Your Clients Probably Don't Want a Faster Horse

By: Stephanie Tuesday September 6, 2016 comments Tags: Marketing, Client attraction, Lead attraction, Copywriting

You may have heard the saying, often attributed to Henry Ford, that "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse".
This quote is often used to illustrate the need to innovate and invent in your business, but it also applies strongly to how you market yourself.

When you ask your clients what they want, it's important to find out WHY they want it.

While the actual origins of the quote are debated, I'll apply it to the automotive industry for the purposes of this illustration.

This quote raises an important question: did people REALLY want a faster horse?

And, more importantly, do your clients REALLY want your product?

To answer that question, we need to ask another one: why would Ford's clients have wanted a faster horse?

The answer, of course, is so that things and people could get places faster. If someone did, in fact, ask for a faster horse, it's quite likely that they didn't really want the horse; they wanted the speed and ease of transportation that a superior equine would give them.

How does this apply to your marketing?

If you asked a person who had only a passing knowledge of motor vehicles, or no knowledge at all, if they wanted a car, their response would probably range from "no" to mildly curious. They don't know much about cars, so why would they know that they want one?

On the other hand, if you asked them if they'd like the ability to reach a place that was 60 miles away in just a single hour (or even faster, if you aren't dealing with Manitoban highway speed limits), THAT would get their attention.

Now you're talking in terms of things they're familiar with, can understand easily, and - if they're your target audience - they already know that they want.

In the same way, if you ask someone if they want to learn more about the Law of Attraction, changing their subconscious patterns, or mastering the principles of success, you might get some interest, but unless you're speaking to people who are already familiar with that terminology, the reactions are more likely to consist of confusion and polite disinterest.

Even if people are familiar with those terms, your message will be much more compelling, and will make people more interested in making a purchase, if you talk about the things your clients actually want - not about the things that help them get what they want.

Here are some simple questions that will help you create a message that gets more clients:

Right now, I invite you to think about your elevator pitch, your product descriptions, the home page on your website, or anywhere else where you talk or write about your services.

Ask yourself:

- WHY do my clients want the things I described here?

- What are the benefits they'll receive as a result of doing or having these things?

- Are the things I describe in my pitch or page what they really want, or are they just the means by which my clients can get the end they want?

Remember, your clients know what they want - they just don't know that your program is the way to get there.

It's important to start by offering them what they want, and THEN - after you've gotten their attention and piqued their interest - tell them how you or your product will help them make that happen.

Would you like some additional help to create a Marketing Message that attracts clients?

If so, I invite you to check out my Marketing Message Guide.

It's a short, easy-to-use ebook that will walk you through the process of determining what to say in your marketing materials, so you can transform more clients' lives, increase your income, and save yourself the time and expense of struggling to write materials that end up not bringing you clients.


About the Author: Stephanie

Stephanie is a writer and coaching program design specialist. She helps coaches to design lucrative and life-changing group programs, so they can help more people, make more money, and have more time freedom.