2011 was a tough year for many selling a business service. It seems that 2012 will, at best, be more of the same and the businesses that survive and prosper will not only evolve their business model but also evolve their sales and marketing messages.

Sadly many talented people have not made it through 2011. They had business services that could have been very successful but they went broke trying to educate their market

Educating a market can be very frustrating, time consuming, and costly for any size of business. It’s hard work in boom times so why would it be any easier in one of the hardest economic climates for decades?

I was recently challenged by the editor of a business magazine on my golden rule of not educating a market. She pointed to the success of Apple and how successful they have been in educating the market of the need for iPods and iPads. I replied that when businesses have similar resources to Apple then by all means try educating a market. Until then they may want to try a different approach to getting their message across.

By the way, Apple, with all their resources, failed miserably to educate the market that we needed the Newton which could be argued has evolved into the iPad. And although the first version of the iPad sold well, it is the iPad 2 which has really taken off since adding the camera and video…. plus the fortune they have invested in advertising.

If you are selling business services and you want to do it the Apple way then I hope you have very deep pockets.

Here is my advice – stop educating and start selling what your market is buying!!

I wrote an article a while back about how ‘Nice to have’ was no longer an option. The sentiment is even more true today. Getting people’s attention is hard enough. When you get it then please, please, please, don’t waste the opportunity educating them in your service. Instead find out what they are buying and show how your service can help them get what they want. It’s as simple as that!

And you will get people’s attention much easier by focusing your marketing mjessages on what they are looking for. And if you do not know what they are looking for then find out quick!

Best wishes for a very successful and prosperous 2012