Business is a Ritual Dance
If you think about it, business is just like a ritual you see on the Nature Channel…
There’s dancing, preening, feather puffing, even warbling…
And then there’s the weird stuff.
It makes sense though. Business-people are just like any other creature: they’re trying to advance their situation, protect from possible downsides, stand out among their peers, etc.
But just because there are rituals in business, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a fast-track to speed things up.
And that’s what we’re covering today… how to bypass the plodding business rituals and be top of mind when your prospects need what you’re selling.
Understanding Your Prospect’s Headspace
Before we can talk about bypassing anything, you need to understand your prospects—this is the key to the “ritual bypass”. You’ll understand why when we look at the story of a current client of mine, but I’m getting ahead of myself…
Here are some questions you’ll want to answer before gaining that coveted headspace:
What Hidden Monsters Live Rent-Free in the Minds of Your Prospects?
Before you can be top of mind for your prospects, you need to have a sense for what’s going on in their mind.
Because you can’t crowd out mental activity until they believe your information is better and will get them farther.
To help with this exercise, here are some of the questions I ask clients when writing email sequences or sales copy:
- What fears lurk in the shadows, paralyzing your prospect so they won’t take action?
- What are the mountains, ravines, and boobytraps that lie between your prospect and their goal?
- What’s keeping them from charting a path around those obstacles?
- What would their lives look like if they reached their most cherished goals?
- What’s at stake if they miss the mark?
These are basic questions, but they’re crucial for you to get an understanding of what’s gripping your prospect’s mind as she pushes through her day.
Once you’ve ID’d the “noise”, you’ll need to create messaging that rises above it…
… and the best way to do that is to provide a “path out of the woods”.
But before you can show your prospects the path, they have to hear you above the din of lesser messages…
Who’s Bellowing At Your Prospects, and What Are They Shouting?
For your message to have impact for your prospect, you must stand taller than the crowd of people haranguing her all day long.
In other words, you don’t want to sound like every other person trying to sell to your prospect.
A simple way to find out what your prospect is hearing is to sign up for the email lists of your competitors, check out their websites, even send away for their free information kits.
Once you’ve got the competitive info in your hands, it’s time to ask a few more questions:
- What angles are they using?
- What promises are they making?
- Is any of the information compelling?
- Is there a common theme?
- If so, could you make a contrary argument? <— GOLD
This valuable information will help you see what your prospects see—and will help you devise a messaging campaign that stands apart (and above) your competition.
There are other questions you can ask, but I think you get the point.
Now let’s get back to bypassing business rituals and being top of mind when your prospects most need you…
Get In Front of Your Prospect (and Do It Often)
Sadly, there’s no way to predict exactly when your prospects will most need your product or service.
When we’re able to predict those kinds of things, look for me in a cabin by a lake, drinking Cuban coffee next to my float-plane.
Until then, entrepreneurs like you and me will just need to stay in front of our prospects with messages that matter to them. And I mean stay in front…
This takes some legwork and discipline, but if it’s done right it works every time… and it can happen fast.
To illustrate what I mean—and the speed that prospects can develop desire for your products—let me tell you a story about a current client of mine…
The Tedious Dance… Until Bold Action Stirs Up a Prospect
Last week I was talking with a current client, who was telling me about someone he’d been playing “phone tag” with for months…
Almost 5 months, to be exact.
My client was referred to this prospect by a business partner, but they hadn’t been able to connect. The prospect couldn’t clear the space in his calendar to set up the meeting—he was going through some hardships with his business, and just couldn’t make the time.
After endless back-and-forth, my client decided to change things up.
Now, to give you some backstory: at about the time that my client started this dance with his prospect, he asked me to write an email nurturing sequence, among other things. This sequence was designed to do four things:
- Introduce prospects to his service
- Help them understand that this service would create stability through any business cycle
- Keep him top-of-mind
- And inspire them to contact my client to get a quote.
Equipped with these emails, and unable to secure a meeting with this prospect, my client took bold action.
He emailed the guy and said something along the lines of “I’m going to send you some info while we work out our schedules. Keep an eye out for some emails with more info on my service.”
Then our sales hero loaded the 5-email nurture sequence I created for him into his CRM and let ’em rip.
Guess what happened?
Bold Action Stirs Movement
After the 2nd email, the prospect reached out, clearing time for a meeting, and insisting they get together soon. Boom.
What happened here?
In this case, the second email in the email sequence told the story of a business owner who used my client’s service. The email was simple, and just showcased this successful businessman talking about what led him to seek out my client, what the service has done for his business, what he went through before he used the service, etc.
The info from the 2nd email spoke straight to the heart of what the prospect had been going through in his business, and he knew he needed to meet my client.
For months there was no time to meet.
All of a sudden, he sees the right message and now there’s time.
If You Skip the Ritual (the Right Way), Expect Fast Action
You don’t know when a prospect is hungry for what you sell, but there are simple ways to be top of mind when that time comes.
And if you get it right, expect your prospects to move fast.
My client did two things really well…
- He understood the importance of getting the right kinds of messages in front of his prospects. We spent a lot of time walking in his prospects’ shoes to come up with the email campaign he’s now using to nurture prospects into clients.
- He was willing to take imperfect action. The email sequence wasn’t designed to be used the way he used it, but he knew the message was something the prospect needed to hear, and it paid off. Sometimes imperfect action wins the day.
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.
General George S. Patton
Of course, your mileage may vary.
When your prospects see a message showing you understand their struggles…
You offer a solution…
Other businesses benefit from that solution…
And that the solution would likely work for them too…
That message will bypass just about any business rituals you think you need to dance through.
How Can You Use This?
You never know when your prospects need what you’re selling, so regular communication (with the right message) is key. I’m not talking about a monthly newsletter, or quarterly updates—these might be necessary, but they should be supplements to the regular (i.e., daily, 3 emails per week, etc.) communication you’re already sending. It’s also important to use the same language your prospects use. This helps you rise above the clutter.
- Identify the pain your clients are experiencing. Not surface pain, but much deeper. Who (or what) is the enemy they’re fighting every day? Why haven’t they gotten what they want? Who’s keeping it from them?
- Go against the grain. Create a unique message that speaks to the heart of your prospect’s experience—this works like getting the only megaphone in a street crowded with carnival barkers
- Do what General Patton says and take action. Stay in front of your prospects with regular communication that demonstrates you’re the salve they’re seeking
Your FREE Guide to Help You “Grab the Bullhorn” In Your Market
If you want use what we talked about in this article to draw attention to your product or service, click below for a free, easy-to-follow guide that walks you through each step…
- How to be the one red umbrella in a sea of black…
- The questions you must ask (and answer) before anybody will pay attention…
- The Amazon “less-is-more” sales method that will net you more sales every time…
- And more…