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Who Can I Sell This To?

By James Yuille

Now that we’ve identified that you shouldn’t pitch to anyone and everyone (see: Consulting Sales a Numbers Game?), we need to address who we should be presenting to.

I ask this question of my clients and I recommend you ask it of yourself. “What problem do you solve and who has both the problem and the willingness and capacity to pay you to solve it?”

When you apply this simple formula, it makes it much easier to identify who to talk to about what you do. At a business networking meeting for example, you might not find your prospect but you’re likely to find people who know her. When asked what you do, simply respond with a few words that identify the problem you solve and who you solve it for.

Let’s look at some examples…

  • A business coach solves the problem of too many hours for not enough return.
  • An exit strategist solves the problem of how to prepare your business for sale and to get the best possible price.
  • A cosmetic dentist solves the problem of crooked and unattractive teeth. Because the process is expensive, it’s only those who can afford it will buy. That’s why you generally find cosmetic dentists in the nicer parts of town.
  • A landscape gardener solves the problem of how to plan and develop an attractive garden.
  • Some plumbers solve the problem of leaking taps and faulty hot water systems. Some manage backflow issues on commercial sites and others specialise in fire sprinkler installation and maintenance. Clearly a prospect for one is not necessarily a prospect for another, yet they are all plumbers.
  • The first plumber would target householders, the second and third would target property developers and facilities managers. Each would use different media, use a different marketing message and their websites would be very different.

In my next article, we’ll look at how to present the message…


James Yuille is a 35 year plus sales and marketing veteran based in Brisbane Australia. He runs Mediaglue, a marketing services company. His book, “Are You Getting Enough?” is available at

3 thoughts on “Who Can I Sell This To?

  1. Alberto Periosca says:

    I am enjoying this series. The examples you provide are helpful.

  2. These situations happen because of the power of economics and logic. As a cosmetic dentist, why would I put up my clinic in the edge of the city where most of my clients will come from city center? The answer is simply because of the power of money.

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