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Don’t sell what YOU have, talk about what THEY want…

Did you know that cashews aren’t really nuts?  

They’re more like a bean or a thick-shelled seed. 

Cashew nuts are just beans with great marketing!

Do you enjoy the way that Chilean sea bass melts in your mouth? 

It commands top prices at fine-dining restaurants around the world because of its flaky texture and rich, buttery flavor. 

Here’s the thing: Chilean sea bass doesn’t actually exist. It’s not actually a bass. And it doesn’t even come specifically from Chile. 

In fact, its real name is the Patagonian toothfish! And it looks like this:

Not exactly a name or an image to inspire diners, right?

But in 1977, an entrepreneur who sold fish wholesale had an insight.  

Lee Lantz realized that diners would be far more interested to eat a filet of sea bass, than a filet of toothfish.

He had a great product that needed a better story…

He renamed the Patagonian toothfish as Chilean sea bass and he crafted a story of a high-quality fish for high-class diners. 

The marketing campaign was a roaring success. 

The Patagonian toothfish can teach us some great lessons about marketing. 

Great marketing doesn’t sell what you have. It sells what they want.

Nobody cares what you do. 

They don’t care if you do ontological coaching, holistic coaching or solution-focused coaching. 

They don’t care if you’re a certified coach or if you have a PhD. They don’t care what coach training school you attended, or what letters are after your name. 

They don’t care about your background in Rapid application development, Lean or Six Sigma methodologies. 

They are thinking: “I’m here. I want to be there.” 

They want to know, “Do you understand me? Can you help me?”

So, here’s what you need to talk about:

  1. Talk about the greatest challenges your clients face. Reflect deeply on the feelings and emotions they experience every day that this giant challenge is in their life. 
  2. Talk about the secret thoughts in the heads of your dream clients. When you can articulate the voices in their head that they believe no one else knows, they’ll pay rapt attention to everything else you have to say.
  3. Talk about their dreams and goals. Listen to them so carefully that you can repeat their desires in their own words. Nothing feels more wonderful than knowing you’ve been listened to deeply. 

Don’t sell what you have, talk about what they want…

Love. Rich


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  1. Rich Litvin’s 1:1 Coaching Playbook: Learn my top 10 proven tools for coaching elite clients in this live training. Over 100 people joined me for our first live call – and all calls are recorded, so it’s not too late to join me…
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