I think one of the problems I’ve noticed creatives run into when trying to sell their work or services is a lack of urgency on the part of their customer or client.
Creative work often seems nice to have but not critical.
As creatives, founders and entrepreneurs we know the value we bring and how beneficial our work can be, but relaying that urgency to someone is difficult.
How do you create something as important to someone who doesn’t share the same understanding or perspective?
The answer is simple, but it takes practice to actually put to use.
The answer is to begin by understanding what a customer’s ideal vision is. What are they trying to achieve? Why do they do the thing they do and to what end?
We all have something we truly want that’s deeper than simply working or making a living. We all have some vision of what we’d like our life or business to look like. More importantly we all know how we want our life and work to FEEL like.
Once you understand someone’s vision you can then work on helping them get there because there’s always a gap. The gap between where people are and where they want to be. The gap between how they feel and how they want to feel.
If you can help people bridge that gap, you will tap into that urgency.
So how do you do this?
It takes really listening to clients. It takes asking questions that may seem odd at first but are usually welcomed. “Where do you see yourself or your company in 5 years?” “What are you doing all this for?” “What’s your dream?”.
While those questions might feel intrusive or overly personal in the context of a business conversation I assure you that most people, when approached with the right intention, love to talk about themselves in this context. It makes them feel heard and it allows them to express things there’s often little room to express.
In any conversation, learn to explore these areas tactfully, then place your offer or product into that context for them. Describe to them in detail how you can help them close the gap between where they are and their dream.
This isn’t about kissing ass, or bullshitting anyone. You must acknowledge that you also have a dream and that the situation must be mutually beneficial. But speaking in the context of that gap is speaking to the urgency we all have inside for something.
I suggest getting used to exploring people’s dreams and aspirations before ever offering your solution to anything. It’s a tried and true technique that works to create rapport and build trust.
Try it in your next conversation – ask someone you just met, “What’s your dream?” Then email me and let me know how it felt and what response you got…