NB: In our last blog we highlighted the 5 most important questions your website copy and marketing content has to answer if you want to attract more clients. Following a number of requests, we’re now going to go into a bit more detail as to why.
Choosing a service provider is a bit like entering the lottery.
There are just so many options.
Pick the right partner and you hit the jackpot. Choose poorly and you might as well have thrown your money away.
Only in the lottery of business, the cost of entry is more than a few pounds. A lot more.
And there’s a fair bit more at stake than the cover price of the ticket. In many cases, jobs, profits and the lifestyles they support are on the line.
Your prospects are only too aware of the implications of their decision. If things don’t work out, they won’t have the luxury of ripping up their ticket and picking a new supplier the following week.
For them there is no lucky dip.
The Burden of Proof
Your prospects need to be convinced.
Whoever they end up choosing has got to feel right at gut level.
Trouble is satisfying their gut isn’t easy. It requires more than a list of interesting features, something unique or a few nice words from your clients.
What they really want is certainty and while there is no such thing as a guarantee they will be looking for the next best thing – proof that you’ve got what it takes to get them where they need to be.
And like a lottery card, they have a number of boxes your sales content much tick to help them feel sure you’re the winning ticket.
5 Tick Boxes
1. Can you do what needs to be done?
You are operating in an environment where your competitors are making the same claims you are.
To stand out from the crowd you’ve got to demonstrate the results you’ve achieved and make them meaningful.
That means going beyond the wishy washy superficiality of proposed benefits and providing metrics that they can measure their own potential success by.
Not only that, but you must also describe the impact those results have had on your client’s businesses.
Say you’re a marketing consultant. While helping your clients get 100,000 Twitter followers looks good on paper, the real result is the positive impact those followers have had on your client’s business.
2. Have you done it before for someone like me?
People like to feel that they’re in good company and they love people like themselves.
It’s why we’re attracted to joining clubs.
While results are certainly important, who you’ve got those results for will help confirm your suitability as a potential partner.
After all the aspirations, objectives and pressures of a CEO of a large corporation are very different from that of a Marketing Director of a mid-tier organisation or the owner of an SME.
The more evidence you have of getting results for people like your prospects, the more certain you prospects will be that you can get results for them. It’s what Caldini calls Social Proof and is one of his six principles of influence.
3. Did they have similar challenges to the ones that I’m facing?
When you’ve got a problem that you can’t solve on your own, who do you go to for help?
Someone you trust?
Someone who’ll offer a sympathetic ear?
Someone who has experienced similar challenges as you and prevailed?
So it is with your prospects. They want to work with someone who understands what they are going through and has the right solution to overcome it. Something tried and tested that can be proven to work
The better you can describe the specific issues that your prospects are facing the more they will trust that you can fix them.
4. Do you understand my business?
Every business has its nuances. Idiosyncrasies that are defined by the industry or market sector that they operate within.
Knowing and understanding how to navigate these characteristics are essential for providing a smooth and efficient journey to your prospects desired result.
Your prospects don’t just want you to be good at what you do, they want specialists in their particular field.
While skills are certainly transferable between sectors, the more experience and knowledge you can demonstrate of their industry, the more comfortable they will be to follow you on the journey.
5. Will I be well looked after?
Whether you work in the background or the foreground, you exert an invisible force that can either upset the balance of your client’s business or help to bring equilibrium.
Unless they’ve paid you to do so and I’m aware that there will be some consultants reading this who are, your prospects are not looking for a supplier that will upset their apple cart.
For your prospects, the journey is just as important as the result. They’ve got enough going on in their business without having to worry about whether they made the right decision.
They want to know that you will come in and do what needs to be done in a way that exerts as little pressure on them and their business as possible.
They want evidence that it will be a smooth and enjoyable journey and will look to the experience of your other clients for proof.
A Simple Yet Effective Box Ticking Tool
There is a sales and marketing tool at your disposal that can tick each and every box outlined above.
With their focus on your client’s experience and the results you’ve delivered, there’s nothing more persuasive than a case study.
In a world of heavy competition and me too features and benefits, they remain some of the most persuasive weapons in your new business arsenal.
By demonstrating your ability to tackle the challenges tormenting your prospects and providing tangible, measurable results that they can measure their own success by, they position you as perfect solution to their problems.
Unfortunately many case studies don’t do the job they were designed for because of some fundamental errors made on the part of the producer.
These mistakes are easy to make and can be just as easily rectified with a few simple tweaks.
The key is to know what they are.
If you’d like to find out, we’ve produced a short guide that highlights each mistake and offers some useful tips on how to eradicate them from your case studies forever.
You can download your free copy here.
Cover image by eflon.