4 Reasons People Don’t Want What You’re Offering

We offer people things everyday. It’s not just about selling, it’s also about inviting people to your church, publishing newsletters, or even spending time with your teenagers. Even before they hear our pitch for why what we’re offering is great, they turned us down. Here are 4 reasons why – and what to do about them. 

1. “You don’t talk to me.”

People are social. The more personal connection you have with them the better.

I missed this for years in offering my coaching training. I relied too heavily on emails, newsletters, websites, and social media to connect with new people. This was a mistake.

Personal connection is much more powerful than printed words.

Registrations trickled in for our events, but things accelerated after I began personally calling each interested person and talking to them about their needs and goals. If there was a fit, I shared about our coaching training. Another thing we did was to start a monthly free one-hour teleclass that people could join to learn about the benefits of coaching in their ministry.

Don’t miss the fact that I didn’t delegate these connection points, I made the calls and one of our lead instructors led the free teleclass. Connect personally with people.

  • How many people a week are you personally connecting with in your audience?
  • How could you add more personal connection?

Also see this post: Stop Hiding Behind the Internet and Connect Personally

2. “You don’t know my problems, needs, and goals.”

People are primarily concerned with their own problems, needs, and goals. Until they hear you acknowledge their issues they will not stop and pay attention.

“What’s in it for me?” is the question constantly in the back of people’s minds. This question must be answered if they are to engage with you.

And you’ve got to be specific. Who are you talking about? You can’t message to everyone at the same time. You must choose. Messaging to everyone feels good, but it’s just white noise to the people around you.

  • Who are you trying to connect with and understand?
  • What are the most pressing problems and needs of these people?
  • What are their most compelling goals?

Hint: If you can’t describe the problems, needs, and goals in detail – go ask them.

3. “You don’t help with my immediate problems, needs, and goals.”

A postcard from a church advertised: “Join our Wednesday night Bible study on the book of Romans beginning next week!” A Bible study might be interesting for Christians, but what relevance does that have to someone faced with marriage problems, raising kids, or no job?

Create solutions to answer your audience’s immediate problems, needs, or goals. Topics like these are needs-based:

  • (Re)Building A Thriving Marriage
  • Finding Your Life’s Purpose
  • Parent’s Guide to Surviving Teenagers
  • Career Reboot Camp

Sure, include relevant teaching from the book of Romans and any other parts of the Bible in the process. Just make sure you are delivering on your promise to help with the problem or goal.

And you don’t have to provide the solution. You could simply convene a group that explores solutions to a common goal. Or you could bring in an expert who has solutions.

  • What practical problems or goals could you address?
  • How could you rework what you are offering to meet the needs of your audience?

4. “You don’t speak my language.”

People filter out a lot of noise in their lives. Everyday we are bombarded by words, advertisements, posts, messages, emails, texts, and promises. To get your message through their filters you must speak their language.

Often what we talk about is our process of helping. In my case, that’s coaching. I talk about listening, asking questions, and helping people discover new things. That’s my language.

The message to your audience must be things they are interested in. And they are interested in solutions to their problems, needs, or goals.

Lysa TerKeurst, a popular speaker and author, shares this formula for speaking your audience’s language:

Action Word + Tension [problem, need, goal] + Resolution

Here are some descriptions that I wrote for our Coaching Mastery Certificate Program:

  • Stop lamenting over the lack of new leaders and empower the ones you have.
  • Reach your ministry goals and develop other people along the way.
  • Overcome the awkwardness of supervising people in different locations.
  • Replace your burden of having all the answers with the freedom of having the right questions.

Notice I did not mention coaching. That was purposeful. I want to speak my audience’s language – the language of their problems, needs, and goals.

To offer someone these things, just start the sentence with “I can help you…” So, for example, “I can help you reach your ministry goals and develop other people along the way.”

Also see: Don’t Sell Coaching, Sell Client Results

Work on these four things and you will see change. You will have people more interested in what you are offering. Or perhaps you’ll change what you’re offering to better suit the problems, needs, and goals of the people you are offering it to.

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    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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    5 thoughts on “4 Reasons People Don’t Want What You’re Offering

    1. Keith,
      Thanks for sharing these things that have helped you.
      I have the opportunity tonight to communicate personally and ask about problems and needs and to offer my help. The post is helping me focus on questions that could help us all be led by God.

    2. Thank you Keith! I have been involved with a wonderful Internet training program and have had to step aside because I didn’t know how to schedule, procrastinated and was afraid of personal connections. You have encouraged me greatly to continue the training. I have a few more tools to use on myself now. I will ‘get over myself’, lol!