By Annette Kahmann, MA, MA
You have great services to offer. You know that they work and how people can benefit from them.
You want to let the world know about what you have to offer and how you can help. But are you
delivering this message in a way that your potential customers can relate to?
Just like a package you send out, the business information you share has both content and a container; both are equally important to ensure that your message is received. For starters, let us focus on the content. To make sure your content is assimilated, consider the following points to reach all of your future clients:
What’s in it for me? Ultimately, this is the underlying question all of your current and potential clients pursue. Regardless of how praiseworthy your products or services may be, your prospective clients won’t bite into them unless they can find personal benefits in them.
What motivates your clients? People are either trying to escape some misery, or chasing an ideal; they want to “run away from” physical or emotional discomfort, or “run towards” something that adds value to their lives. Tailor your message to encompass both. For example, people see a dentist either to avoid pain, or to improve the look and performance of their teeth. A dentist advertising only cosmetic dentistry loses many potential patients.
Emotional or mental, objective or subjective? Objective evidence is based on results verified in experiments or facts such as numbers. Subjective evidence reflects personal experiences. To reach both mental and emotional personality types when considering what your business offers, include both types of evidence. In case of doubt, some extra factual information can tip the scales in favor of your business for the emotional type, and vice versa.
Focus on results, not on the ‘how’. Let’s face it, if you are in pain, you really aren’t interested in how a procedure or medication is going to remove your agony, your only interest is the outcome. Don’t overwhelm potential clients with meaningless details of procedures or specifications, but keep them focused on the benefits.This also keeps them from over analyzing your offer.
Use imagery and analogies that fit your audience. Descriptive images and catchy analogies are often the easiest way to explain your service or product benefits. Have a variety of images and analogies for different persons, based on occupations, interests, personality and motivational types.
What’s your target market? A target market or niche can be determined by your range of experience, your interests and your connections. Obviously, your ideal niche is where all three factors intersect; however, consider any of these factors a good starting point, and don’t limit your clients to these three sections.
Meet your clients where they are. Don’t assume that your clients have the same level of knowledge as you do in your field; don’t treat them as if they should. This can happen especially in the areas of health and self-improvement. Remember that they wouldn’t need you if they already had your insights; make sure you don’t talk down to them. Ask them about their level of prior familiarity instead.
Step into their shoes. Even if you are quite a ways ahead of your prospective clients in terms of knowledge or development, step back in time and slip into their shoes. Make it a habit to focus on your client’s experience, rather than trying to impress your own expectations upon them.
Remember that ultimately every business is a people business, regardless of what you do or sell. All business transactions involve at least one other person, so create a great rapport by delivering your message in a way that your counterpart can relate to, in a courteous and respectful way.