Why focus on solving your clients’ problems? The simple answer is, why wouldn’t you? Most people don’t get into business to not solve their clients’ problems. When we go out and present ourselves to potential clients, we tend to forget to focus on the very simple concept of problem solving. Instead of learning how we can help their business, we tend to focus on making sure they know we are credible or have been in business for xx years. Here’s the interesting thing, while those facts are important, they aren’t the most important thing the professional service buyer wants to know. The number one thing buyers want is a personalized understanding of their situation. Some of you may be thinking, “that’s not possible, there is no way I can have a personalized understanding of their business.” But you can. What your potential clients really want to know is:
- Have you worked with other businesses like mine? This could translate to industry experience or it could translate to experience with scenarios or situations similar to theirs. Go beyond just listing what you’ve done. Potential clients want to hear the story of how you helped businesses through difficult situations. Share real life case studies and outcomes from your work.
- Customize your approach. When you present your services, take the time to adjust your standard approach a little based on what you know about their situation. For example, if you are proposing on an audit, talk about the areas where you might make adjustments to your standard procedures based on their specific situation. You will still go through the same steps, but what you look for or request might change slightly based on the business. The same might hold true on the tax side of the business.
- Take the pressure off. You don’t have be a used car salesperson. Prospects want a conversation, not a pitch. Be honest and have a conversation with them as if they were already a client and they will get the experience they are really looking for.
- Don’t forgo the face-to-face meeting. Whether it happens via video chat or in person, take the time to meet your prospect and learn about their business.
- Follow Up and Follow Through. Prospects want to know you want their business. Being persistent will show them how important they are to you.
- Present all your services, not just the ones you think they want to hear about. Most prospects want to hear about everything you can do. They might not be ready to engage you yet, but the global picture can help.
What does this mean?
Whether it’s a prospect or an existing client, you need to make sure you are solving your clients’ problems. If you can do this, the relationships with your clients will be more secure, you will close more business, and you will generate more referrals. You’ll also run a good chance of identifying potential consulting opportunities and maybe a new line of services. Solving your clients’ problems doesn’t stop with the meeting. It should come through in all your communications, including marketing collateral, proposals, presentations and most importantly, your face-to-face interactions. Your communications should show a thorough understanding of the issues (AKA, problems) they are facing and how you will help solve them.