Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Gosh, I have all this valuable knowledge that the world really needs to know, but how do I convince people to actually pay me for it?” this episode is for you.

(Even if you don’t want to sell your knowledge per se, keep reading. Because the perspective shift you’re about to learn is the basis of all lasting relationships and long-term success.)

A few months back, I noticed a smart question on my Facebook page. It was from someone with a wealth of knowledge and expertise about food sustainability, but who was having trouble translating that wisdom into a profitable business.

Since current research estimates we humans waste about one third of all food produced worldwide —  while hundreds of millions of people go hungry every day — this is an important moral, economic and environmental issue that must be solved.

But here’s the harsh truth…

Focus on solving real problems and you’ll never have to convince people to pay. Click To Tweet

No matter how important or necessary your expertise is, if you’re not aware of what I’m about to share, you’ll struggle to get others to see the value in what you offer.

The problem isn’t really about figuring out how to sell yourself better or behave like someone you’re not. Nor do you need to necessarily ‘convince people’ that your ideas have value.

The real obstacle here is a common perspective mistake many entrepreneurs make when they’re first getting started. Thankfully, a simple shift in your point of view is often all it takes to solve it.

If you struggle with how to convince people to pay for your knowledge or how to sell yourself with more ease, this 2-step method will help.

You’ll learn two simple ideas that can completely transform the way you approach sharing what you do. In fact, if you really embrace these ideas you can forget about figuring out how to sell yourself or ever trying to convince people that they need what you sell.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I’m curious…

Have you ever struggled with how to convince people that what you offer is worth paying for? What specific step from this episode can help you make this important shift in perspective?

Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

The world really does need your special gift. But it’s imperative that you share it in a way that makes it easy for others to receive it.

Thank you so much for sharing your voice and making our community a strong, powerful and safe place for like-hearted people to grow their dreams.

If you have friends, clients or colleagues who struggle because they’re trying to learn how to convince people to pay for their knowledge or expertise, share this post.

It could give them a fresh framework to communicate about what they do in a more effective, service-based way.

With all my love,


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  1. This video reminds me of the book by Seth Godin, Free Prize. Thanks for the points shared Marie. You are right. When starting up in business, we need to find something of value that we can just give away for FREE that’ll make our customers keep coming back for more and eventually getting out their cheque books. Love your channel.

  2. Yet another insightful episode! Elegantly simple concept too! “Solve real problems and you will never have to convince anyone to pay.”
    It’s also a matter of articulating the problem in a way that prospects identify with.
    So there is no better way to learn how to do that than to talk to them, get to know them and eventually speak their linguo.

    That’s what I’mma gon’ do.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Right on, Rudiano! Keep up the good work. 🙂

  3. Luisa Espinosa

    Hi Marie,
    Thanks for the insight. However, how to tackle this approach when what you have is not the solution to a customer’s problem or needs? For example, my husband is starting up a business in art, oil paintings particularly. Art doesn’t necessarily solve a need.
    I would really appreciate your comments and ideas.
    Best, Luisa

    • People need and desire beauty, decor, and things around them that bring them peace and joy… THAT is valuable! Best of luck to you and your husband 🙂

      • Great answer @Shannon Elhart.

      • I definitely agree with you Shannon! My business surrounds digital marketing and consultation and I have to be VERY specific because everyone generalizes marketing; but social media management, streaming, blogging, content creation, etc is different than product placement and price.

        • I agree with what everyone is saying – many people, like myself, really want beautiful things around them, but in the Target culture era and the overwhelm of Etsy, don’t know where to start. I have one friend who posts her paintings every day on Facebook and I actually consider it a service because I get to see beautiful and different art. I am considering buying one!

      • Tanya

        There are number of things that art brings solution to or rather number of needs that can art fulfil – inspiration, relaxation, creating beautiful space to live or work at; making customers feeling comfortable and happy if it’s in on business premises; creating dynamic space for work/creativity/thinking; future investment; calling up memories; marking important moments in life; confirming or complementing personal style; making impression, and much more that one person may find difficult to see from one’s own angle of view. Maybe asking the question “Why do people want to buy paintings/art?” / “What’s their reason to get art/painting?” can help identify the need. It may be an interesting study asking people what makes them want to buy art. And then it’s about deciding on the ideal client / niche one wants to serve and invest one’s efforts there. As Shannon beautifully said art is incredibly important and contains a great value! Wishing you & your husband fulfilment and success with the business!

        • samira

          Right Tanya! I totally agree with you. Thank you for your insight. It breaks my heart to see people abandoning their art altogether when they do not know how to sell it. I did it too and I felt that I abandoned some important part of myself. It was so painful.

          • Samira ~ I hope you’ve found a way to bring your art back into your life? For your own peace of mind, even if not as part of the ‘marketplace’.

        • I love the powerful simplicity of this video (thank you Marie!), but I’m really fascinated by the comments here too. All the input is amazing and so helpful! I’m a professional illustrator and I keep on bumping into the whole problem-solving thing too. It’s such a simple formula, yet so difficult (for me, at least) to apply to my business. I know that art can make people happy, but saying “My art will make you happy” isn’t really a good way to offer it to the world, is it? Making people feel good is more a result of good work, not the reason of creating it. At least, that’s how I see things. Seeing Tanya’s message here though, made me realize that there’s much more to it. Thank you Tanya for your insights!

      • Jason Torres

        YES Shannon!!! I couldn’t agree more 🙂

    • Luisa, I echo Marie’s sentiments – you and your husband just need to find the right audience that needs their needs fulfilled. Perhaps go to furniture stores that need to spruce up their displays, healthcare offices that need decor, colleges that have career fairs or need guest artists to talk to their art majors, museums that need bathroom wall art, etc. For online orders; place it on a site such as Etsy and promote with boosted ads on a Facebook page. Also, use the app “meet up” to find others who create oil paintings and that can increase his reach – best of luck!

      • Dear Luisa,

        I agree with everyone’s comments about art being greatly needed! We all want to see beauty everyday, it makes us happy and takes our minds off the mundane. As a chef, might I suggest you finding a way to showcase some paintings in restaurants with the price alongside?
        Best of luck!

    • I have to echo Shannon’s statement — as an artist and a lover of art, it definitely solves a need. I think the missing link for you, Luisa, is that you aren’t sure whose need that is… Who is your husband’s market? Home real estate stagers and interior designer are always in need of quality fine art. So are businesses and corporations with a lot of wall space in their offices. And many charities need such art as donations for silent auctions. And of course, there are galleries. Some fine art is rented out. Some can be licensed for textiles. These are just some ideas!

    • Luisa Espinosa, Life without art is one with no creativity. It is dull, there is no expression of Life, of love or even pain. Art provides beauty, it enhances our homes and places of business, it’s GREAT for covering empty spaces on a wall. Even just 1 piece of well executed piece, will elevate the visual blah to a wow!

      hope that helped-

    • I also agree with @Shannon Elhart.
      Luisa, Marie has the perfect episode about this:

      Happy creating! 🙂

      • thanks for the suggestion, I need to watch this.

    • Hi Lusia, art definitely solves a need. We’ve just been brainwashed to think it doesn’t. I sell my artwork. Honestly, more than anything you have to change your own feelings about the need for art. You mentioned it yourself in the comment.

      Ironically, we will all hand over tons of money for giant tvs or pharmaceuticals that treat diseases we don’t even have.

      those folks “act” like we need those things. Good luck!

    • Ramona

      Luisa as someone who has secured commissions for other artists here is how you can look at it.
      People do have a need for art. You have to
      1) identify the demographic of client who could want his art. who is he creating art for? (Yes I know he is creating for himself but) Are his pieces small 8/10 or huge canvases? What is the subject matter he works in? Landscape Athletes Portraits? Is there a specific group that it would appeal to? What is the Age ethnicity gender ? How much money do they make?
      2) who are the potential type of clients who would purchase his art? a collector? A business? Someone decorating their home? Interior Designers for clients ?
      3) how will you reach those clients? Who is the person that will be marketing or opening doors to access the ideal clients? If you don’t have the expertise to do so who do you know that does?

      Hope this helps!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Great question, Luisa! We believe art does solve a need, and an important one. 🙂 I think you and your husband will love this episode ( where Marie talks more about this. It really is a must-watch for creatives.

    • Patricia

      Oooooh. Art most definitely fulfills a need. A need for beauty, a need for communication, expression, a need to bring up our emotional side, a need for inspiration. And I know there is more. Art, whether a painting, a vase, a piece of jewelry, or an amazing meal, makes us feel.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Hi again, Luisa! Megan commented in a separate thread, but she wanted to respond to you too, so I’ve copied and pasted her response below:

      “For the earlier poster whose husband is starting his art business… As an artist, I’ve found that I’ve had to niche down my audience to people who value and long for specific home decor desires. I have to show my work in an aspirational setting to show people what my work can do for their space and help give their home that pulled together look they are longing for. Another layer to the puzzle is to realize that my particular style of art will appeal to a certain kind of person (looking for modern boho or modern farmhouse style) so I try to find those people to help them.”

    • In the case of art, it can be that people need beauty and decor. It might also be that people need and respond to the message in your husband’s art. Is his art speaking of love and unity? The solace we find in nature? Is the art speaking of the disenfranchised people in the world? Is it asking us to slow down and see the details of what is beautiful in our world? What is he thinking and feeling as he works and then putting that into the paintings? That is what people need from his work.

    • Hi Luisa,
      Friends and clients of mine are artists, and the one thing I’ve noticed about successful artists is that they are storytellers. When someone is intrigued by a piece at an art show, they need to hear more about it; the story is something the viewer can digest and make a part of themselves. They need to make that beautiful piece a part of their story and something they can imagine showing in their space; sometimes that story can turn into a sale for the artist.

      This may be a personal story or a process story of how they make their art; however it is told, it is a connected conversation between the viewer and the artist (much like Marie talks about in today’s video).

      Best of luck and may you and your husband enjoy many art conversations!

    • Could he potentially teach people how to make oil painting? I’m positive there are creative people out there who would love to learn how to do that. He could possibly talk to new homeowners who want to decorate their house with their own artwork but don’t know how to actually create the artwork.

      Just an idea. 🙂

    • Luisa, I would like to expand on Shannon’s thoughts and Marie’s smart advice. Art is one of the most expressive decorative elements you can add to your home or business, and paintings can infuse your décor with rich, vibrant colors and even a dash of texture. There are dozens of styles and mediums featured in paintings, which can get really confusing. Sure, a beautiful oil painting can turn a house into a home, but I bet if you really started asking questions, you’d find that most people don’t know how to choose art for their home or their business.
      This problem of “what goes on the walls” is a huge opportunity for you and your hubs. What I would do is build a profile on for starters and start dropping some real knowledge on your blog, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Literally, Luisa, title your blog post “How to Choose Art for a Bedroom”. Make it the best, most comprehensive advice you could ever write. Use photos of art to break up the copy. People love that. Better yet, create a video of yourself in a bedroom with art work.

      Now, secondly, most people also don’t know how to invest in art. They aren’t sure how much to spend and if there is a resale value. This presents problem #2 another opportunity for you to explain how much one should be paying for an oil painting. Again “How Much to Pay for an Oil Painting.”

    • Hi Luisa

      I’m not sure whether your husband is the artist or is selling works by artists? Either way, perhaps you could explore an alternative business model to help with the challenge. Two big trends that people are really buying into right now are the SHARING ECONOMY (not owning things outright, but gaining access to them ) and SUBSCRIPTION BASED PRICING MODELS. I love great art but I also want new and different stuff quite often. I wonder if there’s a market where people pay £x subscription and receive new art each time period (swapping the previous piece so yu always have stock)? You could offer other artist work too (increasing range, stock, commission fee) and perhaps a ‘buy it now’ approach for anyone that falls in love with a piece. Just a thought 🙂 Good luck x

      • Great idea, Louise. A business can be established for clients who can swap or trade their art on the walls and keep ones that truly feel close to their soul forever!

    • Hi Luisa,

      It could definitely solve a need for people who can’t afford to buy art for their business’ walls. You could lend them art for free in the exchanged for them advertising your husband’s details so people can contact him to purchase them.

      Lauren 🙂

    • Thanks for asking this question Luisa, all the comments below are so, so helpful….I have just poured over them all (yep, I am an artist).
      Thanks to all the fantastic art comment leavers as well, there are such nuggets of gold in your responses =)

    • Like the others have said, the problem art solves is beauty and decoration. The thing is, one thing, always solves something, it is working out what that something is. Sometimes it is looking at the possibilities. For the artist, their problem is making income from their art or artistic skills. Part of the solution is finding out who needs or wants the beauty of their style of art. From an artistic skills perspective, it maybe teaching some classes to those whose problem is wanting to learn how to draw, or paint to make their own creations. If the artist has a studio, and needs income, it could be sub leasing some space to an artist who’s problem is finding a space to produce art. And so the circle continues.

    • Hi Luisa,
      Thanks for asking art related question! I asked a similar question later (as I am an artist). All the replies to your question have given some answers to my question too.
      Would love to know how you and your husband are trying to find solutions. I am sharing what I try to do to keep afloat. I paint in oils and watercolors and try selling them, teach art through my online courses and also do some freelance illustration work. Sometimes few months are good and on other times a series of months are bad. After 5+ years of going full time in art (after a 15 yrs of a career in manufacturing and IT field) I am yet to find a steady source of income but I a, loving every bit of this artistic life.

    • Lee

      Louisa your husband is definitely solving a problem! The problem = people are looking for inspiring, thought-provoking, memory-inducing or status-confirming (the list goes on) objects of beauty to make their house a home. The solution = bespoke artwork locally produced with love and attention to detail (for example). The trick is to get really clear on which of these problems he’d like to solve, and to present himself in a way that makes people who want this problem solved go, ‘OMG, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for, this guy totally gets me and my needs!’

    • Art solves the need for aesthetic beauty and a sense of comfort in the space where you live! Art fulfills our need for expression of our personality and style. Art fills a space with identity and connection. Wow. Ask an art collector. 🙂

    • Amber

      Brick and mortar businesses need to have a certain look/vibe to appeal to customers. Art can be a great solution. Online videos/vlogs need a certain look that is improved by art. Also Marie has artwork behind her in her videos. The aesthetic’s appeal to customers impacts the sales.

      • Love this conversation!
        I am an actress and musician and have been working hard over the last few years to figure out my niche audience. For instance, narrowing down my focus to comedic roles. Growing up, I thought of myself more as a dramatic actress, but now that I’ve been doing this professionally, I find the area I serve the best is actually comedy! I realized this through noticing what kind of roles I was being hired for and noting the positive response to my comedic work. This conversation is really helpful. I feel inspired to actually write down the problems I’m solving with my songs (full of love, affirmation, joy) and my acting work. I have to admit, when I first watched this episode I didn’t know how it could relate to me, but I’m starting to see the connection!

    • Teresa

      it could solve the need to express yourself, destress, for those who feel lonely, it could help them feel like they belong when the meet for weekly classes…..etc. It is amazing for solving needs! Especially in this new era of going back to reconnecting with our right brain, which is artistic and creative. Best wishes!!!

    • Giselle

      Actually it does. Environment (home and office) affects your life and how you feel. The organization of it. The colors. Whether things are clean or dirty, new or old. Environment plays a huge role in the overall well-being of people. Things like Fung Shui came about out of the importance of the environment you live in and how it affects your health and well-being. You get my point. ART, like your business, solves a huge NEED of “blank walls.” The ART in my home creates an atmosphere. Go into a room with portraits and you feel the presence of my family. Go into a room with beach scape art and you feel the serenity of that nature environment. Go into my office and you will feel the creativity of abstract, colorful art. See, art work fulfills a HUGE need… It is part of our EVERY DAY lives. It plays a role in the mood of our homes and offices. I love the line in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” where the guy is telling Andy that clothing is the art that we wear every day. Well, ART… in clothing or on our walls, is a product that plays a major role in expressing who we are, how we feels, how we want to feel, our ideals, our beliefs, etc. So YES, you can customize to the NEEDS of your audience… ART is a need to bless our environments! Have a great day!

    • Luisa, actually flipping the perspective on this could really help you. Think if it this way… the ideal client for your husband is someone who has the need to collect art, surround themselves with art, and decorate their home or business with art. So, if your husband is trying to create his own art, or sell others’ art in your town, he could start asking local businesses and those who are interested in art what they are looking for when they are looking for art. I have been at a business where we did the same thing and you would be surprised at all the different answers you may get but it’s a start!
      I hope that helps,

    • Jonathan Moore

      I’m also an artist. Even though he isn’t solving a physical problem, he can still focus on market trends and demands. He can understand his customer, what people want–how specifically his work adds meaning to his buyers. Even though he’s not solving a problem, he’s making a product that is sure to add value and be a resource that people will want to buy.

    • It does solve a need. Imagine a world without art.

  4. Marie, were you reading my journal?! 🙂
    Thank you for this – it’s perfect for me right now. I have a wonderful program to help people heal pain from their past. To me, that is invaluable. However, I’ve been trying to sell the ‘program’ or my passion for it – not how it will benefit others. Very synchronistically, I just penned an email to my current members to ask some Qs and get a few people on the phone to chat about what they want, what’s working, what’s not, how I can serve them better and more. I am PASSIONATE about this work in the world, now I only need to learn how to communicate the huge value in healing the pain that inevitably enters each of our lives.

    From this episode, I am inspired, encouraged, and fired-up to begin speaking with and LISTENING TO my clients so I can create the best to help them.
    Thank you.
    P.S. I’m also re-doing B.School… such a wealth of knowledge… thank you so much!

    • Shannon, this: “I’ve been trying to sell the ‘program’ or my passion for it – not how it will benefit others.”
      I SEE you. and I KNOW it’s not because you don’t see or care about what others need. This is a pitfall for creatives though.. mine included, of course 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s fantastic, Shannon! I hope you get some really good feedback from your audience. And I’m so glad you’re retaking B-School because the Communications and Offerings Module will delve more into this too.

    • Hey Shannon, thanks, Marie’s vid got me thinking and your’s took me to the next level in languaging the solution, as I too have been trying to market a program, as opposed to marketing the solution.

  5. Thank you, Marie.

  6. Lara Mathewson

    “Is there more?” SO GOOD. With customers, friends, family, and even strangers wedged beside you on an airplane, this is awesome advice.

    • Glen Brown

      I agree. What a great question!

  7. Bill

    For me, one of your best and most useful. Easy to turn this into “how can I convince someone to hire me?” By finding and offering to help fulfill a company’s need.
    Thank you Marie!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Good point, Bill! That’s a great perspective.

  8. This is helpful! For the earlier poster whose husband is starting his art business… As an artist, I’ve found that I’ve had to niche down my audience to people who value and long for specific home decor desires. I have to show my work in an aspirational setting to show people what my work can do for their space and help give their home that pulled together look they are longing for. Another layer to the puzzle is to realize that my particular style of art will appeal to a certain kind of person (looking for modern boho or modern farmhouse style) so I try to find those people to help them.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Absolutely, Megan! Art definitely serves a need. I copied and pasted your comment and replied to Ramona’s thread to make sure she sees it. 🙂

  9. Great advice Marie! I must say, I absolutely love watching your videos.
    No one loves the idea of going out of their comfort zone (until they do, of course). I fill that need for my customers in two ways. They may not want to figure out this DIY / WYSIWYG tool, because let’s face it, something new can be stressful and infuriating! I handle it for them, but I also offer to do it together so that they can learn without the pressure of doing it alone. I’m a photographer & web designer!

  10. Thanks Marie! This episode is really helpful and timely. I am in the process of creating a class/creatives group with former students and looking to bring new & mid career people into the fold as well. My next step after watching this video will be to ask them questions about what their struggles/challenges are and what kind of creative outles they are looking for they might not otherwise get in a class, which I can base on ones I’ve had myself, so they know I’m looking to address and include solutions (and support) for their challenges.

  11. I agree, one of the best. Brilliant, simple and inspiring

  12. Marie, thank you for the great insights. Being customer centric and solving their problem is the best solution to grow a business. Thanks again.

  13. Super dope – I’m actually going to poll my Facebook audience now because I wanted to create a webinar series for people

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Vannesia! So glad this episode inspired you. 🙂

  14. Great episode today. I think 9 out of 10 IIN health coaches are asking this question. My group talks are well received and the leader always asks me to come back, however I have yet in 2 years gotten ANYONE to sign up for the complimentary health history! Makes me think the IIN business model needs to modify.
    Fortunately my marketing consultant work is lucrative.

    • Marina

      I graduated IIN in September and am also asking this question! I do not yet have a paying client and the one talk I set up ended up with no one coming! What do you do your talks about?

    • Nancy and Marina, I didn’t go to IIN, but have a background in integrative health, and struggled as well. Here’s the point I keep coming back to: just because 5 people are struggling with the same symptoms, they could each have entirely different reasons for their struggles, and possibly require 5 different approaches or even different modalities for each to find optimal recovery and benefit. This point is especially true in health & healing, but sometimes applicable to other products and services as well. So… although I get the reasons to narrow down the niche based on a specific problem for the sake of marketing, it can feel quite unnatural and even out of integrity at times. At least that’s been my experience.
      What are YOUR thoughts?

  15. Ella Kate Humphreys

    Thank you, Marie and Team,

    This video lesson was just perfect for my predicament. I have been wanting to take my business idea into my school and I feel that I have been able to clear a block on how to go about it through focusing on the solution to the problem and asking questions be for going blazing in with a full package “buy me, buy me” attitude. Thanks again and keep ’em coming!!

  16. Marie, I just love your team! They’re hilarious. I replayed that one part like 10 times. Feels so good to laugh. With this, thank you so, so, so much for your amazing insight. This episode makes me think of the time you shared with us about shining the light on our clients/customers rather than shining the light on ourselves. This goes hand-in-hand with your knowledge today. As a teacher, I’ve been ASKING my students their fears, aspirations and what they feel is holding them back from following their path(s) of passion. I’ve then been working on ALIGNING the commonalities in their feedback with my clients and how I can better serve them (and my students). And I just remembered that my horoscope this morning said, “ASK and you shall receive.” Wellllll what-do-ya-know. 😉

    • That part of the vid was hilarious! LOL

  17. Rosalinda

    Great point. Have been doing a customised version of the Ideal Customer Avatar questionnaire. Amazing what comes out and how much those I questioned loved it. Thanks as usual. Rosalinda

  18. Loveleen Saxena

    Great episode Marie!
    I struggle with this issue more often than I want to….I do love your advise on making it customer focused. I am starting my coaching on guiding people to live with creativity and inspiration everyday….all the things that I learned are through my experience and my journey of inner transformation. I know all this knowledge I have is not mine, it is the truths that have been handed to us by many spiritual masters over centuries. So my struggle is whether it is even right for me to offer this wisdom/knowledge in exchange for money, especially since this wisdom is not even mine!

    • Tej Uppala

      Hi Loveleen,
      I was in the same mode of thinking until my Spiritual Master (a Guru from India who offers very practical advise) said that both husband and wife should work hard to make money with the intent of serving others in society (and also pass on some of our wealth to our children who can take the ‘giving’ further when it’s their time).
      It makes sense because many things in this world – good and bad- work only because of money and it needs to flow through us and other around us. Otherwise we end up becoming a brick wall and prevent goodness from flowing freely. It’s all about how we perceive money and its power – a lot of it is good and positive depending on how we use it. (Think Bill Gates!) When we receive it, we allow others to acknowledge the good service that we have provided to them. After all, I do pay without hesitation for things that provide me with value. Whether it is a comfortable chair, beautiful piece of art, or a tasty sandwich served in a restaurant. Same goes for our customers. I’ve learned to accept their payments with grace and gratitude instead of resisting which only creates negative energy.

      • Brandi

        Thank you for the perspective 🙂
        I need that reminder “RECEIVING IS AN ACT OF GENEROSITY.”

      • Loveleen Saxena

        Thank you Tej for your response….it really helped me shift my outlook regarding this to a more positive exchange. Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Thanks for this great question, Loveleen! I think your role as a teacher is an important one. Our elementary school teachers didn’t create the alphabet, give names to shapes, or decide what color gets what name, but they teach that knowledge to kids who use it for the rest of their lives. Even if you didn’t come up with the theories yourself, being able to disseminate it and communicate it in a way that makes it available for others to learn is still important. 🙂

      • Loveleen Saxena

        Thank you Mandy! I needed to hear this for sure 🙂

    • Hi Loveleen,
      I felt compelled to reply. Have you ever thought about flipping the script on this question “Is it right for me to charge money for the spiritual wisdom that I have gathered from the masters” to “Is it my duty and ultimate responsibility to share this spiritual wisdom with a world that is extremely in need of it right now, while accepting a fee for my services in order to sustain myself, while continuing to help others.” We need all the wisdom we can get right now Loveleen! ❤️

      • Loveleen Saxena

        Thank you Madeline! I love the way you have turned around my resistance for spreading the wisdom and charging for it into a more positive exchange. Thanks a lot! I will write it down somewhere so every time my mind starts blabbering on the same tone, I know what to tell it 😀

    • Hi Loveleen.
      I love your consideration, however when it truly comes down to it, your wisdom is unique, it is the compilation of all your learning and experience. Yes you have learned from others, however who hasn’t. As Marie says, we unleash the gift only we can give.

      You will bring your own flavour to the knowledge, your interpretation will not be the same as everyone else. Absolutely credit the authors/creators in anything, it is called attribution. Most people who are big in our knowledge environment are happy for us to share their wisdom, providing we acknowledge their contribution to our product.

      In the end, what you teach is uniquely you. By limiting sharing your knowledge because others created it would be similar to saying to a college graduate that they can’t share what they have learned because their knowledge is based on many other’s creations. The thing is, our knowledge is always based on something that came before. Otherwise it is an invention or a discovery. For the most part, everything old, is new again. You only have to look at movies, there are no new ideas, just different ways of retelling the story. Go out and share you message. You have earned the right to do so, with the effort you have put in.

  19. I publish a free regional magazine focused on women and since our main income is advertising revenue, we have to constantly come up with ways to “convince” businesses that we are the place to promote their business… this session helps me understand even more clearly how important it is to First, Listen! It’s always about WIIFM (What’s in it for me?). We need to understand the businesses needs and then decide (with them) if what we offer can solve/meet those. Thanks!

  20. Thanks for this video! Really helpful! I am working on building my network marketing business and while I really believe this is a way to having the time, money and freedom so many people want, I feel as though I’m not far enough in the business to be able to say “hey look at me, I can walk away from my day job and so can you!” and that’s tough. It’s hard to be able to show them it can meet their needs when I personally haven’t been able to meet my own! It’s work and I believe it’s possible, I’m just not as far as I want to be. Thoughts?

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      This is a really good question, Amy! If you’ll write to us at infoATmarieforleoDOTcom we’d love to help you submit this question for consideration for a future Q&A Tuesday!

    • Hi Amy,
      I feel your pain. ? I felt the same way in the beginning when building my digital business and realized that in order to feel more confident about my work, I would charge less in the beginning, which is something you might want consider. I also gave away a lot of free codes for my online course, in return for feedback. Listening to the feedback was so smart, because I made the course better and better. People like things that are better and that are really thoughtful, like Marie’s content. Amazing stuff.

      Also I understand that I had to really focus on building a following. Anything less than 2.5 K followers on Twitter and Instagram and your not even showing up in the feed. I had to hustle/grind and practice, practice, practice while using social media tools (I am trying Archie right now to build my online community, it’s helping a little, but real quality content is what separates you from the others.) Also, another thing I did in the beginning – offer my services on the weekends and evenings through platforms like Thumbtack, Upwork, Freelancer, etc for a reduced fee and then over promised and over delivered for 5 star reviews. I also asked these start ups a ton of questions (watch Marie’s video again) and answer the questions online – yes, I can help solve their problem. Rock on and best of everything Amy?

    • How about the steps inbetween now and leaving your job? An extra meal out. a massage. going to the cinema or the zoo with the kids? a little saving in case the washing machine konks out? How about an extra little holiday? How about reducing working hours, or hiring someone to help with the housework? How about even only buying the lipstick you want; or organically grown foods; or taking the cat to the vet’s? there is sooo much gain in quality of life when that extra little cash flows easily!

    • Hey Amy, my thoughts on this are, that the first problem to solve is not your downlines, it is your client’s. If you can identify what your company’s products problem solves, and do that really really well, then your income will be the evidence that your future downlines need to have in order to join you. There is the lifestyle benefits of having a business of their own, however that doesn’t have to be your business.

      For you it might be the hustle of regular business before you can really focus on predominantly recruitment. You might find a marketer who can assist you do the both at the same time, ie promote your products and bring in potential recruits. The thing is that loyal clients who love the products are your best potential recruits. How can you add value to your clients, so that they eventually become your downlines? As you give, the benefit for you will be growing that loyalty, that when they are ready to be an on seller, they are most likely to join your team.

  21. Tara

    I discovered you 7 years ago you continue to share a wealth of fabulous ideas and love. I recommend you & B-School to many people and forward your links often. 1day I’ll be able to take BSchool! Sending Gratitude and love to you.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      We’d love that, Tara! And thank you so much for sharing Marie’s work with your friends. We’re so glad you’re in the MF family. 🙂

  22. Andrea Wilhelm

    Oh my gosh what a fun and perfectly timed video! I just lost a bid that I cut down by 30% and it was still too high for them. I asked what their budget was and to see what I could provide in that budget. I have not heard back yet, but I bet if I took these 2 steps I would have had a different outcome!! Hope all is not lost they seem like they would be a great company to work with and I know I can help them. maybe I will provide one free one and pull in some stats and examples of how it can help them close their sales.

    Thank you so much for the uplifting and funny video this morning! Much needed and appreciated:) ps I have website shame so not including it…it is in the works and being updated.

    • Christina

      I can so much relate with that! See my post below. 🙂
      And haha I didn’t include my website either because I feel it’s not quite good yet. Think this might be a problem we should solve. 😉 We are all good at any stage.

  23. Christina

    Hey Marie!
    This video just pop-up in my e-mail box in the right moment. Yesterday I have sent out an offer to a potential new client. We were meeting for over 3 hours so I had the chance to listen to her problems carefully. She was enthusiastic about my workshop and so I called her again right before I sent her the offer to make sure the content of the workshops matches her needs. She didn’t replay back today, so my inner critic voice came up today: What if the price is too high?! So let me ask you: If she is not willing to pay the price, didn’t I get her real problem or is the problem not urgent enough? I’m wondering if I should call her tomorrow or the day after to ask her whether she liked my offer. Glad to hear from all of you about your opinion! 🙂

    • Christina. If you have only recently send the client your proposal, after listening to her, unless she specified a budget, pricing is not the issue, thought it could be cost, as in they don’t have the money right now. My suggestion is if those are your prices, do not discount, this sets you up poorly for the future. However you can adjust the delivery to their budget or postpone the services until they have the budget to cover the cost. If your offerings are a match for their needs, the compromise is in the content, not in the price. You must value you services first, then they can. When we are new, or new to this level of business it can be a little scary to miss out on potential contracts. However when we are certain in our value, then we become a much more attractive proposition.

      The other thing I have found, is when a business is really busy, it may be they haven’t even read your proposal yet. Follow up in a week or two, and in the future, specify an agreed response period, so that both you and the client know where you are at. When we have no specifications on time, we use the time specified, which has no boundaries. However, if it is a simple contract, specifying a week or two, gives them a chance to tell you they need more time then, or you follow up in two weeks, if you haven’t heard. They are then expecting the contact as you have specified the boundaries. An alternative is to give a time limiting on the pricing. Or an early signature incentive, which could be a discount or Bonus service. You know your audience best on what will be the best approach, and if you don’t yet, then do some research to be better prepared in the future.

      However is they are a busy business, if you don’t “nail them down” they can drag their feet for months. If you are new in this space, don’t let that get you down. Keep a watchful eye on anything you have out on offer and keep growing new business. If this business takes a long time to reply and your time is taken up, they have the consequence of having to wait, and/or you can choose to let them wait for a convenient time for you to meet them, as you are after you, you are not after them. Hope that makes sense. Best wishes.

      • Christina

        Hey Leanne!
        Thank you so much for your reply! Yes, you are right and this really helps me.
        I included one thing in the offer which I could potentially cut in order to go down in the price a little. But I prefer your approach to really see the value in my service and I just changed the perspective that seeig the price for the workshop divided by the number of people who would participate it is more than a fair pricing. So I think I will stick to the price.
        But really my big take away here is that you suggested to clarify the time frame of communication. Maybe my contact person is just busy or travelling. So it’s really my insecurity and in order to decrease it I will clarify the frame work better next time.
        Thanks so much!!! xoxo Christina

  24. This video is the truth! I tell my clients this all the time – what is the SOLUTION or the RESULT that your ideal client needs? and you’ll always have a business by providing this for sale.
    I loved this video Marie
    xx Kelita

  25. As someone that strives to help others with health & wellness, sometimes I lose sight and talk “at” instead of focusing on a solution to their problems. I need to keep this mindset at the forefront of my thoughts when developing content of any type. Thanks for the insight and reminder!

  26. Hey Marie!
    This is the first time I’ve checked your newsletter (even tough I have been subscribed for a couple of months already) – was worth it, but here’s tough question I’m struggling with right now:

    Is it better to promote one of your skills/solve one type of problems for your clients, then promote/solve all of them? Should I do it as ME or as a COMPANY? Does it matter?

    What if I’m individual who has done wide range of stuff, and I look for new skills on a daily basis – should I focus on one? (which is kind of impossible), or should emphasize the fact that I DO many things?

    Maybe that’s a wrong way to think about it – maybe I should focus only on solving problems for my clients, but what about promoting yourself? What if I actually solve some problem, do people care what I have on my website under ‘portfolio’ tab?

    Many weird questions that keep me up at night.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions, Iggy! Marie is a multi-passionate entrepreneur too, so she has some advice about navigating that. Here are a couple of episodes that may help answer your questions:

    • Hey Iggy. You sound like me. I do lots of things and have a variety of experience and I can solve all sorts of problems. However, what I am learning is the more specific we can get on who we serve (avatar – ideal client) and what specific problem we solve, we will infact get higher quality clients, prepared to pay more premium prices. It is therefore important to work out who do you prefer working with the most (demographic), and what problem do you like to solve most (market). Then from the demographic you get even more specific to building a virtual client, and which refines to the niche. Then when you have the avatar (virtual client), you market to them as if you are speaking to that one person. It enables you to become very clear, your messaging becomes very focused and people can see their relationship to you, because your messaging is to one person so creates the WIFM(what’s in it for me) to take effect as they read or listen or watch. This doesn’t mean that you can’t solve other problems or serve other clients, however you will serve better clients who appreciate your specialist skills. As people see that you do X eg finance, say you are a financial planner for women over 45 and your messaging is clear. People will ask if you do budgeting, or investment guidance if they want that service and if you can do that you can accept or decline, according to how busy you are and how much you enjoy doing that work.

      The business model is up to you, as to whether you are you only or a company. However regardless of which you are you can still talk about us/we at whatever you have named your business, if you are planning to grow it. That tends to depend on what type of service you are delivering. I am in Australia, so you would need to check the business structure rules on your country on what is best for you. Arrange an appointment with an appropriate business advisor, whether that be an accountant, lawyer or other kind of advisor that does this type of business structure professional advice in your country. You can usually check with you local equivilent of the Chamber of Commerce, or the taxation department on they types of professionals to consult.

      The one thing I can say is, that shiny thing syndrome will not get your business rolling, if that is what you want. At some point you have to stop finding new things long enough to stick your stake in the ground to build your business and message. The you can go back to learning and then you will have focus on what types of things will serve you most and enable to serve your clients even more, and stop randomly learning things. I am familiar with this challenge and why I developed a program for those of us who find it a challenge to hone in, have chosen poorly in the past, so ended up doing work we didn’t enjoy, or in environments we didn’t enjoy. We end up spending so much money, because we have no focus as we love to learn learn learn. Much better to invest in learning the things that will get us closer to where we want to go.

      The questions to ask are, WHY do you want to do “X”, what will it give you, how does it fit the future version of yourself, who do you want to be and when do you want to be that person/business owner.

      I trust you find the answers that work for you.

  27. Hi Marie!
    Thank you for this!!! I am a B-Schooler and adore ALL that you do!!

    The “problem” topic has been my own big problem…
    I am an artist and graphic designer turned multidisciplinary creativity mentor. I help women remember and activate their full creative expression. I call that “Self-Magic”.

    What problem it solves? Ahhhhh! I tried through the “confidence” angle, and through the “be colorful” and “be unmissable” approach, but these still don’t seem like a problem that people google, or click FB ads for. I am so passionate about what I offer, and also so convinced that it works and is needed… the only problem that clouds my clarity is… THE problem!

    I feel now that in order to “see it” I have to niche down, and get even more specific on WHAT I offer, (Loved this: “a biz that is the embodiment of their values”) so it will solve something more specific. Thank you for the inspiration at a magical timing! <3

  28. How do you make things sound so easy Marie? Love it! It’s so simple at times and as an entrepreneur, I make it more complicated than it needs to be. I’m a Health Coach and so many times I focus on what I know versus how I can serve. Another interesting “Ah-Ha!” is that for 4 years now I’ve been doing these health talks to get my name out. I love to speak and have people get to know my “voice” but I think I need to change focus from spewing out health information to SOLUTIONS I can bring them. Thank you for another episode that I actually pay attention to. Love your staff as well!

  29. Teena

    Thank you for another insightful video, Marie! I’m assuming the persons doing the cameo appearances are team members & would love to see them introduced some time. I know y’all work very hard, but y’all exude personality & fun, & it’s awesome to see!

    Thank you for the start of another happy Tuesday!

  30. Becky Dempsey

    Just what I needed to hear today as I launch a new program. Thank you Marie!

  31. Mandar

    Hi Marie,
    Thanks for a 2 step solution to a problem that every entrepreneur has.
    I am a visual artist and I struggle to find and answer to question, what value do my paintings deliver and what problems can they solve? Especially where I live in India, visual art is admired but not bought by common people. Art just isn’t their need and it does not seem to solve any problems.
    How do I find a solution and live as a thriving artist?

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Great question, Mandar! There’s actually a really good discussion about this in the comments toward the top of the page where a lot of people weighed in. If you look for Luisa’s post, which is very similar to yours, you’ll see all the replies. I think you’ll find multiple people’s perspectives super helpful, so we’d love for you to check it out!

  32. Selling isn’t easy, especially for introverts like me. But if you really believe in your product and your ability to transform other people’s life, it’s our responsibility to go out and overcome the fear of selling.

    Anyway, in your voice, it sounds even more clear.

  33. Thank you Marie!
    Fantastic Helpful Video.
    I can concur this works!
    As an Intuitive and Spiritual Coach and Well-Being Mentor, I discovered this when I “Demonstrated” what I offered. Rather than talk about what I do, or show them my website, products, testimonials, I’d give them a DEEP EXPERIENCE of Intuitive Coaching. Following this, most would ask “How can I get more of this? Within the coaching session, I ask them their challenges and help them resolve them right there. It’s Powerful. No Selling Needed! 🙂
    “Ask, Align, and Demonstrate what You Offer.”
    Thank you for all you share with us Marie!
    XOBerrnadette Penotti

    • Jennifer

      Yes Bernadette! I totally agree. It’s so effective when you can show your potential customers what you can do for them rather than simply telling them. Especially with coaching, the best way to “hook a customer” is to coach them. Let them experience the power of coaching first hand and they will jump at the chance to pay you! 🙂

      Thanks for all you do Marie! <3

  34. I assumed that all cancer survivors had as much difficulty with side-effects after treatment and transitioning to health and wellness as I did. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a way to really speak to a large number of cancer survivors (other than anecdotally). If I post a question about this on a site like Stupid Cancer a million people will be happy to post about x,y,z problems they had, but that does NOT mean they are looking for a coach to help them know how to get around these problems. The small sample I’ve been able to speak with directly are usually older, and not inclined to make any significant lifestyle changes. How can I survey the larger cancer survivor population with some depth and breadth??

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s a really good question, Jamie. It’s possible there are other online forums where cancer survivors are hanging out. We’ve got our fingers crossed you’ll find your tribe soon!

  35. Great episode Marie.
    It’s very easy to get caught up in what we know to start assuming what the customer is willing to pay for. This happens to me and when it does I get too technical and lose the customer’s focus.
    Today I’m reminded that it is always about what they want and how what I know helps them move forward to have a win in their business.

  36. Diane

    This is a great approach. Thank you for the info and the inspo!!!

  37. alma

    What, when it comes to art?! How can art be a problem-solver?
    Usually people tell me: bread first, and then – maybe – some of the nice / decorative things (like art).

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Great question, Alma! There’s actually a really good discussion about this in the comments toward the top of the page, and a lot of people weighed in. If you look for Luisa’s comment, which is very similar to yours, you’ll see all the replies. I think you’ll really find all those perspectives helpful, so we’d love for you to check it out!

  38. Convincing others to pay me for my knowledge isn’t the issue; convincing MYSELF that my time and expertise is valuable is the struggle!

    I’ve always been a giver. I love helping people and am the first to jump up whenever anyone needs a hand. And while that’s a great quality to have when it comes to building and maintaining deep relationships, it can be an obstacle when growing a business.

    I feel weird charging friends and family for my time. So whenever anyone emails for help, I jump on it. And before I know it, I’ve spent a few hours crafting and sending a response that really only benefits them, not me.

    How do I stop my altruistic tendencies from getting in my own way, Marie?

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      This is such a good question, Tara! Marie has an episode on how to get paid when you hate asking for money that I think you’ll really like: 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Mandy! Just watched it and have some actionable steps to take 🙂

  39. Have to remember… problem, solution. Not, “OMG will they even understand what I’m selling them???? Uggghhghghghgh.”
    I watched the ending of this one twice… Hilarious! You guys must laugh your pants off after you’re done taping.

  40. This week’s video triggered an avalanche of negative chatter in my head. I guess I know what I’m working on today! Related question…In these times where so many people and companies are struggling financially, what if they love what you’re doing but just can’t afford to pay?

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s tough, Brigitte. Since businesses do need to make money it’s a good idea to orient your offerings toward people who can pay, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also serve those who aren’t able to pay. For example, you can build charitable giving or pro bono work into your business model or create free content (like Marie does with MarieTV) to serve those who aren’t able to buy.

      • Brigitte

        Thank you Mandy!

        I had thought about that. Although, I’ve having trouble thinking of companies that have the means to pay yet don’t make me feel like I’m making a deal with the devil. But, I’ll keep digging. I’m sure the solution will present itself. Everything is figureoutable…right? Have a good one!

  41. Thank you Marie, as always I loved your great advise.
    My problem is, that I can not see, how my product solves any problems for my customers. I design and sell jewelry. And have another job to make a living. A mentor once asked me to define what it is the I give people and I can not answer that question. I have a feeling that my ‘gift’ is not important. It is luxury, it is not something that makes the world a better place or helps people. I am just stuck.

    • Tej

      Marian, jewelry can enhance a woman’s beauty and help perk up her moods! That can mean a lot when we are feeling down and out. 😉
      How do YOU feel when you buy/wear beautiful jewelry?!
      It may be a luxury item but it makes the world a better place by adding beauty and purpose (creating positive energy by uplifting our moods)
      Hope that helps you find your answers and inner peace.

      • Susan Obaza

        I was having the same issues regarding creative products/art/jewelry-this is my field of expertise. Thank you for a very good answer. I have to say, other than simply loving to create, I’m still trying to define what I love to do and why by just jumping in and trying to sell my goods. I know I do beautiful things. My problem is that I would rather give everything away than take money. It takes dedicated effort to market yourself. I think that was a question I had to answer for myself-do I want to market my products? I’m not motivated by receiving payment. So I have found areas to donate my goods. I am motivated by the fact that in order to donate my things and keep buying materials, I need to be paid. This sounds a bit backward, I’m sure. I just find it so much fun to put together jewelry or art in unexpected ways, to repurpose old jewelry or fabric. So sometimes in attempting to market, you find out what your real strengths are, and intent. Maybe making beautiful custom pieces affordable. I absolutely love services that offer free or discounted clothing for business, or prom night, to women who wouldn’t otherwise be able to have them. Things like that.

      • Thank you very much ❤ You really got me thinking differently. I need to change the way I think of my designs.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Hi Marian! There’s actually a great discussion about art (which would include jewelry) in the comments toward the top of the page. A lot of people weighed in, so I think you’d really benefit from checking out that discussion thread. Look for Luisa’s comment and all the replies. 🙂

      • Thank you. Found the discussion and it helps a lot. I am trying to change the way I think about my jewelry and designs.

  42. Jenny

    Marie, thank you for the gentle reminder (and extra push) to always meet you customer where THEY are. I’m in the midst of B-school right now and I love that I am thinking completely different on how I want my business to be built. These extra videos and emails are the frosting on top!

  43. Resonating with you Marie with not looking to do coaching. You have my attention. This is simple yet so deep and meaningful. Shifting focus. It’s not about me, is about the need and the solutions.

  44. I’m currently enrolled in your awesome B-School, and have been stuck for days on Module 2, video 3, “Create a Winning Opt-In Offer.” Somehow, this video DYNAMITED the logjam of doubt and fear that has kept me from moving forward. “Progress, not perfection!” is the motto for today and I hope to get my opt-in offer drafted before the sun sets. (Or before The Voice comes on at 8:00 EST)

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Jamie!! So happy to hear this video helped. And anytime you’re feeling stuck, please reach out in the comments sections of the videos. The Mentor Coaches are there to help and we’d love for you to take advantage of their expertise, as well as our team. 🙂

  45. Karol

    I already have a fairly successful business. It would no doubt be even more successful if I upgraded my skills in workflow with large documents. It is not necessarily in an area I really love, but it’s something I’m good at. My customers might even tell you I’m the best in the world at my niche.

    I’ve never really done my own marketing. My customers do it for me. So basically just about anyone who calls me already knows exactly what they want: translations done by a bilingual native speaker of English, with specialized knowledge in their field and vast experience, who is so accurate that proofreaders feel guilty taking money for reviewing their work.

    And when they find out about all the little extras they get: the formatting of the original is retained exactly and, if need be, even cleaned up (even if that means less characters – which is the basis for my pay); the ability to work into two target languages; knowledge of many languages, so they can get many of the language pairs they need, all under one roof; catching errors in the original; comments in the margins about those errors so that they can be corrected; and ferocious speed to boot.

    When they see that, they’re sold, and they may even volunteer to pay more than I might otherwise charge (when that starts happening on a larger scale, I take that as a signal to raise my prices).

    But this is the thing: not every customer has that type of priorities. Unfortunately, a lot of people prioritize low price over high quality. There’s a need to understand that you cannot please everyone. So you have to aim yourself only at that niche of people who do want exactly what you have to offer.

    Now if I could just find something that I really love and replicate all of this there…

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Exactly, Karol! This is spot on. 🙂 And congrats on the amazing and thorough work you do!

  46. Really useful insight, thanks Marie. I had a prospective client this week turn down my services as a Virtual Assistant because he couldn’t afford my rate. We had a great discussion over Skype and I explained what I could do and how to help him but I probably wasn’t listening ENOUGH and really zooming in on his problems. This video reminds me that I have to really focus on the prospective client and pick up on everything they say about their business so I’m ready to it around.

  47. Thank you so much for this insight Marie, it’s perfect timing, as always.

  48. This was excellent advice. Thank you for reminding us to keep customer focused and not me focused!

  49. More fantastic advice from Marie! It took me a LONG time to “get” this concept. I am currently taking an Audience Building course and when I went back to review my site it was too much “me, me, me!” Once I realized it I was mortified and began attacking and reworking the feel of the site. I’m not feeling much more confident with the approach and branding – it’s time to generate some customer-centric content now!

  50. Marie,
    This is such a helpful episode. You’re so right, when you keep the focus on your customer and truly solving a problem for them, you don’t have to “sell” them anything. Either you have the right chemistry together and they see value in your solution or not. You stay true to yourself in offering the best you have that can help them. Your authenticity shines through and it’s up to them to make the decision that is right for them. Thanks for the great content!

  51. I know that resolving a problem is a must when you want to have success on your business or when you are selling something. I have a business where we sell and install solar water heaters. It has a lot of benefits having a solar water heater instead of a gas water heater.
    I think that the thing is that some people even if they know they have that specific problem they don’t buy it. Maybe because they don’t care about or don’t have the money to solve it by buying my product.
    The question is How we can make people see that they have this issue and by getting my product they will solve it.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      I bet environmentalists and other eco-friendly folks love your solar water heaters, Jimena! There will always be people who don’t see the value in your products or don’t want to spend money on them, so it’s important to orient your marketing toward the people who get it––the right people. Marie talks more about this as she highlights a company she loves in this episode: I hope this helps!

  52. Great information! Thanks for making it also fun. 🙂

  53. Lee Laurais

    If I were running a restaurant (or any kind of food service) and someone I didn’t know (Lauren, for example) contacted me and wanted to learn about “the problems” my business was having, I’d likely say, “How come?” or “Thanks but I’m pretty busy.” Or “Thanks, what are you selling?” Suppose I could be persuaded to listen long enough to hear Lauren say, “I’m not selling anything. I just wanna learn about your business.” (Why, are you thinking of going into the business and you’re gonna be my competition and you’d like MY expertise for free?) “No, I have something to give YOU for free.” (Okay, I get it. This Lauren is offering a loss leader. New businesses do that.) Even if I were to spend an hour with Lauren and were to benefit from what she had to say, I might go, “Thanks, Lauren. That was very helpful. Good luck in your new venture.”

    What I’d near to hear — Lauren has only nine seconds to “fascinate” me — is for lauren to go, “Look, Mister, I’m gonna save you money that’s gonna more than pay for my services and here’s how I’m gonna do it!” Bang-bang-bang! (Whoa, I like this gal. She’s full of energy, she seems dedicated and it sounds like she knows what she’s talking about!) So I give her a full minute and she gives me three or four ideas that I can act on then and there. So then I go, “Thanks. Gotta get back to work. Got a card?” Lauren hands me her card and I tuck it away.

    Then, a week or a month later, I get to thinking, “I need to cut my costs, and there was somebody who came to see me who thought they knew how to go about it. Lauren, I think her name was.” I dig out her card and get in touch. “Look — may I call you Lauren — I remember you had some good ideas. We all need to make a living. I mean you’re not running a charitable enterprise. What would you charge for a consult, and could we set up an appointment?”

  54. What a great answer to a great question! As a consultant, I often hear peer consultants and business owners complain that people seem interested in what they offer, but they don’t want to pay for it, they can’t fill rooms or they have to “explain” what they do and most don’t “get” it. I 100% agree that they face this challenge because they are focused on getting what they want instead of actually focusing on what their market really needs in terms of solutions. And, oh how I love the “alignment” piece – right on! Great video and I’m sharing with everyone I know who struggles with this.

  55. Every time that I start one of your videos thinking that the information doesn’t apply to me at the moment, there’s a point in the video where I’m proven completely wrong. I realized I really do need to start asking clients and viewers what they need from me instead of always assuming or simply basing things off of research and prior understanding in my field. Thanks to all of you! 🙂

  56. Thanks so much Marie, this episode spoke to my core.

    For the past 8 months, I’ve been building/refining a Haunt Community website, where enthusiasts, can come learn and share creative techniques for prop building, costumes, mask making, etc. While I researched my competitors and made sure my site excels in areas they fall short. It’s not received nearly as much traffic/membership as I thought it would.
    So, with your perfect timing and inspiration, I’m going to ask the community what issues they’re having and come up with solutions tailored to them.

  57. As a new entrepreneur, this video provided so much insight on how to shift my approach to getting clients. Thank you for the “OHHH!” moment I totally just had, I’m getting right on this 🙂

  58. Such great video, Marie and team!
    I have had the problem around pricing and selling and I realize now it’s because I have been focused on me vs. my customer’s value, sanity and peace from working with me.

    Thank you!

  59. Sonia Martinez

    Marie, your insights always are on the money! I’ve sold in the advertising media space for so long and I come from the old school way of selling where we assume clients don’t know what they want or need. There was always something in me that drove me to listen and ask the right questions, but my higher ups always forced me to sell their way. I guess that is why a lot of us have been pushed out of the business 🙁

    I have a question for you. How do you avoid “friends” asking to pick your brain? I am a solutions-oriented person and I prefer to sell more based on client need and input, but I always get people reaching out to me wanting to pick my brain as a favor and not pay. Although I love to help people, I find that I cannot sustain my life and dreams on favors. How can I get people to pay for my consulting services without coming off as a non-team player, selfish, money-hungry, etc.? I believe that you get what you pay for, but this has been a very hard issue to tackle. Any insights you can share would be amazing! Thank you!

  60. Jennifer Brannon


    Your episodes are always super helpful and FUN… but my burning question is totally off topic here… You always look amazing!!! You need to start having episode notes that let us know where to buy your outfits and also I want to know how you get your hair to look so full and bouncy and shiny and just LUSH!


  61. Safena

    Your team cracks me up. I love them! Seriously still laughing. Love you too Marie and really brilliant advice! its such a simple truth …listen! You do have the Midas touch! Thank you!

  62. Thanks Marie. Most of the time, we are focused on what we want – money, fame and so on. Thanks for reminding us we should focus on our customers.

  63. Thanks, again, Marie.

    Once again a timely topic, concisely presented.

    Keep up the great work, Michael

  64. Greg

    This is one of the most useful videos you’ve ever posted.

  65. Mimi Ghosh

    Q: Have you ever struggled with how to convince people that what you offer is worth paying for?
    A: I struggle to convince MYSELF that what I know is worth paying for! I struggle so much that I haven’t put myself out there to offer anything to anyone! I’m still procrastinating because I can’t narrow down what it is that “I know”.

    The woman who emailed you is confident in he knowledge and skills regarding food sustainability. However, I’m still trying to figure out what it is that I have enough skills and knowledge in, for which to create an offer and present to people (I’m a jack of all trades). I’m in a chicken-and-egg situation, because I don’t know if I first need to be very knowledgeable and *then* use the problem/solution framework, or if I can make an offer before I have the expertise. My limiting beliefs and guilt about money make me feel like I’m not good enough to charge for what I may know.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s a good question, Mimi. While gaining more knowledge and experience never hurts, being confident in your expertise is important too. If it’s a matter of limiting beliefs, I think you’ll really like this MarieTV playlist about overcoming fear and self-doubt:

      • Mimi Ghosh

        Thank you for the link, Mandy! The problem is that I’m not sure if it’s just limiting beliefs, or if I really am not skilled and knowledgeable enough in anything to market it and sell it. An entrepreneur needs to be able to say, “I can help you”, I don’t have the confidence to say that, and I don’t know if it’s just poor self-confidence or if I’m not experienced enough.

  66. This video is very, very useful. I started my business organising food and wine experiences in Emilia Romagna, Italy three years ago and having spent many years studying food & wine (Sommelier diploma, National Cheese tasting diploma, Parmigiano tasting and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar tasting diploma), my knowledge far exceeds that of people who run ‘competitor’ agencies. I have found it difficult to ‘sell’ my knowledge ‘per se’ (as Lauren mentioned in the video) and differentiate myself from the competition and simply saying ‘I know more and can share more’ hasn’t been a particularly successful form of selling. I now need to go and identify exactly what my potential customers want – or more precisely their problem – although this is easier with professionals (chefs, aspiring chefs and food buyers) than simply a food-loving tourist. However, the rub is this: the food-loving tourist doesn’t necessarily have a problem as such, so how do I go about identifying what they lack , other than knowledge? Right, I’m off to have a ponder and if anyone has any good advice, I would welcome it with open arms. Thanks!

  67. AWESOMESAUCE! I was stuck on module 3 in B-school and feeling overwhelmed but this video just opened up my heart and creative juices! Thank you so much Marie!!!!

  68. Yesenia

    Thank you! I work in healthcare are there is SO MUCH knowledge I have that can solve many policy issues. I will apply the “how I can solve your problem” technique.

    Thank you

  69. YES! This is the perfect advice, and what all entrepreneurs need to embody. Thank you Marie, you are the best!

  70. Marie, I really love this video because it reenforces what I have been learning about when it comes to starting a business which is, what problem can the business really solve. I have been struggling in mind with this for some time because I independently manage all the social media accounts for a realtor, who asked for my help in that area, and I was happy to do so. Little did we both know, all the marketing and content creation for her social media has generated a buzz within her industry where many are asking her who is doing her social media marketing because the it looks like a multimillion dollar company, when in fact it’s just me being creative. I never really thought about making this into a business, and now the realtor I provide this service for, is so willing to invest in a company she and I can launch solving this very problem for realtors in the area, which there are thousands. I read a trend report how many small business owners do not have this area down pack – and nearly 40% of fortune 500 companies are not utilizing this area as well – Marie, does this sound like the building blocks of me launching a business? I am a songwriter and hip-hop rapper, I never really saw this coming. I would love your feedback!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Social media marketing is so important, Mosik, so it’s awesome to hear it’s something you’re good at and excited about doing! Although we’re not able to give feedback on individual business ideas, if you love it and your heart is calling you to start a business, then go for it! Your dreams are important and we encourage you to follow them.

      • Thank you Mandy for the feedback and taking the time to do so. I appreciate that very much. And Yes, I am enjoying doing it and listening to Marie and your comment helps me go with my gut! You guys are the best!

  71. Amy Finkbeiner

    This was episode was a confirmation for me. Just last night I did step #1 Ask. As a life coach I am considering to focus on wives of sports coaches – most likely high school but am not limiting. I reached out in some support FB groups and am getting great feedback. Of course money always comes up but I focused on the value this type of coaching can bring. It didn’t feel like I was trying to sell. It felt like I had the keys to an amazing opportunity and I was sharing the good news. What a freeing feeling. Thanks for the confirmation Marie! I’m glad I’m on the same page as you.
    Amy Finkbeiner Life Coaching

  72. Just remembering to frame your knowledge so it’s applied to the customer is so important! Just putting yourself in their shoes often times helps more than anything.

  73. Hello everyone!

    This episode of Marie TV speaks totally in my thought processes at the moment.

    I am an artist, writer and many more things and really am struggling with making money, although I give so much value away for free and I wondered “Why isn’t my business hitting it off like crazy?!” and then realized that I had the sentence “I don’t deserve earning money” in the depth of my heart and mind.

    Although I knew in theory that I am special, worthy and a wonderful person, as soon as the moment of pricing an item or service came I had incredible struggles. I feared if I make it too expensive then nobody would want to buy it. Actually my deeper fear was „If they would know what I want for this, then nobody would want to be my friend.“ I know that has to do with my childhood and the pattern of sensing what would be „a win“ for everybody else, but never thinking that I also need „a win“. That life is a two way street and I can’t just give myself completely away for nothing in return.

    However with this pricing-back-and-forth craziness in my mind, heart and business I told the universe (and myself): “I am not worth to earn anything because I don’t even value myself in setting fair prices. Fair to my customer AND to myself.“

    A week ago I realized all of this emotionally and really understood how precious and worthy I am and that even a six figure yearly income couldn’t show my worth. I also said out loud “I am worth it to earn money and money is allowed to flow into my life!“

    It is shocking to me how I can be almost 35 years old and only learned this a week ago. And that after years of therapy!

    In the week after this nothing crazy happened in my business, but so much happened in my heart and mind and I started reading the book “The $100 startup” from Chris Guillebeau (here’s Marie’s Interview with him and my creative juices started flowing again. I have many ideas how to bless people with what I have to give and also how it can be a WIN-WIN situation for both parties.

    I want to do something for executive business women here in NYC that are working so hard and having to wear their professionalism-masks way too often. I wish for them to come to one of my creative one-on-one classes and just relax and be themselves.

    My first step is to interview such women. My husband suggested a colleague of his and I wanted to give her a free class if she is open to the idea and then ask her if it helped her to de-stress and to let down her defenses. And to see if this might be a good business idea.

    I know I wrote a lot but I thought that some of you might be in a similar situation. 🙂

    Many greetings from sunny Chelsea neighborhood in NYC!

  74. Diane

    I know damn well you are right Marie… But… *sigh*… Sometimes I just feel like I want to do stuff to nurture my soul, like art, without thinking about ‘plugging’ into someone’s need… Or sometimes I would simply like to really convince people *from a philosophical standpoint* about the intrinsic value of, say, sustainability and ecological matters… I would like to *convert* people, make them die-hard advocates of sustainable approaches or of the overall need for more compassion in the way we treat animals, as examples. But I know, I know that when it comes to business, you are absolutely right… *sigh*…

    • Donna


  75. Alexandre

    Hi Marie
    Thank you for this insight. It fits in the moment I am living know. I live in Brazil and I am starting a teaching and coaching business in leadership. My main challenge is how can I convice people to pay for knoledge. Thank you for your inspiration.


  76. Donna

    Wow. I am a believer on one hand but still really struggle trying to make this transition. I am an allopathic physician and people come to me all the time to have my knowledge fill their needs (expertise to solve their problem) AND expect to have that need paid for by their insurance. Without going into the realities of insurance, I cannot remain in business continuing to accept insurance and I feel very much trepidation stepping out to a cash model. It is not too expensive because my patients come in with nails and hair and handbags and shoes that indicate their monthly disposable income is more than enough to satisfy their medical needs – if they valued the medical care over some of the fluff.

  77. I sent this video straight away to my team (+ 1 client), because I wanted them to have the same foundation as to why we work the way we do. I learned this lesson somewhere along the way since B-School and I have built my business by this answer. Here’s a bit straight from the email I sent my team:

    “I want to make sure that all of our marketing, email marketing, course creation, and entire presence online is focused on finding a solution to the problem our customers already have and are willing to pay for. It takes quite a bit of giving up our own ego about what we think they need, and focusing on helping them solve the problems they say they are having.”

    Thanks for helping me express this in a new way to my team.

  78. People suffer from ignorance. This is a real problem. I am enlightened so i could cure them of their ignorance. However, nobody wants to be cured of ignorance. It is profitable in many ways to stay ignorant. So, i stay enlightened and poor, and they stay ignorant and rich! You see? Any transaction is a contract between at least two people. Mostly, it is a contract with a community of people. Noeadays, who wants to get enlightened? Everyone wants tangible gains; more money, more technological gudgets. Yes or no? Would any of you want to pay me anything to reach enlightenement and bliss? Not even one of your people.

  79. Marina

    Thank you so much for this video Marie! I have subscribed to you for a few months now, but this is the first time I have read and participated in the comments – more fool me.

    I graduated from IIN in September and have been trying to start my own business since January. I have really spent a lot of time focusing on who my target market is and what they want which aligns completely with what you are saying! So I know who I’m talking to (busy moms) and I know what their problems are (no time for themselves, no energy, how to make healthy food for themselves and the family, etc.) and my blurb is that I help busy moms to integrate healthy habits into their lives.

    The problem is that I have not yet been able to sign up a paying client! I have put myself out there on social media (Professional Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest), have advertised at my pilates studio and two of my kid’s schools and have offered free initial consultations. I tried to do a talk at my pilates studio, but no-one showed up. Any ideas?

    Many thanks for all your inspiration!

  80. Miru

    Marie, great video! I’m a life coach and find it difficult when people try to get my advice on they should do things without wanting to pay for it. The benefits usually come within session 3 or 4. Matching up my knowledge to their problem is a great way for me to start having conversations with people. I realized I’m looking to help in whatever way possible, sometimes it’s not what they need!

  81. I spend my time helping organisations learn how to innovate. A huge part of this is spending time digging for insights about people’s wants and needs (often that they don’t even realise they have). One of my favourite questions that always gets a little extra out of people is ‘What should I have asked you, that I didn’t?’. They always give back a hidden gem to use in marketing messages and service/product development. I also have a little tip for getting people to think about the cost of their problems. Once they’ve told me about their challenges and frustrations, I ask something like “how long has this been going on?” followed by helping them work out how much this is costing them. This gives them a figure of how much not solving their problem has cost to date. Often my fee to solve their problem is a fraction of what it’s costing them not to solve it and makes it an easy choice to get going – it demonstrates how buying me service is cheaper than not buying it. Hope that’s helpful for some of you. Good luck x

  82. Hi Marie, thanks so much for the tips! I know I’ve heard them before and now realize that I’m giving up before I’ve invested enough into them. (Want results quickly type of mentality) I should post these on my wall as a constant reminder 🙂

    Question, would you have a time frame or amount of knowledge you would continue to give one person without them paying?

    Thanks for all you do! =)

  83. Im putting an alert in my phone to remind me of this quote!

  84. I would really recommend anyone to read Pat Flynn’s book Will it Fly if you want to validate your business idea and see if people would really pay for it.

  85. Susanne

    Thank you Marie for your wise insides! LOVE, Susie

  86. Than you, Marie! Love that shift in focus to asking questions to discover how we can give people a solution to a problem they already have, and provide them with concrete outcomes they’re willing to pay for!

  87. HI Marie,

    Thank you for shedding some light my way! I am an illustrator/designer. I own a business (yellow & lace) specializing in custom invitations, calligraphy, signage, custom work. Occasionally I’ll be asked to design a logo. It’s been almost three years and
    “convincing” people that what I offer is worth paying for has been a reoccurring issue.

    I noticed that there are some clients who don’t question me at all, and others who lag and drag out our conversation before they tell me, “Thanks for all your help, but I think we’re going to do these ourselves to save money.” Or they’ll say, “I don’t want to invest all this money on something (custom wedding invitations) that I can’t fully see.” Without me even asking, I think I already know the problem: MONEY.

    Related to this problem, if I do work for a close friend or family, I feel like they assume they’re going to get a 90% discount and when I offer my price, they’ll try to bargain with me.

    Like I said, I don’t encounter this issue all the time, but it does happen. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this. Looking forward to hearing from you. thank you!

  88. Franca

    What a beautiful and helpful thread! Tanya your comment is GOLD.

  89. Marie, thank you for your advice! I am your new fan and a young entrepreneur!

  90. claudia

    Thank you Marie!
    Wonderful and simple advice once again RIGHT WHEN I NEED IT.
    I am working on a survey right now, so I can listen to my customers’ needs.

  91. Cindy

    Hi Marie that was lovely, funny and very informative and helpful for making the world a better place – thank you !!!! I enjoyed it so much – first time watching your tv – I will watch more now that was great !
    Problem – solution – giving listening – there was so many great ways to focus on being in community in solving problems than worrying about your own – as such
    Very helpful shift of focus

  92. Thank you Marie for bringing clarity to the business of providing knowledge. Greatly appreciated!

  93. As always, you are amazing and inspiring! Love watching your videos! Keep up the awesome job Marie!

  94. Catherine

    Love it, but how do I start those conversations?… Almost anyone is my customer, so do I just start contacting every potential client on Linkedin in, inviting them out to coffee and asking them those questions?

  95. I struggle with this a lot! I think the key word is “worth”. What I know is worth paying for- I mean I paid big bucks, blood sweat and tears for all this knowledge, so the information is “worth” it. The real question really is this, Am I worth it? Its that dang voice coming up saying, who’s gonna pay you, YOU are not worth it.

    I love the way you have reframed this, find their problem and focus on solving that. It shines the light on them, not me. Takes the pressure of me being perfect too. I love that you have said it out loud- No one wants the information, they just want someone to solve their issue. That I know I can help with.

    Thanks so much for all you and your team do!


  96. Thanks for this one, Marie, because it’s got me curious…

    How to convince people that you have the expertise when you don’t have standard credentials. I, for one, don’t just hire someone when they SAY they can help, but when they have some way to prove it, either with formal education and/or a nice list of former clients. What if you have the degree from the University of LIFE? And all your “clients” are your best friends?

    An example: I give awesome parenting tips. I don’t want to make a biz out of this right now, but I’ve thought about it, and who the heck is going to hire someone to help with parenting who doesn’t have the letters after their name, or anything besides the bumps and bruises of raising kids, to show for it?

  97. Chris Sevla

    I don´t know how to use those tips in my business. I write novels and scripts and I live in a country that is very much in an economic crisis. I´m willing to do the right thing, except that I don´t know what it is…

  98. Brian Pandji

    Thank you Marie. This one gave me another clue to what I needed to start. I’m on B-School and it is bringing up too many ideas to hone in on one. This video helped so much! Thanks again

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Brian, we’re SO glad to hear that! Thank you for tuning in here today.

  99. I bloody well love this episode. The idea of solving a problem for their customers is one that I know many creative people struggle with. I used to sell my paintings for a living and found it excruciatingly hard to see how my buyers saw my art as solving a problem – over and above the obvious, tying the room together. I didn’t want to position my art as ‘nice decore’. Instead of trying to see the problem I was solving, I simply shifted from putting on exhibitions for me – to designing an EXPERIENCE my buyers wanted. They wanted to feel sophisticated, listened too, they wanted to know me (so they could relay our conversations to their friends), they wanted to feel unique and special. When I started designed the way I sold my art to offer this experience to my buyers, a whole new world opened up – it all of a sudden became about them, not me – which I think is the take out from this amazing episode. Thanks MF – I’m dancing to your tunes.

  100. Nina

    Question: How does this advice play out when your service is the advice. Once you have given them that, there is no need for them to retain your services, since you have provided what they needed.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Hi Nina! I can completely appreciate that struggle, and the way you asked your question probably indicates that you may be giving away too much of your services for free. It can be a smart tool to use when you’re starting out for building your business, your referrals and testimonials, and gaining experience.

      However, as you get more experienced and as your business grows, you absolutely need to charge for the services you’re giving to people so that you can keep doing what you’re doing and sharing your gift with others. For some inspiration and ideas on how to do this with confidence, here are some great MarieTV episodes for you.

      Hope you enjoy those!

  101. I need to keep remembering it isn’t about me… is about the customer…..what I can give them.

  102. Laura Gonzalez

    Thank you Marie, I will have to first interview the person who wants to interview me for a job. I do not know which are their problems. their needs … Great advise!

  103. Matthew McGuire

    Hi Marie i have a lot of information but how do i show it to a potential employer in a job interview to get hired because i believe i can solve their problems. This episode showed me a little about it but i needed to know from you how i can do it in my life please help me bye
    Matthew McGuire

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Matthew, this is a great Q! We have three existing MarieTV episodes that I think you’ll love on how to be more persuasive, how to communicate better, and how to fascinate people with who you really are.

      I hope the wisdom shared in those gives you some great food for thought for your next interview!

      • Matthew McGuire

        Thanks Chelsea i wanted to know how do i answer questions in an interview in the great way to be able to hired. So that the hiring manager says yes can marie do a video on job interviews please bye
        Matthew McGuire

        • Chelsea - Team Forleo

          Hi Matthew — thanks for circling around! Those three episodes hold some wonderful tips on communication that could absolutely help in the context of an interview with answering questions and revealing your own strengths in an articulate and clear way.

          If you’d like to also submit this question for consideration as a future MarieTV episode when we’re next reviewing topics, you can do so by clicking on the form linked at the bottom of this page: Thank you!

  104. Di

    It’s like you’ve been watching my life!! Ha ha!
    I have been the ‘go to’ person for so many of my friends wanting my knowledge & skills….but I can’t live on thin air! Thanks Marie, you’ve given me some ideas to get a few steps ahead so that I can actually start getting paid! ?

  105. So powerful Marie and a great reminder to ‘ask’ what your audience is experiencing and how they are feeling. Sometimes it is easy to let this slip and make assumptions. Nothing like a meaningful conversation and creating a solution that people will say ‘how can I work with you or I need this right now in my life’.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Yes! Love that takeaway. Thanks for watching Jaime-Lee.

  106. Chris

    Hi Marie,
    Amazing what a shift in perspective can bring about. Very much enjoyed your talk on focusing on
    what you can solve as opposed to simply what you know…

  107. I LOVE how simple this is. But in case any MF lovers watched along and suddenly felt nervous about claiming their info as the solution to a particular problem, I want to add a subtle distinction that made a HUGE difference in my marketing mindset.

    I always understood the “solve problems, get paid” equation–but I struggled for YEARS to feel confident enough to make it work for me.

    Why? I didn’t want to promise an outcome I couldn’t deliver.

    As a copywriter, I avoided telling entrepreneurs I would make them more money. Because it takes more than a great sales page to make money online–you also need an engaged audience, and amazing products and testimonials, and a system for priming and following up with people during your launch. You can’t just write great copy, hit publish, and sit back waiting for dollars to pour in.

    So if I had said something like, “my words will make you money,” I would have felt like a liar. Because my words will only make you money if you have the right elements in place.

    Now most people hire copywriters specifically because they want to make more money. Because I felt like I couldn’t possibly promise that, I avoided talking about it. As you can imagine, this made it hard for me to sell my services. (I got all my clients through referrals–where someone else sold me first!)

    My problem was that I confused my guaranteed results with my clients’ desired outcome. But once I really internalized the difference, it gave me the confidence to sell myself and my services in a way that spoke directly to people’s problems.

    So if you’re someone who watched this episode, brainstormed problems & solutions, and thought, “But I can’t GUARANTEE my clients will [make more money, find their soulmate, get a bikini body, insert other tangible goal here]!”, I hope this helps!

    As a new service provider, you probably assume the success formula needs to look like this:
    Your info + client = dream outcome.

    So until you achieve that dream outcome for people, you’re not good enough to sell.

    But in reality, there are 2 parts to the success formula. Those look like:
    1) Your info + client = result.
    2) Result + additional action = dream outcome.

    My point is that you do not have to GUARANTEE the final end goal your clients are craving in order to talk about it.

    Instead, you must provide a tangible step toward that end goal. You guarantee a concrete result that LEADS to the dream outcome. Then use your marketing to make it clear your solution HELPS people achieve their dream outcome via your concrete result.

    Because you guarantee a result, not the dream outcome, you don’t have to take the burden of responsibility for completely overhauling their situation. (Not unless you provide a full-service, soup-to-nuts kind of offer which does, in fact, guarantee that they achieve their end goal.)

    For example, let’s say you decide to work with hospitals who have bloated budgets and want to decrease spending. “Spending less money” is their dream outcome.

    You develop a customized plan to help them cut food waste. Cutting food waste is your guaranteed result.

    Assuming the hospital follows your plan to cut food waste, that plan will HELP decrease their long-term spending. “Spending less money” is the dream outcome that you HELP them achieve (but do not guarantee).

    If you want to be a high-integrity service provider, you MUST be able to provide a plan that will, once executed, cut food waste.

    But you are NOT responsible for a) ensuring that they follow your plan (unless you provide additional coaching or implementation as part of your business); nor b) reducing their overall business spending immediately.

    In other words, if they hire you and see a temporary INCREASE in their expenses (paying for your services and additional staff hours to implement your idea) that’s okay. You should explain all this to them ahead of time! Because eventually–provided they follow your rock-solid plan–they WILL save money and reduce bloat in their budget.

    Making this distinction frees you from potential guilt and shame if your work doesn’t automatically reduce budget bloat.

    Like I said, it’s a subtle nuance, but it’s also the reason I and my clients are able to communicate our value with INTEGRITY.

    So once you sort out the problems your clients want to pay for, I recommend you get clear on both the results you guarantee and the dream outcome you help achieve. Write them both down. Talk about both in your marketing.

    That’s how you sell without feeling like a slimeball.

    Oh, and if you don’t know what results you can guarantee? Test your new offers. Work with dream clients for free or low cost and record some of those bankable results. 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Right ON, Elizabeth! This is such an important distinction and you really hit the nail on the head. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  108. Serendipity = I JUST posted a little graphic for showing people that it’s easier than they think to find room in their budget for my new client massage special. This video was definitely useful, and I will be upping my asking game after this. My long term goal is to normalize self-care, so my focus is already client-centered. It’s tricky in my region to remind people of the importance of prioritizing themselves, especially when massage therapy is still widely treated as a luxury rather than something that can vastly improve lifestyles. Thank you for making these videos. It’s nice to have fresh approaches and little hints that I’m headed in the right direction, despite not making any profits right now. You are so greatly appreciated.

  109. Jeni

    Thank you – your videos are so insightful & timely. I’m about to start up an online business (also enrolled in B-School – yay!) plus currently working in marketing & sales. I can now plan to meet with various people in my market to talk about their problems and goals, to determine how I can best support them with my start-up. I can also see some better ways to market & sell my current product. I love your energy, optimism & knowledge.

  110. So I get home from my day job as a nurse, change into one of my favorite t-shirts, and I’m sitting there on the bed with my husband, 7 yr old daughter and 4 yr old son reading “Green Eggs and Ham” before bedtime, after just having listened to the latest MF blog on my way home. I’m crushed to find out nobody wants to pay me money for my great, soul lifting t-shirt messages. And I’m discouraged I can’t see how they can solve a problem for my ideal customer. Then my 4 year old son says, “Mama, I want to feel your shirt.” So he does. And then he says, “It feels soft like a massage.” Of course! A t-shirt that massages your soul. Brilliant! I must say, this is how the creativity has been flowing in my experience as a current B-Schooler. The synergy that this creative, positive and growth oriented community that Marie and her team guide and bring together is amazingly powerful in opening up a channel of inspiration and transformation. Thank you Team and Community for caring to share!!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s wonderful, Connie! Creativity comes at the most unexpected time and is such a beautiful thing. We’re honored you’re in B-School and that your shirts will be massaging many souls that need uplifting.

  111. You guys/gals are hilarious. Hilarious!
    Okay, so… I make dolls and I have focused on the ‘me’ with my background of doll making. In addition to that I could mention in my blog/Etsy store how the potential buyer personally benefits from buying my work. Why it is good for ‘them’ to buy a custom made doll? – It’s OOAK. It can become a family heirloom. It is not factory produced in third world conditions.

  112. Thank you for this episode, Marie! 🙂

    In my FB group, I have daily conversations with the people who want to learn French, and I ask them in their words to tell me what are their challenges.

    Then, I create offers that answer their very complaints – it creates real relationships and people are not feeling that they are sold.

    Thanks again,

  113. I’m wondering how this translates to artists. I write and make romantic comedies. How do I ask? WHO do I ask? How do I align? Eh?

    Help me, I’m poor (not really, but I love Bridesmaids.)

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s a really good question, Sabina. There’s actually a great discussion about this in the comments toward the top of the page where a lot of people weighed in. If you look for Luisa’s comment and all the replies, I think you’ll get a lot out of seeing the variety of perspectives there.

  114. Karen Jaggi

    Marie’s message hits the mark and the comments to follow were heartwarming.
    THERE ARE GOOD, GREAT PEOPLE OUT THERE! (cheering for us.)
    I just LOVED how everyone joined in to help each other here, with very real situations, and to kindly validate Marie’s wisdom. (And Marie and her team made me laugh – the trucker fart – Ha!)

  115. Veronika

    Great episode! – But I can’t seem to shine the knowledge onto my problem… I make /sew handmade toys for little ones. I love making them, they are one of a kind and in my humble opinion, pretty cool! However, as much as I’m trying to shine the light on how: it’s unique, it’s not mass produced, it’s made with TLC, etc etc, all people seem to focus on is ‘wow, this is more expensive than what I can get off the shelves’!
    People in my area are not ‘outside the box’ thinkers in general and I struggle to connect with others outside my physical boundaries, even through Etsy (due to the maaaaaasssssiiiiive number of people selling their awesome products.

    Perhaps I’m a little late in joining the conversation, but if you have any insight or ideas for me, I would really appreciate it! – Have a lovely day 🙂 Veronika

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      This is such a great question, Veronika, and something I bet a lot of people are struggling with. If you’ll write to us at infoATmarieforleoDOTcom we’ll be happy to help you submit this question for consideration for a future Q&A Tuesday.

      • Veronika

        Hi Mandy,
        Thank you for that! – I have just sent off an email to you.
        Best, Veronika

  116. Thank you.

  117. Benson Modie

    Great inspiration……thank you Marie!!

  118. Thank you, Marie, for saying it as it is. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and didn’t know how to tell others about this approach. Now I do. Thank you 😉

  119. Alanna

    Hey great video Marie. Thanks. It’s true. I needed a reminder of this.

  120. If the worldly subconscious is rejecting your services and products, energies of your house and office may also be respobsible for it. Subconciously we may also be sending vibes to reject it.

  121. Carolina Van Pampus

    Thanks, Marie! I just realized that I don’t have myself crystal clear the service I’m offering. After this episode, I will seat and put my ideas together! Thanks again!!! 🙂

  122. Hello Marie and everyone, I just finished watching the episode and I really like those two steps. 1-Ask then 2-Align. they are so simple. I am freelance graphic designer who works from home, I’m self taught and still a beginner but I really love what I do because I like everything to be pretty and artistically presented. What I’m taking away from this episode is that I need to start thinking about how to solve problems with graphic design for my clients and that I need to form a set of client focused questions to ask them.

    Thank you 🙂

  123. Heidi

    Lauren, I think airlines and cruise ships would also be really great targets in food sustainability!

  124. Stacie Wright

    This video really helped me today. I have had the idea o start a Clinical Research Education company to educate independent physicians and their staffs on Clinical Research. I have had a time determining if they would pay for the education. Really it is to their advantage to learn how to conduct research properly and safely. Pharmaceutical companies will pay big money if you know what you are doing.

  125. I remember once thinking it was disempowering to focus on solving problems. Like, I was afraid that I couldn’t solve problems and therefore would be unsuccessful! But, I have to say, this framework shift in my own life has helped me feel way more confident about my business work. I totally proved my old fearful self wrong. Serving others is so empowering!

    Not to mention the best part: this frees up SO much more passion. To me, that’s feeling engaged in my work is worth an infinite amount of money!

    Loved the episode, Marie!

  126. Rose

    this is a really good point and great perspective shift to make! I will be posting this on my wall at home. I don’t tweet yet…lol.

  127. You know Marie, I forgot all about this, I use to sell subscriptions to the opera,and when I really wanted to sell and get big sells and many subscriptions sells, that was how I got my my sells, by listening to what people were saying and asking them questions ,and helping the solve their problems, that a lot of times we talk for long periods on one subject that had maybe nothing to do with Opera.
    But I sell jewelry, and I suppose I could do the same to get people to buy jewelry from me.

  128. samira

    Hi Marie!

    Another insightful episode! The one biggest insight I am taking away is “ask”. Communicating with people and specially really listening to them. I love this, “after listening take a pause and then ask, “Is there more?””

    Let them open up to you and become totally comfortable talking to you about their concerns. This is huge!

  129. Marie, I followed your interesting video thoughts last night before bed. As I was about to delete the video from my emails this morning your title suddenly hit me, I wonder if I’ve been doing that?? I believe the knowledge I want to communicate can be a great help for families who are not “on-track” to achieve their future financial well-being; so much so that I’m sure I need to review all my material from the perspective of the pain my audience is feeling ‘today’ about their ‘future’. Quite frankly, I know what they feel ‘today’ is far more compelling to them than what they feel about their distant ‘future’, which is the result that my content is seeking to insure for them. Thank you for that insight that gave me.
    Jim Vickers

  130. Eve Coomber

    Great if you’re wanting to sell knowledge. What if you want to sell your artwork, or children’s stories, for instance?

    • Hey Eve, have you tried the Writer’s Market book for publishers? There’s one they do for children’s writing as well. Good luck with your writing! (and art!)

  131. Got to get a customer first!!

  132. Always inspiring! Thank you Marie big hugs XO

  133. Trina Rowell

    Important reminders and a good mind switch that’s needed to listen to others more:) Thank you~

  134. Hey Marie,

    You video always very interesting and always comes with some significant facts which helps to boost business level. Now-a-days, people are very busy in making innovative strategies to maximize their earning from online and it can be fabulous one to implement in business strategies for better result. Thanks for sharing your worthy tips.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  135. Elena

    This may be my all time favorite tweetable life lesson –

    THANK YOU Marie TVteam!!! I could not agree more.

    Awareness, authenticity, alignment was my personal flavor or reminding myself of your message (before I had your tweetable way of putting it 🙂 )

    Awareness: am I aware of what my client’s needs are, or am I just pushing my ideas/services on them?

    Authenticity: am I showing up as all of who I really am to serve this client and solve their problem? am I serving my highest possible good and therefore giving my all to their needs?

    Alignment: am I doing my soul’s work? would I want to do what I’m about to do today if it were my last day before I die? or am I just making money?

    Thanks again for the tweetable form of my tripple filter 🙂 xo always,

  136. Teresa

    I try to convince moms to breastfeed and approach them focusing on my knowledge on breastfeeding, and I notice how I am not following this way that you suggest. Thank you because now I will do things differently!!

  137. Always love your upbeat inspirational videos! And this one was extremely helpful. After spending years as a volunteer, I always suspected that everyone saw me as just that- the volunteer- hard when you are trying to earn money. Thanks for putting me on the correct path!

  138. Hi Marie,
    As always, absolutely love hearing your ideas! This is something we have been trying to figure out with our business. We don’t exactly solve a problem but we are trying to create more happiness. We sell t-shirts with our dog themed designs which have a positive message, handcrafted nautical style dog leashes made by my husband and he also makes beautiful handcrafted wooden, boat signs that can be used as a leash holder (all our products center around dogs and the coast). Our goal is to create smiles and a nautical, positive vibe for dog lovers but just not exactly sure of how to get across to the customer “a need or problem to be solved”. Any thoughts are appreciated!

  139. lydia Maria

    Even I have heared (I knew) about “focus on that Customer issues”, but just right now I will be able to translate it in something useful. Thank you so much for explaining things so, so useable. Thanks youuuuu!
    By Lydia

  140. Thank you Marie for this video, I really needed it. I’t been a rough week, cloudy and foggy mind. I’ve really been wondering, what if my talents and gifts are not need out there. I know it’s wrong, but it tends to happen when there is no income. B-School has been really helpful and useful and I have learnt a lot.
    I started working to make a change in my life like more than 2 years ago, even before B-School, so there are times when I feel tired and defeated.
    I must admit, I haven’t even started Module 3 this week. How can you stay focused when you are not making a living and you have plenty of bills to pay?
    Lesson to learn and work on: I have to improve the way I let people know about what changes I can make in their lives, either with my services, my therapies or my books.
    Thank you

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      I so hear you, Susannah – I’m sorry to hear you’re having a tough week. I know we all do feel tired and defeated from time to time, so I know you’re absolutely not alone there. ♥

      We’re so glad to hear that this episode was a source of inspiration to you, and I hope that the shifts we shared in this episode help you start getting the word out there even more about your business. This actually complements Module 3 really well, which is all about Communication, so feel free to dive in to that for more great ways to communicate with your customers!

    • Susannah,
      What do you do / problem do you solve / services do you provide?
      It’s hard to make progress, or even think straight, when money isn’t coming in. What can you do to increase the flow of money right now? Can you start talking to your ideal clients and finding out what their biggest problem or frustration is so you know how to position yourself as the solution? I started by reaching out to people in the BSchool community and offering my business coaching services for free (in the Friday thread). I learned so much about my ideal clients and their wants and needs.

      Hope this helps!

  141. paddy faller

    Just love your ideas and way of putting things across – great idea to sell solutions rather than your products or services.

  142. Thanks Marie for one more video full of tips.

  143. Marie,

    Thank you for sharing your insight. As a learning consultant, I have a specific group of individuals that can not see the value in tweaking or revamping current learning events within their organization. If they can’t see the ROI (return on investment), they struggle to make the connection. My take home is to sharpen my listening skills during the “Ask” step. Often I don’t pause and ask if there’s more. I love solving problems. I am hopeful making these adjustments to my consultation style will allow me to better partner with my current clients and with potential ones.

    At your service,


    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Right on, Katherine! There are some valuable insights to be gained in the “ask” step. 🙂

  144. I’ve been reading the book “Outliers: The Story of Success” and it has made me realize that something as simple as that seemingly minor perspective shift (thinking of how to solve the client’s problem instead of getting them to pay for your skill) can produce unimaginably huge results down the line.

    Great insight.

  145. Hi Marie!
    I agree with your tips and it makes sense. Answering the questions that my potential clients might have about their health is a good way to get them interested. I am an Ayurveda consultant and therapist (therapies are body massages) and also a Yoga teacher.
    What I find difficult is to draw a line and only invest on people that would really end up paying for my knowledge and expertise.
    Holistic health requires work from the part of the person that wants to get better or optimise their health, but most people think they will be able to pop a pill and be cured.
    I always explain about this on my consultations and to people that enquire, but I don’t know if it is because Ayurveda is not overly well known or what, but people understand and want a nice relaxing massage, which will give them a temporary fix (and where I am doing most of the work), but don’t want to have a consultation where they will learn how to address the cause and not the symptoms of their discomfort (it doesn’t need to be an illness).
    It frustrates me greatly.
    The catch 22 is that unless I do a consultation, I don’t know what will be the best course of action/therapy, so I end up giving a consultation for free, undervaluing my knowledge…
    It’s sad, and I can’t sustain this model for long.
    All help will be appreciated.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s a tough one, Geny! I bet Marie would have some really great insights on this, so if you’ll write to us at infoATmarieforleoDOTcom we’ll be happy to help you submit this question for consideration for a future Q&A Tuesday!

  146. Thanks Marie Forleo ?? How can we apply this concept to music? How do I sell my music and make people coming to my shows? With music you don’t really solve problems or give knowledge away like other industries…

    • Taly….
      Music can solve all kinds of problems!!

      When I need energy, I listen to music to pick me up.
      When I need to change my mood, I listen to upbeat music!
      When I need to relax, I listen to calming music.
      When I need to focus on my work, I listen to classical music.
      When I want a romantic atmosphere, I put on music that makes me feel romantic.

      Music creates a state change… an attitude adjustment…and makes for a better world. Hope this gets you thinking!! 🙂

      • Thank you Barbara!:-)
        You know, you’re so into it that you don’t really realize it….

        Thanks again 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Good question, Taly! I second what Barbara shared, and there’s a really great discussion about how these concepts apply to art in an earlier comment thread. If you scroll back toward the beginning of the comments and look for Luisa’s comment and all the replies, I think you’ll really benefit from the wisdom shared there. Multiple people weighed in and they all have a great perspective. 🙂

      • Thank you Mandy ?
        I’ll check it out!

  147. Marwa

    Yes , I have been there. I will follow both steps. ASK THEN align.

  148. ha ha… I love you Marie!
    Great episode!

  149. Love this episode! Just struggling with this issue at the moment!
    I work in nutrition so working with people to solve their problems for health is waaaay better than trying to tell them how knowledgable I am. I just need to align this more with my reach within my blog posts and Facebook. Thanks Marie and Team for your wealth of information <3

  150. Russell

    It was really hard to sell myself in my last year. Without any support from big company’s brand reputation, I’m just like nakedly swimming in the sea. People can only trust me by my own words, and it’s really really tough in the beginning. However, I’ve gained several things as the solution: Confidence and Solution. Speak with confidence, then try to know ppl’s questions first. Your solution will work only if it can hit the pain points. Otherwise, whatever I said, I had, I proposed, they don’t care.
    Confidence + Solution, I’ll keep moving with them in my life!!

  151. Thanks Marie for once again adding value to my life and business. Loved how you taught this key principle to business success (Problem–>Solution) in a simple way. Including examples ( ask questions–> What problems are you facing with your budget right now?…Problem! Tell them how sustainability will save them money…Solution!). Your examples solved the my questions before I asked! Brilliant!!! THANK YOU 🙂

  152. Hi, Marie! I’m Elisa from Argentina. Thanks for your advice, I love watching your episodes!
    Let me tell you I’m a translator and editor, I’ve been working a lot lately, so much that I find it hard to get organized and be more productive. I end up exhausted every day, which I hate because I love my profession. I’ll really appreciate your suggestions!
    God bless you!

  153. Background setup is cool, your voice is appealing and all what you’re saying means a lot. I really appreciate it.

  154. Great episode today. Thinking of how I can solve someones problems regarding jewelry that I make has always eluded me. Jewelry is not something necessary it is a splurge for most people. I have been thinking of helping people who have heirloom jewelry that is broken or unwearable in any way that I could redesign it for them. Slow going getting the word out.

    • Hey Marrian,

      I used to make jewellery too but I make crystal jewellery so perhaps you can add some crystals to your jewellery to help people with a specific issue they would like to solve.

      Eg: citrine for wealth, rose quartz for love….

      I wish you well.


  155. Roy Henderson

    Morning Marie
    I would still like to convince Ron Howard to produce and direct my story which is the basis for an epic movie with either Mark Wahlberg or Matt Damon in the lead roll. Leonard DiCaprio would also be a great producer, director and star.

    Anyway besides that, your chat on this subject was great. I am looking to go into a business which this information would greatly assist, but also I am booked into an ISOD course and can see by this method how it would greatly benefit those with a disability.

    Thank you.
    Kind Regards,
    Roy Henderson

  156. Margaret

    This is so apt for me right now Marie – so a big thank you for this! I’m rebranding my business so this couldn’t have come at a better time. Once again – a big thank you 🙂

  157. Great info Marie. Right on the money. When you truly solve a challenge for someone, they are ready to pay you. Many times you don’t even have to ask! They are ready to get their credit card out before you even say anything about moving to the next step.

  158. Penelope

    Hi guys,
    This episode spoke directly to me because I am in the throws of developing a vision for an online coaching course. Since the topic deals with very personal feedback, how do you advice tackling the “ask”? I reached out to people I know but the response has been underwhelming….

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s a really good question, Penelope! If you’ll write to us at infoATmarieforleoDOTcom we’ll be happy to help you submit this for consideration for a future Q&A Tuesday. 🙂

  159. I’m in the process of starting my own social media agency, so watching this video is a blessing. Thank you for the great tips. I took some notes and I’m ready to take action.

  160. Unfortunately it is a very selfish world where the majority are deep on the ‘me, me and me’ attitude.

    I have noticed that it actually takes a long time to develop trust being a solution provider for people because it is almost unnatural today and at first it takes time for the the client to warm up to the idea that someone is there to actually help them with no strings attached or gimmicks.

    Yes, as a business it is the goal to make a profit but not at the cost of crossing moral bounds or personal beliefs and standards.

    One just has to keep plowing the fields and staying the course. If you build it people will come…eventually…

  161. I found a lot of really great points in this video. Pretty much ALL of Marie’s videos, really. But this spoke to me and really hit home. I have been doing makeup in Los Angeles for almost 10 years and just finished directing an inspirational full length documentary about the struggles of becoming a successful makeup artist. It was 4 years in the making! I have been struggling so hard in the area of “selling” because as of now, we do not have the budget for a marketing team or publicist…it’s all been DIY baby! I’ve been in a whirlwind of overwhelm these past 6 months with trying to do as much research, reading, and online webinars about distribution and internet marketing that I feel like my head will pop off at any give moment! (all while I still am a full time working freelance artist, ha! Where’s my wine?!) With that being said, it has been quite daunting trying to sell our products to our demo graphic. This video gave me the perspective that I should really take a step back and reframe our approach to selling, and make it about THEM!

  162. Focus on giving instead of receiving. I like that!
    Thanks for sharing.

  163. Hello Marie, Team Marie and and to all the passionate woamen that follow her. Since two years I`m struggeling with selling my coachings, cause i coud`t decide who i woud like to serve and wich problem of my clients i woud like to help them solving. But after this episode something hit me and changed inside. I do now know that I woud love to serve, high sensitive, spiritually, multipotential souls. There struggeling with self-doubt and less self confidence, thats why they feel stucked in their live. Know I`m asking my self what are there needs or biggesst desire? I woud preciate it, if this awesome community and you coud help me with some ideas 🙂 cause my mind seems on vacation with a one way ticket. Thank for all the love that you put in your work and giving me hope, to keep on going. Lots of Love from Germany and a turkish soul.

  164. Hello Marie, Team Marie and and to all the passionate woamen that follow her. Since two years I`m struggeling with selling my coachings, cause i coud`t decide who i woud like to serve and wich problem of my clients i woud like to help them solving. But after this episode something hit me and changed inside. I do now know that I woud love to serve, high sensitive, spiritually, multipotential souls. There struggeling with self-doubt and less self confidence, thats why they feel stucked in their live. Know I`m asking my self what are there needs or biggesst desire? I woud preciate it, if this awesome community and you coud help me with some ideas ? cause my mind seems on vacation with a one way ticket. Thank for all the love that you put in your work and giving me hope, to keep on going. Lots of Love from Germany and a turkish soul.

  165. Sanyu

    I love this. You can know all the secrets of the universe but each person may need only one or some of that info. Refocusing on what they need to help them with their specific problem is key. Thanks Marie for reconfirming this for me. Now if I can just get my husband to watch this….?

  166. Yep, it shouldn’t be about persuading and convincing – if you are clearly filling a need, they want it! It boils down to the selling process being this:
    40% – Gaining rapport and trust (if they don’t know, like and trust you, they aren’t going to buy from you).
    30% – Identifying the need (if you are trying to sell them a cruise vacation and they hate the water, you are going back to convincing them on something they don’t need or want).
    20% – Product knowledge (be prepared to back up why you are the voice to listen to on your topic. Be literate in your area of expertise, and speak with confidence).
    10% – Gaining commitment (I like to call it that vs. “closing a sale” – if they trust you, feel heard, and have confidence in you being an expert on it, then this is a small step to solidify their commitment to you – by paying).

    And of course, the best form of selling comes through serving. If you can switch the semantics and in your mind, view “selling” as truly “serving” people something you believe will help them, it becomes much easier to turn your passion into profit.

    Thanks for yet another awesome video (and, by the way, the outtakes are fabulous)!

  167. Sandy Cortez

    and yes starts w the ASK.:)
    thank you for all the great insights always.


  168. Thanks so much for this! I have been running my compamu for the past 7 years providing music workshops in care homes. I now want to train care staff to use music in between our sessions and really embed music into their care provision. I feel I know their problems, and as a PhD student in this field I feel knowledgeable about my subject. However, this video has taught me I shouldn’t assume, I should actually ask care staff to tell me their problems and to use my knowledge to find solutions. They probably don’t care about my research, they just want to know I can solve their problems! Thanks again x

  169. Thanks Marie for reminding me that I should focus on my audience. I’ve been learning to do this but I have realized it is extremely important and must not be taken lightly. I sent a survey to my readers and I got a lot of feedback. After listening to your video, I realized I’m not exactly aligning their responses to my content. I need to do that immediately.
    Thanks again. Keep being you!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      You rock, Ifeanyi! We’re so glad this episode was helpful for you and has inspired you to try out a different approach to your content. We hope you have a blast implementing these tips and techniques and are able to connect with your audience in a deeper way. Thanks for tuning in!

  170. Mark Halbert

    Makes total sense to me, tell people what your business can do for them, what are the benefits of someone coming to see you… Bless you Marie, I have just readjusted the wording on my website and brochures in line with this advice…

  171. Kathy

    Very grateful for this today. I realize that (lately) I do tend to focus more on what I bring to the table when in a networking situation or in general, as I’m trying to build my client base and frankly need the income. I definitely do ask questions but I’ve drifted to more of the ‘here’s what I do (hire me hire me!?)’.
    Also even more of a wake up is… calling on people I know who run companies, need Coaching, etc and just be in service. Ask about challenges etc like you said, THEN align myself, instead of maybe calling to tell them what programs I’m running.
    Thank you!!! Nice reset?

  172. Yvette

    Hi Marie,
    Thanks for the great video! This is my first one of your videos that I have watched, so far, and I love it! I like how both of the steps can be used in most areas; however, I am wondering how step 1 can be used when trying to start a therapy business. I am a marriage and family theapy with a play therapy specialization graduate student and will graduate December 2019. I am looking to open up my own therapy business a couple of years or so after I graduate. I can see how demonstrating what I can do can work; however, what about asking what others need or want. I do this when doing job interviews but I am unsure as to how this would be done when I am trying to prepare to open my own therapy business. Any good ideas for me? I am trying to prepare the best I can in advance so I will be prepared when it comes time to actually open a business.

    • Jillian - Team Forleo

      Yvette, we’re so glad you’re joining us over here! It sounds like you’re asking the right questions to prepare yourself for opening your own therapy business, and we’re so excited for you.

      For Step 1, you might want to reach out to potential clients of yours and ask them what they’d like to see in a therapist-patient relationship. Maybe you know some people who have stopped seeing or changed their therapist recently; ask them what they didn’t like about those interactions. Think about who your ideal customer/client would be, and seek answers from those people out in the world. That’ll help you position your work so you’re helping them solve the exact issues or pain points they’re experiencing.

      We’re wishing you all the best as you gear up!

  173. Beverly

    The video really helped gained an insight as how to allow others to understand my passion as a Life Coach. A takeaway for me would be to open the floor by asking what issues would they like to see discussed. Then, create a livestream answering those questions. Another option I see that can help would be to host a livestream and answer/address topic questions on the spot. Do you think it would be a good idea to offer free coaching sessions afterwards?

    • Jillian - Team Forleo

      This is such a great take-away Beverly! We are big proponents of offering valuable free content as a gateway for your followers to eventually become paid customers. It sounds like you have a beautiful plan in place, and not only will you likely see a boost in your business from this experience, you’ll also gain valuable insight from trying something new. We’re cheering you on!

  174. Awesome advice! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad this was helpful for you, Mike! Thanks for tuning in.

  175. This video was very telling for me as a new business owner because I am trying a new approach to attract my customers. Instead of selling my service, I am offering some of my time to chit chat over tea and really get to know the person who sought me out. Nothing brings people together like a lovely cup of tea or a good cup of coffee.

    First off, I am definitely a Holistic Entrepreneur. You basically described me in a nutshell. I am a SAHM and I design and alter special occasion dresses from home. BUT… because I chose to be a mom first and build a career while I raise my kids, this put me at a disadvantage in the portfolio department as I do not have a lot of custom gowns to show for. Despite all my seamstress skills and design talent, if I don’t have pictures of past work to show for, my clients simply won’t trust me. So I decided to change my approach; instead of trying to convince my clients that I am worthy of their business, I invite them for a cup of tea and a candide conversation between two individuals with a common interest: Creating the perfect dress. I establish a foundation of trust by listening to their vision and understanding their needs. It’s still a work in progress (especially when the price topic comes up) but I am getting more and more clients telling me that they love my kindness approach as opposed to a sales pitch and for me right now that enough. (Luckily I have a steady clientele in the alterations department.)

    I’ll tell you my dirty little secret… I want to change the wedding dress industry… by killing it with kindness. I think that this wonderfully anticipated time in a girls life is being overshadowed by an emotionless, environmentally unfriendly fashion market. All I see are stressed brides, cheap fabric and quick sales on commissions. And in this world today, I think we all need to be a little kinder to each other and our environment. So hopefully this kind approach will work in more ways then one.


  176. Francis

    I think you have to be smart how you ask these questions and it should lead you to your answers as their problems. Listen out to the key points what they are dishing. I sometimes don’t know how to piece my knowledge together to help their solution. That’s for me to practice.

  177. Monica Adams

    I love what you said on what to do to get your knowledge heard. It gave me a better understanding of what I need to do. Thank you

    • Jillian - Team Forleo

      Fantastic Monica! We’re wishing you all the best as you put some of these tips into practice. Go get your voice out there!

  178. As a ‘head busting with ideas’ creative person, I often used to jump in way too early with my creative solutions, sometimes before even securing the work. It left me feeling pretty low. However, with some training and life experience, I’ve learnt that when you not only ask more questions but better quality ones, it can really help to qualify your prospects ( ie: weed out the ones with zero budget!! ) and also improve the creative process. I’ve even found when I’m out networking – that asking questions can be so much more powerful than trying to sell/talk about your own business. People tend to remember more because you showed a genuine interest in THEM.

  179. OK this Marie TV episode has to be one of the most useful videos for me right now. Its funny because I feel like I didnt learn anything that I didn’t already know, but maybe Marie just said it differently this time and now the information seems tangible. Idk. I took so many notes. Thank you thank you!

    Also, Marie, that dress is 100% your color. You look amazing.

  180. The phrase “problem – solution” is an eye opener! Thank you!

  181. I fully understand your strategy, but if I make leather jewelry and want to sell my handmade jewelry, how do I proceed? How can I show people that I have a solution to their problem?
    I could say that I make unique pieces (what is true) but you don’t NEED a leather bracelet.
    Thanks in advance to show me which shift and action I could take.

  182. Shannon

    I took your quiz “What’s Your Entrepreneurial Gift?” and I got “Holistic Entrepreneur”.
    It was spot on! As a doula I feel I do have all of the gifts mentioned but I also have the weaknesses listed and I am struggling to find clients. I really appreciate this video because it made me think about how I can engage with my target market and potential clients.

  183. The bandwidth with the company also decides the amount of page
    views that one can be allowed to have in substitution for the price.

    Once you choose and click on the purchase link, you’re directed via an account creation process.
    Your website is as being a store in the mall and must look and operate
    with a impressive level.

  184. Elissa

    I love this! Thank you Marie! As a Holistic Entrepreneur, I’m starting a business for those searching for a heart at peace. As a former Wilderness Therapy Guide, I’m taking my knowledge from the field to the hearts of those online. As a first step, I like to ask those of you here how you feel towards yourself, the people around you, and the world at large? What is aching inside you that’s preventing you from a life of peace and abundance? I hope to hear from you guys! This is my first time asking people online how they feel deep in their hearts. Is your heart at peace or at war? Warm Wishes! Yours Truly, Elissa

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Yas! These are excellent and thought provoking questions, Elissa. I encourage you to share them on social media (if you’re on there) or in forums where your “ideal” follower or future customer hangs out so you can get a wide variety of responses. We’re cheering you on!!

  185. Osime Abraham

    Good day
    I’m m Abraham, I’ve twelve years experience in hospitality business. I’ve acquired so much experience to the extent i help others to open and set up their business and also trained their staff, but they dont pay me for my knowledge, rather they cheated me and they only used me. I have plans to set up my own, but my financial status is making things difficult for me.
    Please i need more advice on how to fulfill my dream because am good at what i know.
    Thank you.

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