The 3 “I”s to Why They Won’t Buy

Customers are particular about where they spend their money. The more you learn how to speak a customer’s language – ie. their true needs and wants – the more you will land sales.

So check out this recent podcast episode. I share three tips on why your people won’t buy. You want to know about these ideas so you can avoid these critical mistakes.

You’ll learn how to better speak to the desires, dreams, and needs for your ideal clients, articulate their pain points and connect why your business is the one that they want to select.

I share several specific examples to get you started. Listen in and take notes!!

1. Have you identified the REAL problem that the customer has?

This may seem obvious. But when you start diving in, it’s not.

For example, the last time that I spoke virtually, I invited the audience to introduce themselves in the chat.  It’s pretty common nowadays in virtual settings that you share where you are from and your business.

But if you are the person reading the chat, it’s often hard who you want to talk to. 

How we normally share

If someone says, hi, my name is so-and-so and I’m a dentist or painter or accountant, you don’t know what makes them stand out.  How do I know why I want to talk to you versus anybody else?

I encourage you to start thinking about your business at a deep level.  Go further than your occupation and pay attention to how you introduce yourself.  You don’t want to be giving the “same old, same old” generic intro about what it is that you do. 

An example of thinking deeply for your introductions

I’ll choose my dentist.  They charge quite a bit more than most of the other dentists in my area but, I am happy to pay.   They use the most cutting edge technology and make the process as pain-free as possible.  Also they are aligned with my bigger goals of taking care of my teeth for the long-term.  While I’m not big on tech, I’m 100% into doing things that are preventative.  I’m willing to pay for that because in the long run I know that it’s going to save me money and reduce pain.  I had too many other experiences where people wanted to patch up the problems and didn’t listen to my greater desire to avoid the pain in the first place. That’s a big deal for me. I’m not “just an insurance number”.

How do I think deeply about my business without pulling out my hair?  

I encourage you to take a look at some of the stories that have happened with your recent clients.  Think about the results that you’ve got for these clients.  What problems did your business solve for them?

Too often, we could put two businesses in the same industry next to each other – and you can’t tell them apart.

One example for networking

Start with a story like : ” I’m Mary and the last client that I worked with, this is what happened…”

Or “this is the result that I got for that client after I spent a couple of weeks in their business and now the client is doing this”.

The solution is to tell a story about how you help people solve problems. Use one specific example.  

Another example for networking

Recently I heard someone describe their contracting business by focusing on the problem they solve.  They get ALOT of repeat business. They are known for cleaning the house up well after they finish.   You can go straight to your bathroom or kitchen and start using it after they leave.  You’re not waiting to clean it out after the contractors have departed.

I might see their pictures of their work and other companies. But I still won’t know what distinguishes them. But if you’ve ever had work done, you know the hassle of the “cleanup”. Who wants to be bothered with that, right? 

You always want to think about the problems that you solve from the perspective of your clients and what matters to them.   

2. Have you identified your actual client?


When I do this activity  in my workshops or one-on-one coaching, people often come to me and say, “Malla, I know who my ideal client is. She’s a woman, she’s between the ages of 25 or 50, she makes probably between 40 to $175,000 a year”

Your ideal client is not just a demographic box that you have to check off. What really makes your ideal client tick?  When you know, you will write marketing messages and your clients will come running to you because they feel like they’re understood.

Why can’t I just work with anyone?

People often say “I’ll work with anyone who’s willing to pay me”.  You may have a picture of who an ideal client is in your mind and then someone who doesn’t fit that profile wants to pay you.  So do you take the money?  YES!

The purpose of the ideal client is to help you with marketing.  When you are putting out your messaging – on social media, speaking at events, introducing yourself in networking events, sending out sales messages – your person feels like “oh, you totally get me”

So I saw this example recently of an ideal client for online health coaches. At first, you might not see the difference.  But when you start to really drill down, it shows up. 

Traditional health coach understanding of ideal client : Male or a female. The person wants to get fit. They want to lose 20 pounds. They live in this type of an area and then here’s why they’re going to work with me.

Genius answer:  They drill down much deeper than just that typical surface profile.  They came up with three different types of individuals.

First person – Busy mom. Trying to fit in a 30 minute workout while working from home. Has 2 school-aged children that are in remote education.

Second person – Male, mid-forties, a mid level manager who finds himself working from home. He is concerned about how he might look at Zoom meetings to his staff.  He has more control over their schedule and has very specific health goals.

Third person – A senior who is feeling isolated

Do you see the distinct differences? All of them are looking for a health coach. But the needs will vary greatly.

3. Invite a specific person to buy from you


I’m sure that you’ve probably received an invite for a party.  You’re given instructions about what to wear, what time to show up, what to bring with you and a little bit about the environment and the event itself.  It’s pretty easy to feel really comfortable when you show up because the expectations have laid out clearly. 

Think about creating an experience similar to a party invite when you are marketing!

Don’t just send out a blanket sales message. People don’t buy understand they understand why it benefits them. Find a way to connect the problems that they’re having, why you can help them, and invite them into the experience. 

This is a great strategy for your email newsletter –

  • Give me a little bit of information
  • Share a story about something that happened with a customer
  • Finally create a relationship with me. 

On the fifth email or the sixth email, you invite them to buy from you and you create a very specific experience of what that’s going to look like. They know what time, they know how much money it’s going to cost, they’re clear about what they’re going to get in exchange for giving you their money and it becomes this really fun conversation, similar to like getting an RSVP to a party. 

It might take time to answer these questions in your business. But don’t quit! Having the answers will help you stay relevant and keep customers coming to you for the long term.

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