Marketing for Signals Not Sales - Daniel Priestley

Last Updated: 

November 22, 2022

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Daniel Priestley is the author of four best-selling books Key Person of Influence, Entrepreneur Revolution, Oversubscribed and 24 Assets. Daniel is a successful entrepreneur who's built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore, and the UK. He's the co-founder of Dent Global, one of the world's top business accelerators for entrepreneurs and leaders to stand out and scale-up.

With offices in London, Sydney and Toronto Dent's accelerator programs have a global reach. Endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management, over 500 entrepreneurs and leaders, each year participate globally in developing their businesses with the support of high net worth mentors.

He's named in the Top 10 Business Advisors in the UK by Enterprise Nation and one of the top 25 entrepreneurs in London in the Smith & Williamson Power 100 Awards.

What we will be discussing today

  • The four drivers for a market imbalance
  • Building an audience in a specific niche
  • Encouraging prospects to signal interest in products
  • building marketing assets (P4Ps) and why it’s important to use these instead of mindless outbound marketing
  • Why being a Key Personal of Influence in your industry is so important

Listen to the Full Episode

Marketing for Signals Not Sales

The Fearless Business podcast welcomes Daniel Priestley, the author of four international best-selling books: Key Person of Influence, Entrepreneur Revolution, Oversubscribed and 24 Assets. As well as being a successful writer, Daniel is an entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore and the UK. He's the co-founder of Dent Global, one of the world's top business accelerators for entrepreneurs and leaders to stand out and scale up. He joined Robin for a discussion on all things business and marketing.

Why there needs to be a market imbalance

A concept which Daniel discusses in his book Oversubscribed is market imbalance. Without one, there is no room for profit. Why? If there was a market which was perfectly balanced and functioning smoothly, then it is difficult to make a profit. To make a profit, you need to have more buyers than your capacity allows and orchestrate your own marketing imbalance. You need to have a market that cares more about you than others and the only way to do this is to create market imbalance.

To be oversubscribed, the assumption is that you need to immediately have a big capacity in your business, but the reality is you have to start small and build up, just like any business. Having a market imbalance is not necessarily about having large numbers, but making sure there is an imbalance of demand and supply. By starting small, you can get oversubscribed in that initial niche at the initial high value capacity that you can offer before then increasing the capacity. Whether you have a capacity for 10 people, but 20 people want to work with you, or you have a capacity for 100 people, but 300 people want to work with, maintaining that imbalance is key.

Whatever your capacity is, it needs to align with your goals. If you want to make £10,000, but you are selling products for £10, this is not realistic and it is highly unlikely you will see success. Take time to focus on the bigger picture when you are creating your market imbalance and your capacity.

Building an audience in a specific niche

So how do you start to build an audience to reach your goals? With the pandemic and everything that has happened over the past year, now is a great time to start growing your audience because people have more problems that need solving. You also have people with more free time, perhaps still on furlough, who are consuming content and doing some soul-searching and wondering how they can improve things or should they be shifting their business. Depending on your business and target market, you need to have your messaging clearly defined and be in tune with your audience.

Part of building an audience is not being afraid to put yourself out there and repurposing content for different platforms. Sometimes you may get negative feedback, but that is just as beneficial as positive feedback because it helps you improve and move forward. You shouldn’t let the fear of judgement hold you back. The sooner you can get the tough feedback, the sooner you can create a safe and positive environment. Daniel recalls advice from business mentor Mike Harris which was to embrace critics. Ask people why they don’t want to do business with you and what their reservations are. Take the feedback, thank them for their honesty and go away and work with the feedback, rather than arguing against it. Harnessing the power of critics can lead to a successful business.

Marketing for signals not sales

Naturally you do want to have an audience, or even ‘fans’, who you want to target when you are launching a product or opening up a new offering. The way you market doesn’t need to be based around sales or the core of your business though. Effective marketing can be through small signals. This might be something like having people sign up to emails and say that they are interested in something, rather than the immediate pressure of deciding to buy something and add bank card details. You are signalling interest in products, rather than selling them. If you have a Facebook group or any other platform where your target audience is present, you can peak interest by taking them on the journey with you. For example, running polls so people can choose between two different 5-day challenges. When you give people a choice, you are more likely to get them asking questions and enquiring about services because they already have that initial idea of what working with you is like.

Building marketing assets - Products For Prospects (P4Ps)

Continuing the signal over sales conversation, Daniel talks about the importance of ‘Products For Prospects’. Rather than doing mindless outbound marketing to no avail, having products for prospects is an effective way to build a relationship with your target audience and get interest from potential clients. Examples of products for prospects include books and webinars. They contain a lot of value and are easy to connect with and really show your value and what working with you looks like. Rather than pressuring people to buy something, you are introducing them to your brand and the negative concept of being ‘salesy’ isn’t connected because you are not committing anyone to a contract.

Research suggests that it takes seven hours of being exposed to a brand before making any buying decisions. Getting people to buy from you is not a process to rush. You should try and engage that process and make those seven hours the best possible. If you give them that positive experience, then after that timeframe, they’ll be ready to sign up.

Interested in signalling over sales? Head over and listen to the full podcast episode.


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