Clear, consistent route to more sales
No more blindly trying new things hoping for something to create the results you’re after
How many tactics, tools, and strategies have you tried so far to reach your goals? How’s that going? Most people spend months or years stuck while going through an endless list of the “latest and greatest” things marketing people sell.
It’s not because the tactics, tools, or strategies couldn’t work. They often have a lot of potential, which is “proven” with testimonials from people who got great results with those. They’re the lucky 1%.
Blindly trying new things only works if you get lucky. That’s why I’m not a tactical expert, nor do I focus on any specific tool. Instead, I focus on the core aspects of marketing—the fundamentals marketing is based on.
The reason most people are stuck is either that they lack a solid foundation (including things like a strong offer, clear understanding of their target customer’s perspective, and an effective value proposition) or that they’re using the wrong tools for their situation (for example, just because a tactic works well in one situation doesn’t mean it works at all in others).
Marketing essentialism is my approach to marketing. Simply put, do less, but do it better.
I think you should do only the things you really need to do. When you do far fewer things than right now, you can do those things far better than nearly everyone else (and get far better results from them than nearly everyone else). But instead of aiming for the best possible quality immediately, start by just getting the crucial aspects right, so you see results quickly. You can try all the advanced tricks later on.
If you’d like to have a to-do list that’s actually doable and nearly guaranteed to truly move you forward, marketing essentialism might suit you. Here’s how it works in practice:
Your target customer and their perspective
Marketing is about making people think, feel, and believe what they need to think, feel, and believe, so they want to buy what you sell. In other words, marketing is about changing their perspective (even if only to make them aware of your offers).
It doesn’t matter if you know your product or service would be perfect for them. Your perspective doesn’t affect other people’s buying decision.
“But don’t people have different perspectives to things?” Yes. That’s why you should choose your target customer based on their perspective, instead of the usual things (like industry, company size, location, or their hobbies). When your target customer is specified based on their perspective (that is, they share a very similar perspective to things related to what you sell), your marketing can be truly effective for them.
Nearly all my clients have done normal target customer, buyer persona, or customer avatar exercises before. But those focus on our perspective of the customer—not the customer’s perspective of what we sell. They’re still useful in traditional cold outreach (like cold calling, direct mail, or tv advertising) because they enable targeting approximately the right segment of people. But they don’t help much when thinking of how to make marketing effective.
First thing we’ll do is choose the right type of target customer (if you haven’t already done that) and understand their perspective of what you sell. That enables us to do marketing that’s effective at making them think, feel, and believe what they need to think, feel, and believe to want to buy.
The exact ideas that make people want to buy
Marketing is effective when it makes people think, feel, and believe the right things. So, what are those in your case and how do we make people think, feel, and believe them?
Your “core value message” includes the top 3 most impactful ideas or points—the ones that immediately make people see that they could get something they really want and that your offer is the best option for them.
Your core value message is my practical take on the common “value proposition” concept, which is anything but truly practical. The usual value proposition is simply a “description of the value people get from you.” How do you use that in marketing? Simply describing the value they’ll get isn’t effective marketing—especially when that description is made from your perspective, instead of theirs.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make people understand how valuable your product or service would be for them or what makes it better than any other, a strong core value message solves it.
But it’s only one half of making people feel like your offer is perfect for them. The offer itself is the other half.
An offer that makes people think, “That’s exactly what I’ve hoped to find!” and counters objections
You might sell a product or service, but people don’t buy a product or service from you. Instead, they buy the implied promise of what they will get thanks to what they buy.
As long as you focus on selling a product or service, you’re focused on your perspective. And that’s still not what affects other people’s buying decision.
So, instead, think of what you sell as an offer. It still likely has a product or service at the center of it, but it includes everything else that comes with it, too. For example, the offer might include support, guarantees, instructions, training, and/or bonuses.
And when your offer is just right, it makes people think, “That’s exactly what I’ve hoped to find” because it matches (and often far exceeds) what they’ve hoped for. Specifically, it promises (directly or implicitly) to help them reach an outcome they’ve wanted. But it also enables the outcome in a way that feels just right for them.
A great offer also makes most objections pointless. For example, if people are worried about having time to do something, an offer might include you doing the work for them. Or if they’re worried about whether or not your technology works in their situation, an offer might include a guarantee of specific results.
Your target customer (and their perspective), offer, and core value message are the core foundations for marketing. That’s why we’ll start from those. But they’re not marketing in themselves, instead they enable effective marketing and make it often very easy (because almost no matter what industry you’re in, your competitors haven’t done any of the foundations well).
Marketing that generates sales consistently
How I look at marketing is that there are 3 stages to it:
- Reaching new potential customers. You should get them to immediately think, “Wow, that looks like it could be perfect for me…”
- Making them want what you sell. This is about making them see the value (outcomes and benefits) they could get thanks to you and what makes you the best choice for them. This also covers negating objections and everything else that might stop them from buying.
- Closing the sale. Although the second stage gets people ready to buy, you still need to offer them a chance to do it.
The tactics, tools, and strategies vary greatly, but the overall structure is always the same.
People often overcomplicate this part. They try to build an advanced sales funnel, use dozens of tactics for every stage, or aim for perfection.
That’s like a casual cyclist obsessing over every part of their bicycle, buying the fanciest parts, and cleaning the bicycle every day.
Marketing at the cutting edge is about optimizing every detail, using advanced software to maximize results, and polishing off any imperfections. Just like top-level cyclists optimize their bicycle and even clothes.
But you can get consistent sales without going even close to any of those things. If you just get the 3 stages right, you get sales.
You should also leverage what has already worked for you. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch if some parts of your marketing already work. In that case, you just need the rest of the pieces to fit in, so the puzzle is completed.
Like a chain or bridge, if one part of marketing doesn’t work, it simply doesn’t work. You wouldn’t close a gate with a chain with a broken link. You wouldn’t drive across a bridge with a collapsed section. And you shouldn’t expect to get sales if one piece of marketing doesn’t work.
When building your “conversion path” (the “sales funnel” or marketing puzzle that includes all the 3 stages), we start from what has already worked for you and finish the puzzle, so it’s complete.
But no matter how well you do marketing, most of the results come from focused improvement.
Spend your time on what creates the biggest difference
There is always a bottleneck in marketing. Something, by definition, is always the thing that limits your results the most, and if you’d fix that, you’d see the greatest increase in sales.
What if you always spent your time on the bottleneck? And you knew how to fix it, too? How quickly would you make progress?
That’s what improving marketing can be when done well. It doesn’t take nearly as much time as most people already spend on marketing. That’s because they’re now trying new things blindly—hoping to strike gold if they just try many enough things.
When you have a clear conversion path (the marketing puzzle) ready, it’s quite easy to improve the results it creates. We always look at where’s the greatest potential right now and what would create the biggest positive difference, so you spend your time on things that make a difference.
“Who are your customers?”
A majority of my clients are other marketing experts (consultants, coaches, and other people who sell marketing). That’s because of my focus on the fundamentals—especially my approach to value propositions is an easy sell for experts because they know how much it affects their results and that they’re too close to their own services to be able to do it well on their own (even if they help their clients with something similar).
The rest of my clients range from jewelers to air conditioning companies, from SaaS companies to B2B consultants, from travel agencies to real estate, from artists to life coaches, and so on.
Their revenues range from zero to 8-figures (mostly low 6-figures to mid 7-figures).
“How quickly will I see results?”
Typically it takes about 2-3 weeks to get the foundation done (selecting the right target customer and building the core value message and offer). Building the conversion path typically takes 4-6 weeks. So, results tend to start coming in 6-9 weeks after starting. However, you should always count in time for improving things.
“How much time does it take?”
This depends on how much you want me to do things for you. If you want me to be only a coach (telling you what to do and how), you’ll need to spend likely 40-60 hours by the time your conversion path is ready. If you want me to do most of the work for you, you should still reserve 10-20 hours for answering questions (otherwise I can’t do a good job).
“When should I start? I don’t even have a product ready yet.”
The sooner you start, the better…in most cases. If you don’t even have an idea of what your business will be about, I’m not the right person to help you. But I often help new businesses that haven’t made any sales yet (or even have a finished product). The sooner you get the foundation done right, the less time you waste spinning your wheels.
Clear steps forward
If you’re interested in working together, fill the form below. If it looks to me like I could probably help, we can schedule a call to talk more. And if we then both agree that we should work together, let’s get started. In any case, at least I can offer some clarity to what you should likely focus on.
What a few marketing experts say about me…
Peter helped me increase my sales by 423%, and he runs one of the very few marketing sites that deliver real, practical value with every article—and no filler content!
It’s on the short list of sites I personally subscribe to, and I think it should be on the short list of anyone who’s serious about marketing and business success.
My sales funnel was in need of some work and I was looking for a more advanced funnel than I had and clearer messaging to appeal to my 3 ideal customers. Even though I teach sales funnels to my clients I knew I needed an expert opinion to take a fresh look at my sales funnel, my competitive advantage and how to best optimize that.
I set up my new sales funnel within 4-6 weeks. It’s already converting at close to 6% on a $1,000 product.
If I get an email from Peter, it gets opened straight away. And I know I’m going to get three things. Uncommon common sense, stuff that’s proven to work. And no BS. No fads, no whizz bang make money quick. Just stuff I can trust and use immediately.
Peter is a master at conversion. His 3-principle framework drills right to the core and focuses your thinking on each of the important steps in the conversion process.
He is one of a small handful of people in the world that I listen to on the topic of conversion.
The page where I sell my eBook was converting about 5% of visitors to customers. Three weeks later, I’m converting 30% of that traffic simply because Peter walked me through the process.
And I’ve been able to create more products and get similar results with the things I learned from Peter.
Peter is quickly becoming a go-to guru on getting the most from your online traffic.
Even though I have literally coached thousands of business owners in developing their own marketing and message I turned to Peter. His thorough process was illuminating and really helped us clarify our compelling message in way that we weren’t able to articulate before.
When Peter talks conversion optimization, I listen. His knowledge and understanding of the topic is superb.
Without hesitation I would recommend Peter to anyone looking to improve their website’s conversion.
I’m consistently impressed by Peter’s work. He delivers valuable education about marketing clearly, specifically, and using language anyone can understand.
Most of these topics are not well covered by other courses, blogs, newspapers, or in school.
Peter has a direct approach to marketing, cutting through fads and hype and focusing on sound foundations that will rock your business.
Not only does Peter know what he’s talking about, but he clearly explains why you should do something and then shows you exactly what to do and how to do it.
If you are looking for clear, practical advice that benefits your business, Peter has it for you in spades.
Peter has the knack of making complicated ideas seem simple. The best way to describe working with Peter is to say he can ‘see around corners.’ He doesn’t just look at the obvious–he has a way of taking his huge knowledge about marketing and applying it to every aspect of your business.
He delivers over-the-top value, and what’s more, you can tell he really cares.
What some clients (who aren’t in marketing industry) say…
We’ve been in business since the 1960s, but never had a clear value proposition, so we never really knew exactly what to say in our marketing. The lack of a compelling message meant our our sales weren’t increasing and with a new competitor in town it made it even more important to clearly differentiate ourselves. We were also heavily reliant on the short summer tourist season with only a fraction of sales happening online.
The main thing Peter did was to bring clarity to our marketing. We’ve focused on a clear message, which made marketing easier. And having someone help sort through all the options at different times and point out what to focus on has helped at least as much.
We’ve approximately doubled our online sales each year since then (breaking the $1mil line). And even though we still have seasonality, the multiplied online sales make it much steadier. The competitors are still there, too, but I don’t need to worry about them taking over our business.
Having someone who can simplify almost all marketing questions, so that they become clear, has made it easier for me to enjoy my work and the results it creates.
—Halfdan Hansen, owner, Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith
I was feeling very scattered in my marketing approach for about 18 months.
Within 2 weeks of changing my homepage and focusing my email messages on my value proposition, I got … more clients paying for my high-end program than I did in the previous 6 months.
What feels good is the internal confidence of having the mindset, focus and SYSTEM that will attract and convert prospects into the ideal, hard working, dedicated clients I love to work with.
—Steve Horsmon, men’s coach
Although my website had a lot of traffic and a sizeable email list, I was perplexed and frustrated by the small number of people converting into customers. Peter’s focused and actionable advice helped me double sales within a couple months—and they’re still increasing. Better yet, now about half of them are totally automated, so I can focus on building my business further.
—Shayna Oliveira, English teacher
People understand our InnoDuel service when they test it, but explaining it with words is difficult. We’ve always known that we need a marketing message that tells concretely, yet interestingly, what it is about, but developing a clear message hasn’t worked out.
Peter’s help was efficient and made things easy for us. We got to results very quickly, and it became clear that he has a good understanding of what he does.
The result was a better way to explain what we basically already knew ourselves.
—Nuutti Matintupa, co-founder, Innoduel Oy
I had spent hours thinking what I need to say to make people want my services. I couldn’t quite see on my own what the ‘gold nuggets’ were that would excite a client enough to hire my company. I wanted something heartfelt & concise with enough details to demonstrate my credibility that I can deliver what I promise. I also wanted a statement that I could feel confident expressing when I meet a potential client.
Peter’s focus and questions helped me take all those detailed notes, thoughts & lists & refine them into an overarching broader set of offerings that I am proud to talk about. I can see it in people’s eyes that they understand what I’m saying now & how beneficial my services could be to solving their issues.
—Elayne Summers, quality control consultant
We knew what we did, but it was never crystal clear to us how we would relate that to potential clients. Things that we were taking for granted were actually unique selling points that clients would find valuable.
A lot of times, you’re so wrapped up in the delivery of a service that you can’t step back to see what are the most valuable things you deliver to your clients. [Peter was] able to suggest things that we had looked as normal things in the industry, but we could change them to make them more valuable for clients. We’ve got really great reception from our existing clients and we have a good flow of new clients through our funnel.
There was a big backlog of things we were trying to get through the pipeline… We were stuck and this process freed up a lot of the things in the process and the results followed quickly.
—Jeffrey Veffer, architect
Having Peter as my coach is like having a fully involved partner. He has given me laser-like focus and direction—a clear path—and taken a huge weight from my shoulders as I move forward with my business. His straightforward yet compassionate, level-headed approach is just what I need, and the difference in business (and my confidence) is just remarkable.
—Leah McClellan, writing coach and editor