During the course of a week I usually meet several people who hope to sell me something. What astonishes me is how few of these people ask questions to find out what I am interested in or worried about.

Most usually start with a pitch that is aimed at impressing me with their success. I hear about all the amazing customers they have, many of whom have no bearing on what I am doing and even less on what I am interested in. Then they tell me all about the wonderful technology they have, or how marvelous their products or services are. I don’t doubt that they are great, but by this time I have generally lost interest. It is such a shame that these otherwise competent people shoot themselves in the foot and most loose the opportunity to sell me something because they are so focused on themselves and have little understanding or feeling for what I might be interested in.

Are you guilty of pitching your product or service before your prospect understands why they should be interested? Selling is a critical part of marketing, but it is vital. If you do this in your selling, is your marketing material more about you than it is about your customer?

I call this “Me Marketing”, it is a lot more common than most of us realize and destroys more sales than almost any other mistake.

I have used a dating analogy before and in this case it is like bragging about your possessions or achievements in the hopes that you will impress your date. In most cases all it achieves is boredom or even worse it turns your date off completely. It has the same effect with prospects.

Business Pros Marketing engage in “You Marketing”. Their total focus is on selflessly serving their customer, helping them overcome their problems, educating them how to be better buyers and raising their perception about how they can help. They relate to their customers, not so much because they have the best products and services, but because they understand them first as people.

The truth is people buy from people they like, and we generally like people who are interested in us and our needs. In most cases we are completely selfish and will only engage, if we find something or someone to be interesting.

Successful salespeople quickly learn that you can’t be interesting unless you are interested.

Business Pros Marketing know that the best way to demonstrate interest is to ask insightful questions. They provide insightful answers in their marketing communications, showing customers how they are the logical choice to solve some burning problem. Once they understand these challenges they use their knowledge and skills to raise perception about potential solutions. Only then do they introduce the product or service and what it can do for the client.

Business Pros Marketing practice “You Marketing” by making sure that all their marketing materials focus first on customer issues before their capabilities and competencies. They never pitch without first building report. Above all they know that customers don’t buy from them because they have the best products and services, but because they understand them as people! Their marketing is designed to demonstrate that understanding.