You’re not selling a CFO.

To illustrate the importance of selling why, as opposed to what you do, let’s take a look at a recent example.

We worked with a Chief Financial Officer who believed he was selling CFO services. However, after conducting research across similar firms, we discovered that his One Target Customer wasn’t looking to buy CFO services.

When this customer has problems in their day-to-day operations, they weren’t connecting the dots in their head to conclude, “I could use a CFO.”


This is what makes headlines like, “We are the Entrepreneur’s CFO” difficult to convert on because it talks about:

  1. What they do instead of why their customer wants to work with them
  2. The company instead of talking about the reader
  3. A very vague target customer of “Entrepreneurs”

Further research found even more difficulty in trying to promote CFO services as one company needed to use their FAQ section to help readers understand what a CFO even was to begin with.


The symptoms of ineffective messaging can be difficult to recognize, but one of the most obvious signs is narratives that can’t answer the question why does this matter? It’s this misalignment in messaging around “why” that keeps CFOs frustrated as they move between marketing companies hoping the next one will be better.

Marketing companies are great at creating marketing plans. But you don’t need a marketing plan yet. It’s not about which channels, yet. We first need to know why the person reading your message, on those channels, is going to say, “I trust this company and should reach out.”

Example: Working with the incredible CFO Simplified

For our client, we changed the conversation.

We wanted to create a new conversation that leaned into Larry’s two big strengths.

  1. Decades of experience in a multitude of industries.
  2. The ability to respond quickly.

The inexperienced leaders they were targeting didn’t know if a CFO or an accountant or a tax person could best help their situation.

But “financial leadership,” that’s something they could understand.

By shifting the focus to financial leadership, CFO Simplified is to better connect with potential customers. They finally get their “why” across.

Communicating why people want your product or service is crucial when it comes to developing the right sales narrative.

When you focus on the “why they want it” instead of “what you offer,” you’ll connect on a deeper level and close more sales. You’ll find yourself in more conversations, with more potential customers who actually want what you sell, and want you to be the one to sell it to them.

Emphasize the benefits of working with you and the very specific pain points you solve to build trust and loyalty – right from the start.

So, CFOs of the world, the next time you’re giving an introduction or writing an email, remember to sell your potential customers on why they should hire you, not just what you do.

People want what you do. But they want to pay for why it matters to them.

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