Are You Willing to Answer This Question: Do My Prospects Really Want What I Am Selling?


marketing, you can't create desire

In chapter 34 of my new book, 51 Content Marketing HacksI share something that I’ve been powerfully reminded of recently.

It’s probably a rule that as content marketers, marketers, and copywriters we know deep down inside, but we consistently BREAK it anyway. Let me explain.


Without This All Of Your Content Marketing, Products, And Services Are Useless

Chapter 34 of my book is called Without This All Of Your Content Marketing, Products, And Services Are Useless and in that chapter I share this story…

I once heard a story about a young salesman who had given the very best pitch that he had to a prospect, but despite all his effort, the prospect still didn’t make a purchase.

He went back to his office and told his boss that he didn’t get the sale.

Then he said to his boss “I guess it’s true that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

The boss responded quickly with a lesson that the salesman never forgot.

The boss said, “Your job is not to make them drink, your job is to make them thirsty.”

I think that most of us think of sales in this way.

I completely agree with the idea… up to a certain point.

You see, I’ve been thinking about this recently: What is easier to sell? Something that someone already wants? Or something that someone has to be convinced to buy?

I’d prefer to sell something that someone already wants.

Think about that for second.

  • Do you want to spend all your time convincing people that they want what you’re selling?
  • Or would you rather speak to people who ALREADY want what you’re selling?

We all would prefer to speak to people that want what we’re selling, but for some reason what do we spend most of our time doing?

We sit there trying to convince and prove to our prospects that they should want what we’re offering. 

That’s insane. And it’s extremely frustrating.

It was a blog post that I just wrote on called, 4 Ways to Make Your Marketing More Effective, that got me thinking about this again.

In the above article, I quote the marketing legend Eugene Schwartz who said, “This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire—but to channel and direct it.”

Don’t miss that, because it’s so powerful.

You can’t make anyone want something they don’t desire. You can only channel the desires they already have.

That’s all Eugene Schwartz did and his results made millions of dollars for his clients and made him a highly in demand copywriter. 

If you’re having problems with the effectiveness of your work, I guarantee that the root of your problem has something to do with this.


What to Do About This

Look at your current content marketing, marketing, and copy writing and ask yourself these two questions:

1. Am I focusing the majority of my time on people who already want what I am offering or on people I have to convince to want what I am offering?

2. What desires do my prospects already have that I can focus on channeling to my product or service?

At the end of chapter 34, I share this content marketing hack that you should keep in mind.

CONTENT MARKETING HACK #40: If you are trying to build a business, it’s a “fool’s game” to create content for people who can’t purchase from you. All of the content you create must be designed to attract and help a hungry crowd that has money.

After you ask yourself these two questions, you now need to begin to focus on two simple things:

1. The people who already want what you are offering

2. And the desires they already have


P.S. Check out the article I mentioned above to learn more of the powerful things that Eugene Schwartz said about this idea.

P.P.S. If you need more ways to correctly think about your content marketing and more ways to make it more effective, then you should take a look at my book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. It contains 48 examples and 51 hacks that will give you more confidence and results from your content marketing. It now has nine, 5-star reviews – including one from legendary marketing master Al Ries.

P.P.P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you might also like one I did a week ago on called Did William Penn Use the Oldest Known Content Marketing to Establish Pennsylvania?

Photo by DonkeyHotey



Scott Aughtmon
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave.

I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999.

===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.

NEW BOOK: 51 Content Marketing Hacks


Are You Just Creating More Fodder for the Online Content Wasteland?

If you think you can just post average, “me too” content and see results, then you’re fooling yourself.

You can learn some "success clues" that you can use to help your content to stand out. Click here to learn more.

Listen to Segment of CMI’s Podcast I Was Featured On