In a recent post (3/22/2012) I discussed the need to be sure you get a response from any marketing you do to promote your services. But getting a response depends on WHAT you’re offering and . . . HOW you’re inviting a response from your prospective client.

Which is More Potent . . . Needs or Wants?
No doubt about it, marketing what people want is relatively easier than marketing what they need.  If that seems odd, consider this:

Most people will agree that ‘being healthy’ is something they ‘want’ to be.  At the same time, they may ‘need’ something to achieve that goal — i.e. a colonoscopy after age 50.

Of these two, which one is easier to sell?  Which one is easier for someone to ‘buy’ into getting?

You may want a new sports car, but you may need some sales training to help you get it. Wanting the sports car is obvious and desirable. Needing sales training that can help you get it is neither!

Needs or Wants — There’s a Different Approach for Each!
If  your prospect wants what you offer, then you can invite a response in the form of an immediate buying decision.  For example, if you’re offering a wonderful Caribbean cruise, that’s highly desirable.  And a good Call-To-Action would invite someone to book with you.

However, if your prospect needs what you offer, then you should use a different approach. Typically, ‘wants’ are associated with ‘soft’ services like ‘business consulting’ more than ‘hard’ products or goods like a ‘getaway weekend’ cruise. Remember, we want to be healthy but we need a colonoscopy.  The former is obvious and desirable.  The later is not.

The Two-Step Call-To-Action
I’m assuming you’re offering a service more than a product.  So what you’re offering is really the (needed) MEANS to some (wanted) END that your prospect would like to enjoy.   This requires an offer to get something — usually information — that would help someone get what they want.

A CPA might therefore ‘offer’ an e-book on:
“The Five Biggest Tax Deductions Business Owners Always Seem To Miss”

Inviting people to download that e-book would certainly identify people who might logically need other services that a CPA can render.  But, absent an opportunity to engage prospective clients in the first place, those subsequent conversations may never have a chance to occur!

KEY POINT:
When appealing to ‘wants’, always offer an item-of-value that is low-risk / no-cost to accept and suggests high-value if it is.  Once you have the ‘first’ step out of the way, you can make follow-up actions appropriate to the person’s ‘need-to-know’ and ‘readiness-to-go’ ahead with later offers to engage your services.

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