My colleague Vrinda Normand (pictured here) just wrote a brilliant little piece in her latest newsletter about the four stages clients must, invariably go through before they choose to do business with you. This is a useful shorthand to explore – where are things stuck.
1. Your potential clients become painfully aware of the problems they’re struggling with. People need to be more conscious of the pain in order to change — because change is uncomfortable. They will be much more hungry for your solution and ready to invest when they are present to the consequences of staying where they are.
2. They become hopeful about what their life can be like instead. What’s their dream? What results do they want to enjoy? This is where you awaken their desire and give them hope that a new reality IS possible.
3. They gain TRUST in you and your solution – and they clearly see you’re the best person to help them make this transformation. Your potential clients feel connected to you, like they can really relate to you as a person. They feel like you “get” them, you understand what they need, and you deliver quality and results.
4. Your potential clients are excited and ready to take the next step with you. They’re hungry for your solution, and they want it now! They’re eager to be free of their problems and create inspiring results with your help. At this point you’ve just helped them say YES to themselves and to getting the support they need to make that change.
In some situations, your clients walk in with the first level handled. They know there’s a problem and they know it must change. Sometimes they’re at level two. They know it must change – and they know that change is possible. Where you start in your marketing will depend on where they’re at. Take a good look and ask yourself where your clients are and where your marketing is.
And often it can take a bit of time to go through these. The one that can take the most time is level three – trust. Building trust is the foundation of any business. This can be done in so many ways: in person through conversation, sharing case studies and stories, doing talks, through having a relevant and uplifting social media presence, through word of mouth and referrals, through a kick ass blog, by becoming an author, getting endorsed by the right person, by taking a stand for something bigger than your business. So many ways. But it must be built. There is no excitement without trust.
Most businesses are stuck at level one. They aren’t speaking to the real life situation that their ideal clients are dealing with – instead their websites and brochures start with “Our company is . . .” and it’s all about them.
The art of writing those first few lines of a website or sales letter is just that . . . an art. But if you can’t establish that first level – that there’s a problem – nothing else will move. Nothing else will happen. Vrinda has written a course about how to write irresistible headlines. You can check it out here.
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