If you walk into a hospital with your arm hanging off, what is the first thing the medical staff will do?
Give you a cup of tea?
Tell you how long they have been practising medicine?
Or how good they are at stitching wounds and applying dressings?
What do you think they would do?
They would fix the arm hanging off, right? And quick...
Why then, do you insist on pushing your priorities and your agenda on your customers?
In the following conversation, substitute "my arm is falling off" for whatever ails YOUR customers. Make it the thing that really keeps them awake at night...
This is a dialogue I see business owners having with their clients a lot...
Customer: "My arm's falling off, can you help?"
Business Owner: "We offer excellent X [insert what you do here]"
Customer: "I don't care, my arm is hanging off here, can you help with this?"
Business Owner: "We have been in business for 20 years and have helped people to put their arms back on many times..."
Customer: "I need help with this NOW!"
Business Owner: "How about subscribing to our newsletter, and we will tell you more stuff about us that you are not interested in by email?"
Customer: "Arrggghh!!! I am going to someone that will ACTUALLY help me fix my arm!" [Customer storms out and goes to one of your competitors]
End of conversation.
Goodbye new business!
We will return to this dialogue later to see how you can use the concept of leading with value to create lasting relationships with your customers.
Of course, this is not an actual conversation. That would be silly ;)
But the harsh reality is businesses are so wrapped up in what they do and how good they are, that they forget the most important piece of the puzzle, the customer.
Without customers, you don't have a business!
We human beings are all the same. We are fundamentally selfish.
I don't mean we aren't warm and fuzzy, empathetic characters... Simply that we are concerned firstly with the things going on in our world. Our thoughts, our desires, our needs.
This is especially so when it comes to making a purchase that isn't life or death.
It is important to recognise as a business owner that you are satisfying a need that your client or customer has with whatever it is you do.
They don't care about how long you have been in business.
They are stood in front of you with their arm hanging off [replace with their critical need related to what you do] and are looking to you for help.
That is all they care about at that moment in time. Nothing else.
I repeat. Nothing else!
So help them!
Make the entire experience about THEM. And not about you.
What is the 'arm falling off' issue for your customers?
By actually helping with this you are demonstrating many things...
- You are showing that you give a damn about them.
- You are demonstrating an understanding of what they actually need.
- You are putting them first.
These are the vital first steps to building relationships with potential clients.
You are no longer just telling them how you could help them.
You are actually helping!
This is an important concept.
It is the idea of 'leading with value'. Of proving rather than promising.
In your business, your clients will have 'arm falling off' issues. Your task is to figure out what these are and to come up with ways of fixing this issue for them.
They could be the top burning questions you get asked by clients, the biggest hurdle(s) your customers face, or any number of things related to what you do.
Ask yourself... What are your customer's most major pains related what you do, and how can you solve them?
What the critical issue is will vary according to what you are selling and what industry you are in, etc. But I promise you, it will be there.
Your job is to figure it out.
Here are some worked examples to help illustrate.
- Estate Agents - "I am thinking of moving. How much is my property worth?"
- Financial Advisors - "How much money do I need to retire?"
- Marketing Consultant - "How do I get more leads and convert them into sales?"
This list could be huge. But hopefully, you get the idea now that you need to figure out the arm hanging off issue for your business and address it.
You need to start thinking from the customer's perspective. And not your own.
Create a lead magnet that helps them with their problem - It is called a magnet because it draws potential clients to you. If your clients have multiple burning issues, create more than one lead magnet.
Make your lead magnet something of real value that helps your customer to solve a critical issue.
It could take the form of a PDF download, a blog article, a how-to video, a free course, a free consultation...
You decide. Get creative.
More importantly. Get helping...
When you prove rather than promise it goes a long way to drawing potential customers along the decision-making process and increases the likelihood that you will be able to convert them into a lifelong client.
So, with our new customer-first mentality in place, what might the imaginary dialogue look like now?
Business Owner: "Hey your arm is falling off! It must be really painful. Let me help you fix that."
Customer: "Oh shit, yeah it really hurts, thanks."
[Allows you to fix problem]
Business Owner: "When people's arms are hanging off they are usually in a lot of pain. Would you like me to give you some pain relief?
Customer: "Yes please!"
[Allows you to keep helping] ...
...The relationship builds...
...As the relationship builds, bonds are formed. Business is conducted.
Everyone is happy.
See the difference? If not re-read this post until it sinks in.
Figure out what the critical issues/problems/pains are for people concerning what you do.
Create a lead magnet in the form of free resources to solve the problem.
Identifying and solving problems is at the core of what marketing is all about... The critical 'arm falling off' issue is a vital step in helping you to get more clients and sales...
... It is part of a 10-step checklist I run through with my coaching and consultancy clients. You can download the complete list for free here.
See what I just did?
I know you want to get more customers, more sales and multiply your profits.
I also know that marketing is one of the keys to fixing that problem for you.
But you are confused how to go about implementing the RIGHT things for YOUR business, right?
So I built a guide around my own business' 'arm falling off' issue just for you.
Oh yeah. Walking the walk baby!
Download the guide here and watch what happens next...
If you need one-to-one help figuring this out for your business, schedule a free chat with me and I promise if nothing else comes from our time together, I will at the very least put your arm back on for you ;)