Making the Case for Buying Your Professional Services
All of us who sell professional services and programs know that it can be really hard to distinguish ourselves from the sea of (often extremely competent) competitors in the field.
We spend a lot of time writing and rewriting copy that shows our ideal clients exactly why they should trust us enough to work with us.
If we are accountants, we might focus on our strong academic training and experience using Quickbooks.
If we are business coaches, we might brag on the number of years we have been in business or how many people we have helped grow to six or seven figures.
If we are web designers, we might highlight (and show) the beautiful designs we have created for past clients.
All of this is great information which makes up an important part of the business case for working with us.
Remove the Invisible Barrier
However, there are often invisible barriers that keep people from signing up to work with us.
These invisible barriers come in the form of hidden fears, unanswered questions or concerns about the way your service will be delivered that stop perfect fit clients from working with you.
The more you know about these hidden fears and questions, the more that you can address them directly.
Looking at the examples above, let’s examine some common invisible barriers and ways that you can remove them:
For the Accountant:
Hidden client barrier:
“I have been unorganized and behind in managing my finances. My taxes are in arrears and my credit score is not what it should be. I fear that you will judge me and my character when you start working with me.”
Barrier removal: State clearly and directly in all of your marketing materials and messages:
“We know that business owners avoid finances for a variety of reasons from being too busy to holding financial trauma. We will never judge you or the state of your finances when we start working together, since our mission is to help you develop healthy financial systems and habits. We are so lucky we get to help you heal.”
For the Business Coach:
Hidden client barrier:
“I am afraid that if I want to grow my business, my coach is going to pressure me to do a bunch of manipulative marketing strategies that will make me betray my values.”
Have a deliberate conversation in the sales process with a prospective client:
“We hold a value of sovereignty in our coaching practice which means our clients are never beholden to us to do anything that is in conflict with their values. We choose marketing strategies and tactics that are a fit with our clients’ values, temperament, skills, strengths and goals.”
For the Web Designer:
Hidden client barrier:
“I have had designers ghost me in the middle of a project and double the amount of time it took to get the project done. I fear you are going to abandon me as soon as I pay my deposit.”
Create a graphic of your design process which clearly describes each phase, estimated timeline, roles and responsibilities and file hosting structure for the project.
In the sales process, highlight your policy of ensuring the project will get done on time as long as you get what you need from the client according to the timeline, and provide weekly updates to the client with any revised deadlines.
How do you find out what the invisible barriers are for your ideal clients?
There are a few ways to gather this data on an ongoing basis:
1. Ask new clients shortly after they start working with you:
“Were there any unspoken questions or hidden fears you had about working with me? Was there anything I did or could have done to alleviate that fear?”
2. Follow up with people who choose not to work with you and ask if they are comfortable sharing why they went with someone else
“We are sorry we didn’t get a chance to work with you and always look to improve our services. Is there anything we could have done or said that would have made you more comfortable hiring us?”
3. Ask your colleagues on social media with a post like:
“What hidden fears do you have about working with <insert your type of service.>”
With this information, you can design your marketing, communication and sales processes to remove the invisible barriers.
The more trust you build in your brand, the more forthright people will be about the kind of support or information they need to feel comfortable working with you.
Have you experienced invisible barriers as a buyer or seller? I’d love to know what they are in the comments.
If you want support building your irresistible offers, check out our class Discover Your Thumbprint Method