Want to sell without being pushy? Read this

In my last post, you read about how people try to skip validating their course topic, specifically Customer Discovery Interviews (CDIs).

CDIs (a method of pre-validation) help you create a more meaningful, focused course.

Still people try to skip 'em.

For example, about 8 months ago Ken (not his real name) reached out to me because he had a proven process he wanted to turn into an online course. (He’d been putting it off for 3 years and was sick of having it on his 'one day' list.)

Ken ran a successful solo consultancy creating websites for coaches. But sometimes he had to turn people away because they couldn't budget his rates. So he decided to create a course for them.

Except when it came to validating, he stalled:

  • He’d avoid scheduling Customer Discovery Interviews 

  • He’d modify the process

  • He'd skip questions all together

Until finally I asked him point blank: “Why are you avoiding the interviews?”

“I…I just don’t want to come across as pushy. I guess I’m getting in my own way.”

Ken was right. He was getting in his own way.

For one, your job is NOT to sell anything during Customer Discovery Interviews. Ken’s job (and yours) is to listen.

The way to do market research (and sales) without feeling pushy is not to sell anything.

Zip it and listen. Offer solutions when asked. (Sidebar: This applies to relationships too hehe.)

Here’s what to listen for:

  • Problems (what your target customer is trying to solve in their life/business)

  • Pain (how that problem is affecting their life)

  • Language (how they describe their situation)

  • Solutions (what result are they looking for?)

You’re also listening for something else--something super important--which I’ll explain in a minute. But first, let’s talk about that word “pushy.” 

It’s an excuse.

You’re doubting your value and getting in your own way (just like Ken).

Which is interesting because researching your market, solving audience problems, selling—they’re all about delivering value.

The way to avoid being pushy is to listen and add value to your audience’s life.

Now, back to that ‘something else’…

Done right, market research will help you define your target learner.

That’s why we start with the research side of validation in my group program. 

Trust the process and you’ll have a list of valuable (there’s that word again) data on your target learner, their frustrations, and what they want to achieve--which helps you create a more meaningful course. (Instead of one that doesn't deliver results.)

Speaking of your target learner...

...have you ever wondered if it’s okay to have more than one type/level of learner in your course?

I’ll answer that question in my next post.


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