The Real Reason Your Marketing Isn’t Working (and how you can fix it fast)

A few years back, I was at a three-day business event put on by a sales guru, when something curious happened.

The audience was 500 purpose-driven entrepreneurs — coaches, thought leaders and the like — who were eager to learn her system to create 6-figure income from the stage.

Each day, a different guest speaker shared their knowledge with us. At the end of their talk, they would use the guru’s signature method for making an offer from the stage for a program or info product. The guru’s goal was to connect us with resources we needed, make a big commission, and for the speakers who she had trained in her method to each walk away with a boatload of sales.

The first day, a man got up to speak who was positively brilliant. A published author, he was a true thought leader and we were totally enamored with his content. I knew that he was really reaching his ideal audience because some of the people began having emotional responses to what he was sharing. Yep, they started crying.

The whole time he was speaking I kept thinking, “Man, what I wouldn’t do to talk with you for just a few minutes. I’ll bet you could change my life.”

At the end of his talk, he went to make his offer. And what happened next was so freaking weird. Virtually no one — and I mean no one — got up to buy his programs. The room fell into an awkward silence. He looked like having his fingernails ripped out would be preferable to what he was going through. And the worst part? We felt pity for him.

The next day, another man got up to speak. He was also a published author and had super compelling content. At the end of his talk, he made an offer for a similarly-priced program using the exact same sales method, and guess what happened?

He made $110,000 in ten minutes.

Watching these two brilliant people create such polarity in their results fascinated me …

… and confused me.

A few months later, I was the speaker at an event, and I used that same method taught by the guru. It was for an audience of 50 people, and guess what happened? I walked away with $1,400 in sales.

Now, I’m not complaining. That might be a lot of money to you, but it fell far short of the promise this method had offered. Given the size of the audience and the fact that they were within the “ideal customer” range in terms of demographics, I would have expected to sell at least $10,000.

Again, I was confused. I’d done everything the guru had told me, to the letter. I’d structured my talk the right way, I’d said the right words, I’d priced my offer correctly; so why wouldn’t people buy from me?

After the event, I went through the postcards I’d had people fill out and turn in. I’d asked for feedback, and to let me know whether they wanted to be added to my email list. As I read through the stack, I came across a postcard where someone had written:

THANK YOU! I felt like you were speaking directly to me. I love everything you shared today and want to apply it in my life!

I sat there for a moment, gratified that I’d made a difference, but perplexed, too. “Well, why didn’t you buy my program then?” I thought, frustrated, yet intrigued.

I was curious, so I sent her an email inviting her to talk on the phone. She jumped at the chance. Three minutes into our conversation, she interrupted me, “I want to buy that program you talked about. Do you take Visa?”

“Wow, that was easy,” I thought. I hadn’t even mentioned the program to her yet.

After I finished enrolling her, I went back through the stack of postcards, and I reached out to everyone who indicated they wanted to be on my email list, and I offered them a conversation, too.

About half of them responded, “Yes! I was dying to talk to you!”

You can probably guess what happened next. They all wanted to buy from me. So, my $1,600 quickly grew to about $5,000.

I was happier … but still confused.

A couple of days later while sitting watching TV, I had an epiphany about why some people generate six figures in ten minutes, and others end up like that poor guy on the stage who everyone felt sorry for.

Here’s what I realized that night. We all have a Natural Style, and a Personal Persuasion Power. And when those two things are aligned, people are clamoring to purchase your solution. But when those two things are misaligned, people will refuse to buy from you, even when they really love your product, program or idea and need what you have.

This alignment (or misalignment) seems to be something they can sense on a non-conscious level.

I stayed up all night writing out what I discovered, and put them on a Grid, like this:

You can discover your archetype by downloading a free kit at

The columns on the Grid are the Natural Styles of providing solutions. There are four of them:

  1. Guru-Star
  2. Truth Guide
  3. Connector
  4. Supporter

A Guru Star has an “I know best” approach to offering solutions. It’s kind of like this: “Buyer, you have a problem, or desire for something better, and I know how you can solve it. Just do what I tell you to do, and you can have what you want.”

A Truth Guide has a “you know best” approach to offering solutions, meaning, It’s like this: “Buyer, you have a need or desire for something. I’m going to use my expertise to empower you in finding the solution or discovery you long for.”

A Connector has a “they know best” approach. Instead of acting as the expert, they get their joy from connecting people with someone else’s solution or product. So it’s like this: “Buyer, you have a need or desire for something. I’m going to connect you with the person or solution that is right for you.” A Connector, first and foremost, is a center of influence.

A Supporter is someone who gets their joy from serving others, or whose business is a pillar in someone else’s business. Examples of Supporters are entrepreneurs who are writers, publicists, event planners or accountants.

Those are the four Natural Styles.

The second part of the alignment is your Personal Persuasion Power (let’s call it PPP for short). Your PPP is your natural influence and it’s what drives the marketing process. It is the thing that compels people to take the step of buying from you. On the Grid, the PPP is shown on the rows.

There are three Personal Persuasion Powers:

  1. Charismatic
  2. Conversational
  3. Compelling Creative

A Charismatic person has a charm, confidence or energy that attracts people and keeps them engaged. We all know charismatic people, as they tend to be out front and in the spotlight.

With Conversational people, their essence comes through in their voice. Or, there is something that happens through the act of talking with them that puts people at ease and causes them to want to take the next step.

Compelling Creative is a talent, skill or idea that is so incredible, it causes the person to buy. The deciding factor here is whether the talent, skill or idea can stand on its own. So, even if you stink to high heaven or your voice is like nails on a chalkboard or you have the charisma of a houseplant, people would still want to buy from you because your talent, skill or idea compels them to.

Where your Natural Style and Personal Persuasion Power align is the point of ease and flow with your marketing. It’s why that woman interrupted me and said, “Can I still get in your program?”, and it’s why people were tripping over each other to buy that second man’s solution at that event I went to.

Here is that Grid again so you don’t have to scroll up:

Here’s the kicker: Almost all the marketing solutions and sale methods out there are created by and taught by people in the upper left box: Charismatic Guru Stars. And if you’re among the tiny percent of purpose-driven entrepreneurs who fall into that archetype, those solutions are going to work really well for you.

But if you’re among the over 90 percent of the rest of us, when you try to implement these methods, your buyer is going to do one of two things:

A) Sit there

B) Run away from you as fast as they can

They might even get angry with you. Why?

Because they will not receive this misaligned marketing stuff from you. They will readily buy from someone else who uses those methods, but not from you.

So why did the one speaker make $100,000 in ten minutes, and the other guy made nothing?

Because the sell-from-the-stage method they were using was built for Charismatic Guru-Stars (by a Charismatic Guru-Star), and the man who made all that money that day was operating in perfect alignment with his archetype.

The other man was a Conversation Truth Guide, and that’s why the whole time I was hearing him speak, I kept feeling inside, “Wow, I really wish I could talk to you.”

With my own event, I was able to inadvertently operate from my archetype after the fact, and I saw how readily people bought from me. Why? Because I was marketing to them in the way they wanted to receive it from me.

Does this mean the first man can only sell through Conversation? Absolutely not. But his offers, and especially the way he priced and made his offers, were completely out of alignment with his archetype.

When you offer a really good solution and you’ve found your ideal audience/buyer, and they just won’t buy from you, it’s probably because you are using marketing methods that aren’t aligned with your archetype.

When you understand the right way to market — where you get to be yourself completely — you’ll have people lined up in droves.

Beth Grant is a writer, speaker and thought leader who helps you be yourself in business, in love, in life. She blogs at

(If you want to discover your archetype, I’m happy to send you my Archetype Alignment Kit free. Just request yours at

{Like this stuff? I’d really appreciate it if you’d share it or recommend it. Thanks.}

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