Pull Strategy

Pull Versus Push

One of the top questions that I get from consultants who are freelancing is "Lee, how do I stand out in an over crowded market?" That is truly a fair question and after answering it over and over again, I decided to just put it here on this blog post so that if someone ever asks me this question, I can refer them here. It's a bit long so please browse through it the first time and then come back to read it word by word. Cheers.

There is no short cut. It's knowing exactly what your customers want. If your business solely needs advertising then you're setting yourself up for disaster. The day a competitor comes in to play, or a better product comes around, your business becomes irrelavant.

Nothing hurts a business faster than becoming irrelevant. This is a step by step formula for creating a pull strategy that does 3 things:-

  1. Understands exactly what your market wants.
  2. Creating the value gap
  3. Extracting a fraction of the value created.

If you execute this strategy I'm about to lay here, here are the things you will immediately get rid off.

  1. Chasing after business
  2. Doing outreageous awakward follow ups
  3. Being needy and desperate.

Now before we move forward, there are some key terms that need to be defined to better understand how to execute this strategy effectively.


The way we package our identities, fears,aspirations and desires. It's the way we view ourselves relative to the world. Now we interchange frames based on our environment and typically there are 3 frames.

The Prize frame:- Who is the prize? This is the gap between value and commoditization. The one who has the value is the prize, the other is the commodity. I know it sounds harsh but it's the way our brains work. We seek value and when we identify with value, we inherently identify who is the prize. Everything else becomes a commodity.

The Time frame:- Just as value = prize, the one taking our time also has a higher frame. If someone tells you to meet them at 5.00 pm and they keep you waiting, then they have the higher frame.

The Intrigue frame:- The WOW factor. The lizard brain loves new,shiny,intriguing and who ever can grab our attention through intrigue, gets a higher frame.

The analyst frame:- This is the frame where number crunching and logistics and linear projections make sense. It is the frame where if it doesn't make sense it has no meaning.

The moral frame:- This utilizes Kant's philosophy(I believe) where everything is based on right and wrong. It is the frame that has the highest impact on influence.

Credit:Read Oren Klaff's "Pitch Anything" as a reference.

The Gap

The gap is the difference between where one is and where they would like to be. Every great idea or story or strategy focuses on two fundamental questions.

  1. What does the protagonist(the main character) want?
  2. What's getting in the way? (antagonism)

The gap therefore is the difference between what the main character wants, and what is standing in his or her way. The more you define and understand the gap of your customer,student,client,market,girlfriend,husband…etc the more magnetic you become.

Each and every individual on the planet belies that their problem is very very unique and no one understands them. Even if they can explain it, they don't quite get it on an empathy level. Therefore, the goal of exploring the gap is to make sure that the individual with whom we are interacting with feels…..understood. When they can say "Here is someone who truly deeply get's me…" then you have accomplished the first stage of the pull strategy. Remember the goal of the pull strategy is to completely eliminate the need of the above 3 desparate habits.

Credit: Nicholas Kusmich FB Marketing Mastery Group( You may need his permission to join the group but he is a cool guy)

Step 1 Of The Pull Strategy

Identify your frame. Here are 3 key questions to answer:-

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why should anyone listen to you?
  3. What do you have to offer?

This is what is called market positioning. Remember the 5 frames above? The key purpose of those frames is to "crack" the trance that we are in and get attention in the NOW. A trance is a state of mind frame where we are operating in a semi automatic consciousness. We are mostly doing things from memory or habit. The good thing is that if it's getting the results that we want, then habitualization is great. The challenge is when we have accepted reality and belief that we are incapable of achieving the desired result becuase of habitualization of thought or belief. Then it becomes a framework and the only way to overcome the more powerful frame is to come with a frame that awakens. Some people call it control but I truly despise that word. Control sounds manipulative and no one willingly likes to be controlled. (Sorry Oren) The intention here is to awaken(just like Eckhart Tolle) so that they may chose to pursue the desired execution pathway that will deliver their desired result.

Step 2 Of The Pull Strategy 

Expressing "The Gap" in a way that your clients,customers etc…feel like they are understood.

Step 3 Of The Pull Strategy

This is the most important step of the pull strategy and this is where the ball is dropped. First let's start with what NOT to do. Don't ask "Did you enjoy it?" or "What do you think?" or "If you'd like?" WHY Those are validation questions. You are a superstar. You know your worth. You are not arrogant but you will not waste time with anyone who doesn't identify with your value and your positioning. If you can truly deliver the result, if you honestly identify with their gap then there is no need to resort to "people pleasing" behavior. Infact, the more of a pleaser you try to be the more agitating you come of as. Stay firm, communicate value and be confident, not arrogant. Confident. Difference being one is based off of fear, the other ability. So what do you do then? You make an offer. A soft offer.

What is a soft offer? Imagine your loved one is about to touch a hot piece of coal. You know it's hot becuase 5 minutes ago, you accidentaly touched the exact same hot peice of coal. Now you care a lot for your loved one(I guess there is a reason they are called loved) and you don't want to see them char, scream and shout like you just did. You softly inform them to be careful becuase if you scream, their reaction will put them directly in the way of the coal you are trying to get them to avoid. So you lovingly but sternly inform them to be careful of the coal it is extremely hot.

This is the exact same emotion and affection that you would make to your clients and loved ones.It stems out of love and desire to see them win and get to result becuase deep down you know, they will have a better day.

The 3 characteristics of the offer:-

  1. It is done with their best interest at heart
  2. It will avoid a major catastrophe down the line or awaken them to take action.
  3. It is not loud and obnoxious but rather soft, compelling and stern.

Think of it like your parents giving you the "look" without saying a word. You know exactly what you need to do.

Step 4 Of The Pull Strategy

Give them the reason why NOW is a good time to take you up the offer. The sole reason is to reward fast action takers. Usually through my experience unless there is urgency or scarcity, I rarely almost always want to buy more time. Remember earlier when we defined the gap? One of the most greatest obstacles from the invention of the watch has been time. There is never enough time and by application of Parkinsons rule "Work exapnds to fill the time alloted" and by my understanding of work in this frame is that interruptions or activties (that don't necessarily produce the intended result) increase the more time is available.

The Final Step Of The Pull Strategy 

Reassure them that there is no pressure and that you are available to answer any questions they may have. This is called the "Pull Back" Many a times we want the very best for our prospects and we almost feel like removing our wallets and buying our own services for their benefit. What ends up happening is that we push so much that it becomes repulsive. Remember your prospects despite having rapport with you, trusting that you have their best interests and all are still very so much human. The crocodile brain wants to go back to "the way things were" and at the slightest hint of your aggresiveness( every salesman begs to differ and they prefer to call it caffinated enthusiam) they will walk away cold. Logic superceeds emotion and the little voices saying "what's the rush" kick in. That's the reason why you must implement the pull back reassuarance. For the most part of human behavior,

  1. We chase what we can't have…..
  2. We value what runs away from us….
  3. We value what we pay for….

If you implement the 4 steps, you will attract more prospects and clients than you can ever handle. It takes comprehension. It takes dedication. It takes commitment and it takes compassion.

  1. Comprehension
  2. Communication
  3. Commitment
  4. Compassion

Call it the 4 C Pull strategy.


About The Author

Lee Kariuki

Systems and strategy. I grow businesses by simplifying them. What do your customers want, and what's in their way? Simple right? Reach me at admin@leekariuki.com.