Should I market the modality or the transformation?
The question of “Should I market the modality or the transformation?” has become a hot topic in the world of spiritual business marketing.
When an entrepreneur is selling her healing or coaching services, should she focus on how she does it, or should she focus on the transformation that her client will receive?
‘ve argued both sides of the question and I go back and forth on it. So far, I haven’t concluded on one final answer that is true every time. As vague and annoying as it sounds, to me, the answer really depends.
Let’s take a deeper look.
Some of my clients offer very specific healing and clearing services, for example cutting cords of attachment or reading a client’s Akashic Record. They’ve tried marketing their services both ways: by talking about the specifics and science of how they do this work, and also by not mentioning it at all.
They either talk about their tools and modalities with great detail, or they skip it altogether and just focus on the end result the client will receive.
Some business coaches will teach that clients should never know how you do something, only that you do. The first time I heard about this, the analogy that came to mind was a spa offering Botox or a deep cleansing seaweed facial without explaining how it’s done or what’s in it. I thought, surely the customer deserves at least a trifold brochure to know what they’re getting themselves into?
They would say, you don’t need to talk about the tools in your toolbox, but simply that you know how to fix the problem.
In the business of plumbing and home repair where the public has a pretty comfortable understanding of what they’re receiving, I would say that is mostly true.
But what if you are in the business of making hammers?
The problem without talking about the modality, I argued, is that trust can’t be established. Plenty of customers use the quantity and quality of information to evaluate whether or not to make a purchase.
In modern marketing, talking about the modality not only helps instill trust but it can raise the perceived value of your product or service.
Recently when I went shopping for vitamins, I was considering a couple of different all–natural products. The one I ended up choosing was the product that spent a lot of time talking about the how. By knowing how something arrived to be the way it is, I felt very comfortable investing into it.
These days, restaurants and wineries also spend a great deal of effort marketing the how. How the liquor was painstakingly distilled, and how your Kobe beef ribeye was aged to perfection in 37 different steps wins customers over.
By not talking about the modality, I believe it also discredits potential clients. Consumers are equipped with good radars. By leaving out information on purpose, potential customers will identify holes in your communication, which only raises doubt.
Marketing the transformation
Age–old marketing 101 teaches people to always focus on the benefits, not the features, when selling any product or service. That is true. Consumers compare features but they ultimately buy because of the benefits.
In spiritual business marketing, some coaches encourage entrepreneurs to talk about the transformation and others discourage it.
If one is selling a healing session, the entrepreneur is suggested to focus on the transformation the client will receive afterwards. Concepts like renewal, freedom, happiness, financial abundance and change are current hot promises.
One of the most successful marketers of transformation in recent times is President Barack Obama with his “Change” and “Forward” messages.
But I believe that sometimes, it is difficult to market the transformation because potential clients may not know what that transformation feels like or looks like. A space of doubt seeps in with those who can’t feel their way to the promised transformation.
If the client can’t make the mental leap from where they’re now (deep in the heart of the problem), to where you promise to take them, they will not make the connection you depend on in order to express the power of what you do.
When the client is truly in pain, it is often too big of a leap for them to visualize and feel the emotions and energies behind your promise. Maybe it is beyond their realm of imagination at this moment. For example, a client experiencing prolonged depression, addiction or abuse will have a difficult time making the connection from where she is to the transformation of joy and freedom. All she knows is that she needs help to alleviate the pain.
Rather than marketing the concepts of transformation, we can shift it ever so slightly by marketing the experience.
Concepts are harder to market because it is somewhat a mental understanding. The experience, however, is sensual and customers have more frames of reference to work with.
The conversation shift is very subtle. Here are some analogies to help you put this into perspective:
A steakhouse marketing its Kobe beef ribeye
Marketing the experience: Mmmm, it’s juicy, melt–in–your–mouth tender, the best beef you will ever taste, and eating this in the company of your friends in a beautiful dining room, with attentive servers at your beck–and–call
Marketing the transformation: After eating this steak, it will change your life. (Huh?)
An amusement park marketing its newest roller coaster
Marketing the experience: This is the most thrill money can buy. It’s fun, exciting, out of this world and wicked cool. You must try this because it’ll be the most amazing time you’ll ever have.
Marketing the transformation: After riding this roller coaster, it will change your life. (Huh? What? Sounds scary!)
If the above examples are a little ridiculous, I exaggerated it for effect.
The experience is not the only thing that one can market. If you offer a service that lots of other people offer too, you may want to market the distinction or differentiation.
Alas, it all depends
I’m working on fine tuning where I stand on this topic. At this moment, I don’t feel particularly drawn to one method or another but I feel the conversation is necessary.
Marketing techniques that work for one business may not work for another. That is why I like picking apart these “rules” and examining whether or not they are always true, or just occasionally true in certain situations.
It’s important to me, and I believe it ought to be important for other entrepreneurs, to really delve into what is fact and what is theory or opinion. If we buy too much into any particular rule or method, we would be doing a disservice to our business. Marketing is a discovery process that is ultra personal. Rules or 101 are foundational, but what works for you is truly specific and can only be discovered by engaging with your customers.
Hi, I’m Ana Coeur
I teach entrepreneurs how to create their business straight from their soul. I offer a complete Intuitive Business Suite to help you create, design, write and sell all from your intuition. Here’s the services you can take advantage of to empower your business: Intuitive Web & Brand Design, Intuitive Copywriting and Intuitive Selling. If there’s anything I can help you with, I would love to hear about it! You may email me at anaintuitivepicture.com
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