The digital age makes getting new clients so much harder...

The good old days. Oh the good old days…

Jane, a possible client found out about you through a friend or by checking Yellow Pages. Jane gave your business a call (or dropped by your office) and chatted to your friendly receptionist who made an appointment with you.

You had a nice meeting with Jane where you explained how you can quickly sort out her tax return or solve her legal issues… and Jane became a new client.

Lovely. Simple. Effective.

So why is this lovely system no longer working in 2016? Why is it getting increasingly harder to secure great new clients?

Let’s take a look at the process that used to work so well…

goodolddays-2

Emotional connection

When you look at the chain of events above… you can see that Jane’s initial contact with your business was with a person (either by phone or through calling in to your office).

It’s important to realise that during that first contact Jane made a decision about you based on emotion.

She listened to the tone of voice of your receptionist and decided whether or not you are a caring business.

She took in the decor and warmth of your offices and decided whether they made her feel good or not. Even in the meeting with you she was way more interested in whether you care about her than facts about your professionally competence.

At this stage many service professionals gave Jane a brochure of some kind. This was generally a very factual document explaining terms of business and opening hours – it added substance to a decision which had already been made emotionally.

So what's changed?

So what’s changed and why has our lovely simple process been so disrupted?

Firstly the place that Jane first becomes aware of your business has changed. She now consults Google or Facebook rather than Yellow Pages. Even if you are recommended by a friend… she checks Google to see if you stack up.

And so the first contact with your business is no longer with a person. It’s with your online reception area… your website.

And if Jane likes what she sees?

She’ll dig around a bit more checking out your LinkedIn, Facebook and blog. Within 5 minutes she can make 5 or 6 ‘visits’ to your business and work out whether she wants to engage your services… And finally the 7th or 8th contact with your business might be a meeting with you.

The obvious bad news is that if you don’t pass the digital test you don’t get the business.

The good news is that if you do pass the digital test and Jane has digested great online content about your business… she’s informed and ready to be a client and you can start work at the very first meeting.

 

It’s still an emotional assessment

So a lot has changed. And there’s now a digital barrier between you and your potential clients.

But one thing has not changed. And will never change.

Jane still makes her buying decision based on an emotional assessment.

Let me say that again in case you skimmed it. Jane still makes her buying decision based on an emotional assessment.

In today’s digital age she now makes the critical emotional buying decision about whether she likes you and whether you care about her… based on your website. You have to make a positive emotional connection with her using the words and images on your website if you want her business.

Where do most service professionals go wrong?

Here’s the commonest mistakes I see service professionals make when they try to do digital.

1.Boring website content
This is the commonest mistake. Business owners take the old brochure they used to hand out at the first meeting and transfer the written material to the website. But that content was never meant to make an emotional connection. It was only meant to be additional useful information… it’s great information but it does nothing to convince Jane you care.

2. Stock photos
Jane can spot a stock photo a mile off. I laugh when I see the same stock photos appearing again and again on every lawyer and accountant’s website I visit. Get real. Get a photographer in and let Jane see what you look like. Believe me, Jane wants to see the team she is trusting with her accounts or legal matters.

3. Assuming trendy design is the answer
Website design professionals have a lot to answer to. The message they keep peddling is that a more trendy design with clever parallax scrolling (or whatever the latest trend is) will get results. It won’t… Unless you say the right things on your website the trendy design delivers nothing.

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Brilliant Digital
Sydney based with clients Australia wide

177 Victoria St
Smithfield
NSW 2164


02 9939 5223