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Charles Revson, one of the founders of Revlon, knew the difference between marketing and sales, and nailed it in one sentence.

“In the factory we make cosmetics, in the store we sell hope.”

When you’re selling, you can engage with someone and tweak your proposition to take into account the valuable information they’re sharing with you.

When you’re marketing though, that isn’t going to work. It’s a one-way conversation, so if you’re waiting for input, you’ll be waiting a while.

“We’ll help you achieve your lifetime goals… (whatever those happen to be)”

“We’ll give you peace of mind…(even though we have no idea what that actually means to you)”

We’ll help you feel more confident about the future…(even though we don’t actually know whats causing you to lack confident, or if it actually exists)”

The truth is most business people don’t know what clients want. They have an idea, think it’s awesome, spend a bunch of time trying to convince others it’s awesome and, well, they hope for best.

I once shared a stage with gentleman called Peter Davidson. Peter was a seed investor in Paypal (which kinda worked out well for him) and he knew how to find out what people wanted.

He’d lock himself in a room with a computer for the weekend, research the hell out of it and emerge Monday morning with a business.

Last time I spoke to him he’d done that three times, producing a multi-millionaire dollar outcome each time.

Finding out what people want is the ONLY way to start, but it takes more than just asking “What do you want?”

The truth is (and I know you know this) most clients don’t really know what they want.

Financial goals? “Ummm.”

You want an SMSF because…. “it’s a great investment class”

You’re excited about Bitcoin because….”it’s the future (and nothing to do with 1000% historical growth performance”)

You can’t approach client insight research by assuming the information is sitting at the surface waiting to be picked off.

The gold is buried deeper than that, and I want to share with you the three levels of questioning to get the good stuff out of the ground.

BTW, don’t be surprised if this ends up with you getting clients out of it too. No promises, but as Tom Jones once said, “it’s not unusual”

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