It’s the worst thing in the world when you put your heart and soul into an offer and you get… crickets.
I’m in a few different online communities for women entrepreneurs, and every week at least one brave soul will speak up, full of disbelief and crushing self-doubt, confused about why her offer hasn’t hit the mark. And the feeling I get is that, for every person who speaks up, 10 more are silently relieved they aren’t alone in their sense of failure. It’s heartbreaking.
If you can relate, know that most of the hugely successful entrepreneurs I know have, at some point, heard crickets where instead they were hoping for the sound of another payment received notification hitting their inbox. It’s almost a rite of passage. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean that, with a few small tweaks, your offer can’t become a truly compelling proposition.
Take it from me, the freedom and confidence that comes with mastering how to craft and position offers that basically sell like hotcakes is truly game-changing. Even if you’re making some sales, a couple of small changes could quantum leap your conversion. I know because I’ve experienced it myself, and I’ve seen my private clients quickly transform this area of their business too.
To help you create offers ideal clients love to buy, here’s the 10-point checklist I personally use to design offers that almost sell themselves:
1. Do you communicate the benefits of working with you?
So many coaches and consultants mistakenly focus on the features of their package or how they work with clients, instead of the true value – that is, the benefits and results that your clients get to experience by working with you. This simple oversight can end up being a major bummer for your business.
If interest in your offer is slow, look for ways to bump up the amount of airtime you spend communicating the benefits of your work.
2. Could you be clearer about the precise results you’re delivering?
I don’t know about you but, as a rule, I buy results. That’s what I’m always really in the market for. And I’m betting your potential clients are the same. Make sure you spend enough airtime communicating the clear, relatable results of your work.
A great way to do this is to think about the specific results your best client has experienced and share those. For example, perhaps your best client experienced radiant skin on her wedding day, or saved enough coin to splurge on a dream overseas holiday for the first time in 3 years, or became tax compliant in half the time they’d expected, or doubled their revenue in 60 days… whatever industry you’re in, sharing the results your best clients have already experienced by working with you, helps us see what’s possible for ourselves if we were to work with you too.
3. Could the language you’re using be more specific?
In a sea of airy-fairy offers, specific language is like catnip for our ideal clients. Specific, real-world language is gold when it comes to standing out, being memorable and getting traction in your market. There’s a confidence that radiates from people who use clear, specific, real-world language that most of us can’t help but be attracted to.
4. Is the problem you help solve causing your ideal client serious discomfort?
As a rule, we’re pretty lazy. Personally, I can live with problems for years before the growing pain of that problem becomes unbearable and motivates me to resolve it. Focusing on helping people solve important must resolve problems in their life – rather than ‘it’s not a priority/that’d be nice to fix later if there’s time/money’ problems – is not only a key ingredient in compelling offers, but can be a waaay more rewarding way to spend your life force too.
5. Does your offer seem overwhelming?
I see many women coaches and consultants packing everything they know into their packages, often because 1) they want to support the shit out of their clients, and 2) they hope the sheer volume of features they’ve squeezed in will read as incredible value for their ideal clients.
The bummer is that, while totally well-meaning, this approach usually results in an offer that feels cumbersome and overwhelming for our potential clients. Instead, keep your client’s needs in mind, be brave enough to get rid of the fluff, and only include features that will help your clients get the results they’re yearning for. I promise your clients will thank you for it.
6. Are you offering what your clients really want?
Have you ever asked your clients/community what they’d love to buy from you? The simple step of asking can be utterly eye-opening and hugely clarifying.
I learnt this lesson the hard way when after sweating over a proposal for days (and not winning the contract), I discovered in a later convo that the client’s project, in fact, represented a much bigger investment than I’d guessed. My proposal for less than $20k didn’t hit the mark because they were after a more comprehensive solution that would’ve been closer to $60k. These days I ask, and so should you.
For the record, I reckon there is huge wisdom in Steve Job’s famous position that the market may not know what it wants until they see it. This can be especially true when it comes to innovation and thought leadership in your industry. But if your offer isn’t flying off the metaphorical shelves, take your community’s pulse. Insight will follow.
7. Did you craft your offer with your ideal client or with your peers in mind?
It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we get lost along the way.
If you’re regularly immersed in what the competition or your mentors or your peers are doing (Hello to all the health coaches with Instagram feeds full of other health coaches! Know I’m giving you a special nod here!), you could be inadvertently designing offers that will impress your peers, but won’t speak to your ideal clients.
If your offer assumes advanced knowledge, intimidates, or just plain doesn’t draw your ideal clients in because they can’t find themselves in your offer, it’s time to head back to the drawing board and refocus that sucker.
8. Do you feel great about it?
Every day, I see women coaches and consultants not really marketing themselves. I mean, they might have a website, a blog, a Facebook page, and an offer, but they aren’t really going for it. Often these incredible women know what they have to do to get their offer in front of the right people, but they experience a bunch of resistance when it comes to actually doing it… usually because they don’t feel really (really!) great about it.
Make sure you’re head over heels in love with your offer. Anything else is a waste of time. If something – even something small – about it doesn’t feel aligned (for example, a certain feature you’ve included or the price point), you’re gonna want to hide out instead of really go for it.
And for the record, if you’re including features that you aren’t feeling because you think that’s what you MUST include – don’t. Just stop. I promise an aligned package you’re excited to share and market will covert much more than an offer that you’re not 100% digging.
9. Are you charging enough?
This might sound counter-intuitive but beware of charging too little for your package – especially if you’re doing work that could help significantly transform your client’s life, business, career, health or relationships. So many of us have been programmed to read a low investment level as low quality – instead of a reflection of the chronic undercharging you could be struggling with.
Heads up: Undercharging isn’t the same as a specific sale promotion.
10. Do you step up as a leader?
I have a tendency to want to take charge in consulting settings. I used to worry that my predilection to chairing meetings, direction setting and making specific recommendations would turn clients off, and so I did my best to tone down that part of me.
But these days I see that, in fact, there’s a huge relief that comes with employing an expert WHO ACTUALLY TAKES CHARGE of the problem I need help with/ challenge I’m trying to master.
As a potential future client of yours, hear me when I say: we want you to step up as a leader and take charge. That’s why we’re hiring you. I don’t mean we want to work with a dictator. Rather, we want to know you have a system that works. It helps us trust that you’ll deliver.
I hope you find my checklist really useful!
I’d love to hear from you. Is there anything you’d add to this list?