There is one wall that hits harder than any other to run into as a business owner, and that’s the frustration of selling in a way that makes total sense to the person (you) selling it, but is registering hot air for the ideal buyer (them) receiving the message.

Every business owner that’s been around long enough knows the feeling – explaining how and why a particular solution is perfect for their current problem, but the sense that none of it is ‘landing’ becomes more and more obvious with each sentence that is forced out.

Sales conversation after sales conversation and all that’s left to do is watch as another ideal buyer walks out the door – all the while knowing fully well that they were fit to buy today.

Why does this happen? How can one business owner allow their words to land so perfectly with their ideal buyer, whilst another can say almost the exact same thing and do nothing but confuse their market?

The answer is in a little term called ‘Context Creation’.

In the modern sales landscape, context is KING! If there is one single ability that all incredibly powerful sales professionals and business owners possess it is the ability to create context.

And not just context for the sake of context, but context that is deliberately created to support and harness the buyer’s decision towards an imminent “YES”.

Understand how to create context and you hold the key to understanding how every single sale is made on this earth.

Context is essentially the container in which all of your content is placed to sit.

In ice-cream terms, the context is the plastic tub and the delicious chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream inside is the content.

Most people would look at the content (the ice-cream) and think that’s the most important part in this whole equation. How could it not be? It looks good, it tastes good, and it’s one of the most comforting foods to eat that we’ve ever discovered.

Who cares about the tub (the context) right? It doesn’t add anything to the flavour or the experience, surely? 

Well one may be correct about the specific flavour side of the equation, but without the tub (context) for the ice-cream (content) to sit, there would be no ice-cream to exist in the first place.

Without the tub (the context) the ice-cream (content) has nowhere to be, nothing to cling onto, no environment in which to fit.

In fact, the tub is responsible for so many qualities of the ice-cream that one can sense, but not necessarily reach out and touch or see yet – and as far as the successful creation of an overall experience goes, these are the most important qualities. 

It is through this understanding we learn that the presentation factors that make the ice-cream so environmentally appealing are all due to context, not content. The tub is responsible for the perfect square edges that exist before we dig the spoon in. The tub is responsible for keeping the ice-cream frozen, just the way we need it. The tub is responsible for holding the ice-cream together, without which it would be spilled all over the freezer at the supermarket well before purchase.

The tub itself is the creator of the experience, and the ice-cream is the experience itself.

Without the creator, the experience cannot come to fruition – and so it is with the creation of context in sales.

So many business owners are aiming to sell the ice-cream without placing it in the tub, and wondering why the experience they are having with their ideal buyers is so below average.

It’s not necessarily because their offer is below-par, or because they can’t ‘create rapport’ or make them laugh, it’s because they haven’t created enough context in which to have the conversation yet.

And in sales terms, one of the fastest and most effective ways to create context, is to enlarge or expand the current problem the ideal buyer is experiencing.

Want more context in your conversations? Then dig deeper on the problem that your business solves for your ideal buyer.

The bigger the problem (their pain points, their consequences of inaction, their obstacles), the larger the context in which to place your content (your sales pitch, your offering, your service).

Ask more questions instead of ‘telling’ too early. Explore their world and listen carefully to what they have to say, and if they want to keep talking then let them keep talking! With every word your ideal buyer says, the context of their problem grows.

Or in other words, the more you help your ideal buyer understand the problem, the greater the opportunity you give yourself to place your sales offer right in the middle of their world as the solution.

The tub has been created, its perfectly square and its going to keep the ice-cream colder than ever, all it needs now is your ice-cream to sit in there and fill the void.

Want a fitting example of how this is done? Go back to the top of this article and read the first three paragraphs – you will notice they all start by defining, exploring and expanding upon a problem.

Once this had been completed, the context was then big enough to go ahead and deliver the solution! But if this article simply went ahead and spoke about ice-cream from the start, your brain would have had no reason to keep reading – it would have had no container in which to place its meaning, and you would never have read right to the end, like you just have now.

Implement this immediately and say goodbye to that look of confusion on your buyer’s face forever. Darcy J Smyth is the lead trainer of the Tonal Persuasion Method for Sales – a methodology designed to ensure you are creating powerful context with your buyers in a way that has them justifying to YOU why it is they need your service. Download your Tonal Persuasion Method Beginner’s Guide below:

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