My silent fish tank was no more. Enough water had evaporated to make the filter gurgle. It was highly annoying and I knew I wouldn’t be at ease until it was silent again, so I filled the tank. Did I fill it to satisfy a want or a need? Does it really matter? Probably not. The gurgling tank was an unacceptable problem that required a solution: more water. I was able to solve the problem on my own. If it had turned out that my fish tank gurgled because my filter was broken I would have needed a new filter. Filters Don’t Flow from My Tap Where would I get a filter? How would I decide where to shop first? There is a pet store chain in New York City that has been advertising its business for decades. When I first moved to my current neighborhood I noticed one of their stores a couple of blocks from my home. I would go there for my new filter without hesitation. I know that they have fish tank filters, exactly what I’d need to solve my problem. Do your prospects know you have exactly what they need to solve their problems? To sell more you must demonstrate to more prospects that you have just what they want. There are two ways you can work toward this goal: •Market to a larger audience •Improve your marketing material to attract more attention It makes sense to do both. You can sell more by using the same marketing material to market to a larger, targeted audience. You can also increase sales by enhancing your marketing material to be noticed by more of the prospects you currently target. Marketing to a larger audience is simple but can be quite expensive and improving your marketing material may seem like a daunting task. You can make this second task easier by knowing how to approach it. Help Your Prospects Focus on You When your prospects encounter your marketing material they should experience the familiar feeling of looking in a mirror. Creating a sense of familiarity for your prospects when they absorb your marketing material helps eliminate a barrier to making a sale. People are more likely to buy from someone with whom they feel familiar. When we see ourselves in a mirror we see a clear and familiar image. You can create a sense of familiarity for your prospects by focusing your marketing material around their problems. Problems tend to strike an emotional chord within each of us. When we have emotional reactions we tend to become more alert to our surroundings. You can take advantage of this reaction by including client problems in your marketing material. You will increase your chance of being noticed, remembered and making a sale by presenting your marketing material to someone who has recently become more alert. •What problems do your clients have? •What problems do you solve? Being noticed more often is good. You will sell more. However, you will sell even more if a greater percentage of the people who notice and read your marketing material take the next step and contact you. To be contacted by more prospects your marketing material must attract attention and also clearly demonstrate believable value. •What value do you provide? •Are your offers believable or too good to be true? •How can you integrate client problems and the value you provide into your marketing material? The answer is to use a marketing message. A marketing message is a highly specific set of words you can use to attract and demonstrate value to your prospects. With a marketing message focused around client problems you will sell more with less effort.