Have you ever found yourself saying the following?
“If only these people understood.”
Or, “I have to educate these people, then they’ll buy from me.”
If you have, then, well, you’d be wrong (mostly).
While you can definitely persuade people to buy certain things, changing a fundamental belief about something is a completely different game. It’s not a game you want to play.
This point was made clear to me after listening to a writing podcast on prospecting for clients.
The host asked: “What’s better, trying to sell to someone who loves watches and has several, or trying to sell a watch to someone who doesn’t wear watches?”
It’s a simple yet massively helpful example. Think about it:
- Selling marketing services to a company with no marketing VS. a company with a great website and a monthly e-newsletter
- Pitching a series of written blog posts to companies that don’t have blogs VS. pitching blog posts to a company with daily blog and social media posts.
You want to work with people understand the value of what you’re offering. Any kind of convincing or massive investment in nudging is a waste of time.
You want to practice marketing jiu jitsu
Marketing Jiu Jitsu
I recently decided to wrestle with someone who, while much younger than myself, had a high level of jiu jitsu experience.
I got in his guard and went for a submission. BAD IDEA. This guy cranked my neck and arm fairly badly. I’m still sore…
If this was a boxing match, I would’ve taken him out quickly. My game is standing up, not on the ground.
As marketers, salespeople, etc., it’s easy to get caught up in playing the wrong game. Jiu jitsu and boxing are two completely different things. Just because both help you “fight,” doesn’t mean they are one in the same.
When you’re a boxer, don’t fight a skilled jiu jitsu practitioner. If you’re a skilled marketer, don’t talk to clients who don’t understand your value. You’ll only end up bruised and confused.
How to Play a Better Game
So, how do you find a game worth playing? A fight worth fighting?
First, pick your style.
Being a generalist is the worst thing you can do. For example, if you want to be a writer, don’t just tell people “I’m a writer.”
Here’s a better way:
- Articulate what you do, why you do it and for whom.
- Understand what makes you different, and why that difference matters.
- Have standards (rules) for the game you want to play. If someone doesn’t want to play by those standards, don’t engage with them.
- Be willing to quit the game when you need to. Some clients/customers aren’t worth the trouble. Perform an 80/20 audit and get rid of those who don’t make the cut.
Choke ‘Em Out
Jiu jitsu is all about finding your opponent’s weak points and taking advantage of them. The smaller guy can take down the big guy. It’s not about physical strength as much as it is about technique and finesse.
This is what makes jiu jitsu so effective.
When putting together your marketing strategy, think about the market “weak points” you can exploit.
What’s your background? What makes you stand out in a sea of hundreds and thousands of other people, writers, marketers, salespeople, etc.? Don’t have tons of experience? Get around it by figuring out your unique perspective or angle.
And when you figure it out–go for the choke. Go all in.
Your unique angle will attract customers who are a fit for your business, and repel those who aren’t.
You’ll land better clients, improve your marketing, and make your work a whole lot easier.
That’s marketing jiu jitsu
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