If you take the time to educate your prospects ahead of time, once they become an actual client, they’ll be your BEST clients.
You may be in a profession that you think people will recognize clearly what you are offering just by simply rattling off your job title. Lawyers, Chiropractors, Coaches, and Accountants come to mind.
But if you are a lawyer, a chiropractor, a coach, or an accountant, or whatever you are, do your prospects REALLY know what it is that you do, the problems you solve, and the benefits you offer to those that work with you?
There are as many different kinds of lawyers as there are stars in the sky. A real estate lawyer can help protect you when you?re buying a house or a commercial property, and a criminal lawyer can help get you out of jail when you are innocent. A family lawyer can help you plan your estate and write a will. Same goes for accountants, massage therapists, coaches, doctors and chiropractors.
So if someone asks you what you do, and you respond only by telling them what your job title is, you’ve done yourself a huge disservice because the word lawyer, accountant, coach or chiropractor, or whatever you are, can have different meanings for different people.
I learned early on that some people are afraid to go to a chiropractor even if they are already convinced that they really should go see one. That fear — which is really just a lack of understanding — can often be dissuaded because the chiropractor takes the time to educate his patient on what to expect.
You can do that too, and you should be doing that on a regular basis. That’s why we publish ezines, write articles, publish books, and create all manner of marketing materials that are designed to gently persuade through education.
Because we are “in the business”, we often take for granted that everyone else out there that we are trying to attract understands our business as well as we do, but they don’t, of course.
Therefore, the more prospects know about your business through your educational marketing materials whether that’s a brochure, an ezine, a newsletter, a blog or a website, the easier it will become for them to sell themselves on working with you.
These days, a blog is an excellent way to educate your prospects. And don’t forget your current clients, too. Once they’ve become a client you don’t stop marketing to them. Once they’ve become a client is all the more reason to keep educating and keep reassuring them that they’ve made the right decision in following you, the expert.
Did you know that many of the car advertisements you see on the television are aimed at offering reassurance to recent buyers that they’ve made the right car buying decision? Sure, they want to sell more of those same cars, too, but most car buyers go through a period of “buyer’s remorse” shortly after making that decision. Those ads reassure them that they are smart and that they’ve made the right choice.
The same will be true for you, too. Your continual writing and your educational efforts will reassure your clients that they too have made the right choice in hiring you.
Another big advantage in having educated clients and prospects is so that they can refer you to others who might want and need your services. If they have a clear understanding of what it is you do, the benefits you offer, and that you are the expert in your field, those people are better able to refer the right client to you.
Coming back to the way you respond when someone asks you, “So, what do you do?” how you respond to that question is a way to start educating a prospect right from the start.
The simple formula for responding to that inevitable question is this:
Tell them who it is you help, the problem you help them with, and the benefit that they will receive when they work with you.
A business coach, like me, might respond: “I help empty-nesters discover their passions and start a business from their home which they use to positively change the world.”
You can be more provocative than that, too, in your response. Years ago I worked with an accountant who would respond in this way anytime someone new asked her what she did: “Oh,” she’d say, rather off-handedly, “I help my clients stay out of jail.”
Of course, the response we always want when we tell people what we do is for them to either ask us to tell them more or to ask us, “How you do you do that?” You can imagine that my accountant client almost always got that response from anyone she told that to.
If you’re wondering, she would go on to explain that as a professional account it was her job to make sure that tax forms and payments were filed on time for her clients so they never had to worry about the tax folks showing up at their door with their hand out or to haul them off to jail.
It was clever, and it got people’s attention, and it allowed her to explain in further detail what services she could offer as an accountant. Like all professions, every accountant offers something a little different to their clients and she found a way to capture attention for her unique business.
And a great byproduct of educating your clients is that when they are smart about what you are offering and can clearly see the value of it, they are more apt themselves to spend more money with you. It is an old marketing maxim that it is much easier to sell to an existing client than to a new one.
So keep educating ALL of them — clients and prospects alike.
So tell me, how are you educating your clients and prospects?
© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh