You finally came up with that completely perfect website that you’re so proud of. But once you launched and opened your doors for business, you quickly realized that folks didn’t seem so interested in your services, after all. What went wrong?
The good news is your business idea and service may be absolutely perfect with potential to thrive in your market. It just takes a new approach to connecting with potential customers to turn your service from “nice-to-have” to “I absolutely must have that NOW and will pay anything to have it.”
Get to know their biggest problems
You worked so hard really listening to your customers and trying to figure out what they want. But as much as they may say they need their homes professionally organized or an event planned, people just aren’t responding to your offer. Maybe their instant messages or texts are a little vague, or they’re just not ready to buy yet. You’re trying to figure out what to do next, but aren’t sure where to start.
Ask prospective or past clients if you can hop on a quick call with them, send out an email survey to your leads, or post a few questions on your Facebook page to find out what’s really going on. But the most important part of the process is to really listen. Sometimes potential customers will give a short answer on what they think they want, but when they describe the issue, it goes much deeper than just, “I don’t have time to organize my home and want someone to do it for me.”
Find out what your clients really need in their lives, and not just what they say they need. Is it an organized home? Or is it the ability to live stress-free and get more time back in their lives by having an efficiently organized home that ultimately saves them money? Do your clients really need a 50th anniversary dinner planned? Or do they need an event planner to take the overwhelm out of taking over everything from their guest list to vendor coordination so they can focus on family and friends coming into town? At the end of the day, an in-demand service is about fixing a big problem with a big pain point with a solution people are eager to buy.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Your nice-to-have, evergreen service offering may have a fantastic premise and sparkling marketing copy, but lacks any sense of urgency.
Clients who need bookkeeping services may just wait until tax season rolls around or put it off until next month and then the next. Meanwhile, all those prospective customers who swore they wanted meal prep services may just be fantasizing about it while grocery shopping and put it on their “someday” list.
But, here’s the hard truth. Without a viable sense of urgency, some clients will just never buy what you’re offering.
The good news is that you can create a sense of urgency, even if there isn’t one.
Look over the notes you took when polling your customers on what they truly need and want and let it shape your urgent offer. Next, send out an email or post on your Facebook page about a special early bird discount to a service you’re offering, let people know you only take on five clients per quarter before waitlisting the rest, or require them to apply to work with you to see if it’s a good fit. You can also plan urgency around holidays, special events like Back-To-School, and college prep time. Now is the time to use the same language they used in that email survey response, on the phone call with them, or comment on your Facebook post: “Don’t spend one more weekend feeling overwhelmed by your home and get it in shape in time for (the holidays/end of summer/before a big event). Take advantage of my special early bird pricing and book your organization service,” is just one way to tap into your client’s own sense of urgency.
The more you create the feeling that your time and services are sacred, urgent, and limited, the more people will be prompted to buy (as long as you can also communicate to them why it is they truly need what you’re offering, and deliver on the results they need).
Above all else, remember to put yourself in the mind of a consumer. What do you want from a service? Do you want a talented and visionary business owner? Or someone who simply works hard with you in mind, who solves a huge problem you have, resolves a genuine pain point, delivers amazing results, totally gets you, and gives you a reason to buy? The more you think like a consumer, the more you can cater the sales process to put your business into hyper-drive.
Get Your Foot in the Door
You may have been called a visionary like Arianna Huffington or Steve Jobs, but that doesn’t mean your clients will book your service. Clients may admire you and even envy your skills, but they don’t need your vision, they need results. Start by thinking about how you can first serve your clients’ most pressing needs and build a relationship with them. Send them periodic emails to check-in and see how they’re doing. Ask questions about what they’re struggling with. Ask to meet for a quick coffee to better understand their needs.
Once you’ve established that relationship, you can expand into solutions that they may not have considered previously. That’s the time to give your greater vision more of a shot and offer up your wisdom that's specific to your clients’ needs.
Next, start brainstorming ways that you help your past clients, or the success you found in your day job. Does your branding strategy session lead to major breakthroughs with clients who walk away feeling like their business is a true representation of themselves, leading to a 40% average increase in bookings? Again, focus on the results you deliver.
Does your errand-running business transform your clients’ lives and reduce their stress levels while freeing up 10 hours in their week? That’s a game-changer.
When you outline the results your clients receive— and you’re truly delivering solutions to your clients’ problems— you'll never be lacking for business.
And, best of all, you can charge a premium for the results offered instead of handing over time for money.
Use Your Customers’ Own Words
Your clients are already telling you exactly what they’re looking for in your service if you just take the time to listen. That Boost event feedback, coffee date, email survey, or call with a prospective client puts you right in their mindset. But it’s not always about polling your current customers. Seek out your avatar in Facebook groups or online forums and pay attention to what they’re talking about.
Do they describe the pain of trying to maintain their social media channels for their small business? Do they wish they could get more referrals from their clients, but don’t know how— and feel like they’re leaving money on the table? Are they worried about their kids’ college prep scores and are staying up all night researching solutions and tutors?
Take diligent notes on exactly what the people in your avatar are describing and rework it into a narrative around your product or service:
“Do you find yourself thinking: 'How did I end up with so much stuff?' and knowing that you’d feel a lot better if you took the time to get organized? Is the added stuff adding to your stress, yet still manages to stay at the bottom of your to-do-list?! Think of it as the workout you didn’t know your house needed- with the same health benefits. Your investment in making this happen now will help you sleep better, be more productive, and improve your mood. I’ll help you transform your home from 'ugh' into an 'ahhh' by developing a game plan that will work best for your goals, time, and budget."
But that marketing narrative should also become your product or service. Your entire offering can be about taking the overwhelm out of social media and helping your clients figure out exactly what they should be doing next. When you service your clients in a way that reflects back the exact pain points, worries, and language your avatar uses, the more you will ultimately connect with them on a deeper level—and, most importantly, the more you can ensure you’re actually giving your customer what they need, and providing genuine value.
Once you’ve really honed your marketing message and truly understand what your customers want, it’s time to reflect all of that back on your website’s copy, your product offering, or email marketing messages. The more your clients see themselves in your business and marketing messages, the more likely they are to love and trust that you can help solve their problems.
Get some feedback on your new optimizations
Now that you’ve made some edits to your service, bring it full circle by getting some kind and candid feedback from someone you trust. You can do this on our Facebook group, in an upcoming Boost event, or with a close friend/family member who understands (or better yet is) your target customer.
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