Cascade of clients

It can feel like you need to rush ahead with your marketing and try to get people to buy what you’re selling, now. A lot of marketing advice I see is focused on getting people to the sale as quickly as possible.

Whilst working with a new client is definitely the aim of your marketing, what you want to avoid is getting a lot of clients who are not ready to do the work, will not commit to the process, or are unlikely to feel the benefits of working with you. This is what happens when you rush ahead with your marketing, you don’t give people time to consider what you’re offering.

Rushed marketing often relies on closing the sale, and leaving your natural position in order to ‘win’ the client, which can feel in conflict with your desire to be authentic.

A lot of people don’t like the idea of ‘selling’ and therefore don’t like the idea of marketing themselves. There is a particular feeling that arises in people if you talk to them about ‘making a sale’; and I would say that for most people it’s not a feeling they like. It can be even less appealing when what you are selling is the work you do.

The way we’re going to approach marketing doesn’t focus on the selling bit of sales. It’s more like not trying to sell anything and I find it feels a lot better for the seller, and when a sale is made, the client is delighted.

Instead of a sales pitch, offer them a journey

This ‘non-selling’ sales technique is not quick and that’s why it works so well for considered purchases. The idea is to focus on the questions the client may have, then answer those questions to guide them to a point where they understand what change they want to make, they trust you to deliver on your promises, and they want to know when they can start.

The process is like a journey that the client goes on:

Diagram illustrating the cascade of clients

Unaware: They begin by being unaware that there is something in their life that they might like to change, either personally or in their business. This could be an action, feeling, thought or process they are repeating. This is how most people are most of the time.

Curious: At some point they become aware that this thing in their life is something that is connected to another way of being and they are curious to find out more. By this I mean they see an opportunity for change, they start to feel that change is possible.

Inspired: At this point they feel inspired to find out more about this change and how they might shift from where they are now to this new desirable state. Their questions tend to focus on what the process of change involves and how much effort, investment and time it will take.

Motivated: At this point, they are likely to be motivated to look for someone to guide them in making this change, someone who knows the process and has guided others before.

Ethical marketing is all about providing what the client is looking for throughout this journey. This is how you sell without selling.

This is how this journey links into the 3-step marketing plan:

At the Connect stage, you will create content and show up in places where your ideal client is looking for answers to connect with people who are curious about change.

In the Consider stage, you will explain the change that is possible and inspire the people who feel that this is the change they are seeking.

In the Commit stage you will offer to guide the people who are motivated to make the change.

The marketing journey itself attracts the clients you’re looking for, without needing a sales pitch or special offer or ‘opportunity of a lifetime’. In doing so, you will end up talking to people who are ready to do the work involved and are ready to invest in making their change happen. You’re not ‘selling’, you’re being authentic.

Using this plan, you’ll set up the journey and then act as a guide for those who want to know, explore and discover more.

Reframing Marketing book and plan on a table

Make your own marketing plan

If you’d like more detail on how to create your own marketing plan, my book Reframing Marketing will guide you through the whole process. This book will give you clarity about who you want to work with, what value you can offer them and why they can trust you to deliver it.