promoting yourself, ask that question as many times as you can. Not only will you walk away with tons of info on what your market really wants, you may even make a lot more sales. Because your discussion will be focused on solving THEIR problems instead of selling YOUR stuff.

2. Listen.

Yep, it’s not rocket science: Instead of trying to see when you can inject your sales pitch into the discussion … listen to what they’re saying. And listen with a specific ear towards:

  1. What they’re really struggling with.
  2. What they really want.
  3. How you can help them move through #1. And achieve #2, faster.

Years ago when, my business focus was helping soloprenreuers build passive revenue with audio info products, I noticed immediately after introducing myself to other business owners, I was getting a lot of the following two responses:

  1. “Oh how interesting! I’m creating a guided visualization CD” or “Wow, I’d love to know how to create a guided visualization CD”.  And …
  2. “Can you tell me something? I have no problem getting people to my free teleseminars, but how do I get them to invest in my paid teleseminars?”

Because this happened quite a bit (and I was listening) I created a program on creating guided visualization CDs and a program on how to make money with teleseminars. Both ran for years and both were very profitable.

Get this:

Instead of saying “that’s nice, but here’s what you should really want!” I said, “OK, if that’s what you want, how about I help you get it faster?”

Here’s a truth that’s confronting, and it may piss you off: But if you’re willing to let it in, it will change your business:

Most of us are so stuck on our soapbox or what we love to do, and how we can “convince” our market why they “should” want it, we miss the opportunity to position what we do as the fastest path to get what they ALREADY want.

Here’s a flash: No one is going to pay you to watch you enjoy yourself. They are going to pay you so they can enjoy themselves.

And how do we make it easy for them to do that?

  • Put our prospects’ dreams and aspirations first, instead of ours.
  • Give our prospects what they want, instead of what we want to give them.
  • Stop trying to “convince” our prospects they “should” buy what we have. And offer them what they’re already looking for.

The crazy thing is … 99 times out of 100 it doesn’t change what we offer them. (I was still offering my prospects ways to create passive revenue with audio products). It just changes the specific way you offer it, and how you target it

And it DEFINITELY changes the frequency with which they buy. In numbers that will astound and shock you. (In a pleasant way, of course).

3. Hang out where they hang out.

And you don’t even have to get in your car to do it! There are tons of forums and Facebook Groups where you can go and listen to what your target market is complaining about, and what they are dreaming of.

Resist the temptation to save or rescue people (because there’s a lot of pain out there). But observe the struggles that show up over and over. Listen to the dreams and goals they are sharing. Notice the language they are using.

Because hidden in all those Facebook Posts, or LinkedIn Group posts or forums, you will discover what they are struggling with, what they are looking for, and what they would buy in an instant if only someone would have the insight to provide it.

And that someone would be you.

You don’t have to spend a ton of time doing this. And don’t get sucked into discussions that eat up tons of your time. Right now you are just getting clear on those problems they are ALREADY looking for solutions for, that you can solve with your stuff.

HOT TIP: These are forums and groups where your prospects hang out. If you’re seriously interested in discovering what they need, avoid groups where your colleagues hang out. Unless of course your colleagues are part of your ideal market.

4. Make the Gurus work for you

Yeah I know: Those rich marketing gurus are pummeling your in box with all kinds of promotional crap. Here’s the thing:

Buried in all that promotional crap is precious market research for you. That you don’t have to search for or pay for. And that nice marketing guru is delivering right it to your in box. For free.

Say what?

Say this: If that maven / guru is making great money, chances are they have already figured out what their market really wants and is willing to pay for. They have already discovered the pain points and the dreams that prompt their prospects to buy.

And all of it is hiding, in plain sight, in those emails and sales pages you are sick of. And if you share the same market as the guru, its a gold mine of exactly what prompts your prospects to respond.

So stop hating on them. And start reading them.

Now I’m not saying to copy or plagiarize their stuff. That’s a total no-no. What I am saying is that information on the hot buttons of their market (and your market) are all through their materials. And you can learn from that and apply it in your own way.

Because here is what I’ve found, over and over. Not only in
my own business but for my clients as well:

  • When you stop trying to “get” your prospects to buy what you have …
  • When you stop trying to convince them they “should” want what you think is important instead of what they think is important …
  • And when instead you position what you do and what you offer as a way to have what they are ALREADY looking for, faster …

… everything turns around.

Confusion turns to acceptance. Frozen forced smiles turn to genuine excitement. And “let me think about it” turns to “when can we start?”

Because when you do this, you discover that sales is not the avenue of taking, its the avenue of giving. Because no longer are trying to “get” anything from your prospect.

You are opening the doorway to a future they may have long ago given up on. You are rekindling a possibility they may have thought was too big for them. And you are legitimizing their dream by saying, “Yes! Let’s make this happen!”

And how could that possibly be bad?

6 Responses to How to find out what they want: The biggest sales discovery ever

  1. Too funny, Rob! Yes, you got me pegged. But these are some great ideas on how to know who my peeps are and how I can serve them better. Doing #1 at my next networking event.

  2. Wrote down my script as a magic success genie and practicing for my next networking event. Thanks, Rob…always excellent information.

  3. Rob, yet another spot-on article by you, filled with hot tips and instantly-implementable suggestions to change the perception of selling from “sales are a struggle” to “selling is being of service.”

    It is so much easier to approach a sales conversation thinking “How may I serve you?” (What do you already want that I can provide for you?) rather than “How can I sell to you?” (How can I get you to buy what I think you should have?)

    Great stuff, as always! Thanks for sharing!

    • Some spot on observations, Sharon! And yes, selling actually becomes fun when you know how much of an impact what you are offering will have on their business and their life.