Why People Buy What You’re Selling
(The Illustrated Guide)

You can’t get booked solid until YOU understand why other people would want to buy what you’re selling.

After all, if you don’t get it, then why should your prospective clients?

I’m serious about that — if you can’t succinctly summarize why your services are worth investing in, then you’ve got a WHOLE lot of groundwork to do.

Luckily for you, I’m here to help 😉

I’m going to break down some important business-building concepts for you over the next few days. The illustrations included in these posts are from my newly released, Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED. (If you click on the link be sure to check out all the bonuses that come with the book.) 

PLUS … I aim to do it in as few words as possible. First…


Explanation of target market

Your TARGET MARKET is the group of people that you serve. It’s distinct from your NICHE (although the two are frequently confused).

  • Your niche = WHAT you do (your speciality)

  • Your target market = WHO you do it for

Keep your target market tight. It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond … at least at first … you can eat more minnows that way 😉

Uncover Urgent Needs and Compelling Desires

Then … when you’ve chosen a core group of people you’re going to serve, work out what they need and want.

In Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED, I call these the urgent needs and compelling desires of your target market.

You don’t always have to find an urgent need. If you’re in the hospitality industry, for example, you might find that your clients don’t NEED a hot-air balloon flight across the Arizona desert … but they might have a strong DESIRE to take one.

Determine the Single Biggest Result

When you’ve identified their needs and desires, you’ll be able to offer them a SINGLE BIG RESULT from working with you that ties in with those needs and desires.

We have a tendency to overcomplicate this step, which makes it difficult to communicate what we do effectively.

No matter what services you offer, be sure that you can boil down the result to ONE single thing that your clients get from working with you …

… because we layer on the added benefits as the next step.

Reveal the Deep Rooted Benefits

Specifically, we should be able to identify at least FOUR different types of benefits of working with you and getting your single biggest result.


(When you read the book, you’ll understand why an arrow represents these benefits.)

For example:

My Certified Book Yourself Solid® Coaches work with small business owners (target market) who need more free time, more clients, less stress and more effective marketing strategies (needs and desires).

When you work with a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach, they’ll help you get MORE CLIENTS (single biggest result) which will lead to:

  • more revenue (financial benefit) 
  • less stress (emotional benefit)
  • better sleep (physical benefit) 
  • do your life’s work (spiritual benefit).

In Book Yourself Solid Illustrated there are TONS of worksheets that help you get granular on these for your own business.

If you grab a copy today, you’ll also get my new Book Yourself Solid mobile app for free ($50 value).


Be on the lookout for more lessons just like these. In the meantime, keep thinking big about who you are and what you offer the world.

25 thoughts on “Why People Buy What You’re Selling
(The Illustrated Guide)


Thank you. This is enormously helpful (as your posts typically are).

Vince Fowler

Michael – brilliant piece of shared knowledge…

From one professional business coach to another, I have a lot of respect for you and your work.

PS: when are you going to change your hairy photo at the bottom of this page though 😉

Michael Port

Thank you! Much appreciated.

Yes, that’s the next project. Going through and changing out the hairy photos to the hairless photos. We had a book to launch first though 🙂

Jared Dees

Wow, awesome book launch strategy. This post alone was enough to convince me to get the illustrated version of BYS. I love the original. It had a huge impact on my work as an author/entrepreneur.

Just checked out the PDF worksheets that you offer with a purchase and wow! Well done. Can’t wait to reevaluate what I’ve been doing.

Thanks Michael.

Michael Port

Jared, you made my day. Thanks for the kind words.


This reminds me of being at a live event with you MP. I can hear us saying “Deeeep Roooted Benefits” as we squatted towards the floor. Did you know back in 2008 that those real life illustrative movements would actually manifest themselves into an illustrated version of BYS? (rhetorical of course)

I am very proud of you and happy for what you have accomplished. Congratulations! I look forward to supporting your major success.

Michael Port

Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your support.

Barbara J

Michael – thanks for this excellent and really helpful post! I LOVE the illustrations – so simple and evocative, and they just rocket-fuel the clarity of your work.

Thanks so much!


Michael Port

Oh, that’s wonderful to hear! You should let Jocelyn know how great you think they are: http://www.jocelynwallace.com


Awesome tips. Thank you for sharing. I’m about to organize a workshop and this is going to help me. Thanks


Now I’ve bought the Book three ways. Audio, Paper, and ipad.

Was good to meet you in Sydney at Thought Leaders a few months ago. I didn’t know HOW cool your new project would be.

Michael Port

That is fantastic Steven.

It was great to meet you in Sydney.

I may be back next year in the Spring.

Judith Fine-Sarchielli

I am working with Ana Melikian, my coach and mentor, who is one of Michael’s certified coaches. Michael Port’s BYS System has rocketed my business as a coach for creative entrepreneurs further and faster than I ever imagined.

I am encouraging all my clients to buy Michael’s new illustrated book that makes other marketing plans look like stone age systems.

His free newsletter and blogs are very valuable and fun.

Thanks you Michael for your marketing genius!

Michael Port

Judith you are an inspiration.

And your Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach, Ana Melikian, is outstanding, to say the least.

You’re in great hands, for sure.

Oh, by the way, I LOVE your comment about BYS making “other marketing plans look like stone age systems.” Any chance you would consider writing a review for Book Yourself Solid Illustrated? I’m sure people considering the book would find your experience valuable.

Thanks! And keep up the great work.

– Michael


Always good reinforcement Michael. Illustrations help!

Matt Clooten

Insightful and simplistic, the way I wish all good information was passed on. Thanks again!

Pauline Haynes

Michael, you are always spot on with your gifts and your knowledge. Thank you for generosity. You are appreciated.

Michael Port

Pauline, you are so generous. Thank you for your kind and supportive words.

Faith McKenzie

Excellent Post! You cleared up so many concepts for me.I ordered your book and have recently received it. I am really looking forward to reading it and giving it an awesome review on Amazon.com. Thanks so much for working hard to help visual learners to really soak up this kind of information. I am a visual learner and also a kinesthetic learner. I know the mobile app and worksheets that you so kindly provided with my order will help me in that respect. So glad I found you online about a month ago. I will agree with a comment that I saw on another post about that fact that you may have revolutionized the face and form of business books. You are paving the way. I am sure that there will be many to follow in your footsteps.

Michael Port

Faith, you are awesome. Thank you for your kind words.

Nancy O'Sullivan

Michael, I heard a small snippet of your interview on WGN radio, Chicago, on the way to a job. The words I heard were “Michael, best selling New York Times author,” and “Illustrated,” and then a short discussion on being relevant before I had to meet my client. I found you on the internet, and I can’t wait to Learn, Learn, Learn. I have a small court reporting agency in the south suburbs of Chicago. I just hired my first employee, and I’m a one-woman show. I love being self-employed, love the challenge, but have absolutely no training. I just know my job and enjoy meeting and working with new people. Can’t wait to get your book.


Thank you Michael. I am a recent graduate from iPEC and unless I’ve got it backwards or confused, iPEC teaches that our WHO is are Niche and WHAT we do is our Specialty. Such as:

“I coach men in career transition (niche) to help them increase their income (specialty).”

Granted you are using Target Market and not Specialty. And my comment is not meant as a criticism rather than being new, and starting to looking in the coaching world outside of iPEC, I guess different schools call things by different names.

And this I assume it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, what you call your statement as long as you know WHO server and WHAT you do. Right?

Michael Port

Yes, different schools of thought will use different language to describe their concepts. I always say whatever helps you get booked solid is the right language.


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