As a business, do you believe strongly in what you do?
Do you go to bed at night feeling confident that you made that world a little bit better than it was the day before?
Not necessarily because you cured cancer or anything. But because you changed even one person’s life in a positive way.
I ask my clients to start with the four P’s …
P1: What is the PROBLEM (or problems) you solve for somebody?
Problems (often referred to as a pain point) are something with roots in the past that are creating a challenge or obstacle for somebody in the present.
Helping somebody overcome a problem will offer them the gift of diminished stress and greater equilibrium in their life/business.
P2: What is the POSSIBILITY (or possibilities) you create for somebody?
Unlike problems, possibilities have their roots in the present and are future-facing. They are the opportunity for something new.
Offering somebody possibilities gifts them with a way to not simply attain equilibrium but also extend beyond this to a kind of success they hadn’t even considered before now.
Putting some thought into just these two P’s before you start working with any marketing professional will save both of you time right out of the gate.
P3: What is the PROMISE (or promises) you make to somebody?
Because unless we’re able to state and willing to stand behind the solution we provide or the opportunity we create, then why should anybody trust what we’re offering them?
To be clear, I’m not talking about a boast or a guarantee. (“We’ll do it better than the rest … or your money back!”).
What’s needed here is a meaningful statement born of empathy that is focused on them and their needs, not on you and what you’re trying to sell them.
What is the change you will help them make? How will what you offer get them from point A to B, from before to after? And how will you do it differently than anybody else?
It can help to write an actual statement that begins with the words “I/we promise …” even if this sentence never gets spoken out loud or used in your marketing materials.
Because there is weight to the idea of a promise.
And because as a business, we should always know what our promise is if we expect to deliver on it.
So you’re ready to make a PROMISE to clients …
Which is based on a PROBLEM you solve or a POSSIBILITY you create …
What’s still missing from this story?
The fourth and final P that I encourage clients to focus on is …
P4: What is the PURPOSE behind what you do for somebody?
And how does it intersect with their purpose?
In case it’s not clear, I didn’t order these four P’s by how important they are, but by how it might help to consider and explore them.
Because any fan of Simon Sinek knows we should always Start With Why.
No matter what you do or how you do it, if your product or service doesn’t satisfy somebody’s underlying purpose — why they do what they do — then you face an uphill climb.
The purpose is why people will pay twice as much for eco-friendly products. And why some people only support local businesses, even though it may cost them more to do so.
As Seth Godin puts it, “People like us do things like this.”
So what kind of person or business are you? What is it you stand for?
What do the people or businesses you wish to serve stand for?
And what is the purpose-inspired story you can tell about the problem you solve, the possibility you create, and the promise you make that will bridge the two?