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To be successful you need to be speaking your prospects' language so they understand what you're selling. Talk in terms of features and you may lose them. Talk in terms of concerns and you'll sell more.

by Charlie Cook

Do you ever wonder if youíre speaking a different language than your prospects? You may have recently launched a business, designed an innovative process or purchased state of the art equipment that leaves the competition in the dust, but no matter what you say or do, you aren't attracting as many prospects as you need.

Lauren called me from Michigan with just such a concern. She and another friend had opened a fitness salon about a year ago. After a careful analysis of the local chain's facilities, they had invested in next-generation equipment that provided many added features. Yet, a year after opening, and doing every marketing activity they could think of, they still weren't attracting enough clients to pay the rent.

The problem wasn't lack of effort. The problem was that prospects didn't understand the benefits or higher value of Lauren's fitness facility.

Remember the best selling book "Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus"? A key point of the book is that men and women see many things differently, and express themselves differently.

If you have children, you know that the same is true of parents and teenagers. What's important to you is often unimportant to your seventeen-year-old, and vice-a versa.
Sometimes you wonder if the two of you are speaking the same language. You've probably learned to get your child's attention by talking about their needs and interests. These may include sports, movies and access to the family car.

Prospects and business owners have different perspectives as well. You may be focused on the costly and state-of-the-art equipment that enables your enterprise to function. Your prospects primary concern, on the other hand, is that you solve their problem or get the job done, and your equipment and processes are of secondary interest.

Lauren's marketing focused to a high degree on the higher quality equipment her salon provided. She was talking hydraulics and variable resistance. This approach wasn't pulling in new clients.

Due to shoulder surgery, my exercising has been recently relegated to a local fitness salon. My objective is to stay as fit possible so when my shoulder heals Iíll be able to get back to the sports activities I enjoy.

Do I relish exercising on a recumbent bike or treadmill? Of course not. When I mentioned this to Lauren she replied, "Everyone hates the machines."

People work out regularly because they want to achieve a particular goal. They want to get fit or lose those extra pounds. People go to a fitness center like Lauren's because they want to look and feel better. If you own a fitness salon, don't talk equipment, talk about what it does. Talk about calories burned, weight lost, muscle tone, strength, feeling healthy, improving at tennis or on the ski slope, looks and self-image.

If you want to attract more clients to your business, whether it's a fitness salon or your accounting practice, make sure you're speaking the same language as your prospects. Your concerns in getting the work done may be different than your prospects' and clients'. They are concerned with the problem you solve for them.

Whether it's in your ads, your marketing brochure, your web site or in your sales conversations, speak in your prospects' language. Speak in terms of their concerns, problems and goals. When you communicate to prospects in terms of their priorities, you'll get their attention and their business.
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the Free Marketing Plan eBook,
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