Monday, February 25, 2008

To Gain More Clients Learn to Provide Greater Feeling and Less Information

I saw this study, the "Blissful Ignorance Effect" mentioned at del.icio.us and I was immediately reminded of a Time Warner Cable commercial running in Southern California.

In the commercial a business owner is calling an anonymous internet service provider and getting slammed with incredible amounts of technical jargon. The voiceover laments, "I just want my business internet to work!", or something like that. Enter the friendly Time Warner sales woman that talks in plain language, provides services that feel right and the business owner is saved.

All of this launches so many thoughts -- but first and foremost, at least in the world of professional services -- if our potential clients knew as much as we did they would most likely do it for themselves. Think about this for a minute before reading any further.

Pause for thought. . . .

Continuing -- We often get trapped thinking that features and benefits are the best way to present our professional service capabilities. Offer lots of facts, service expertise, examples of accomplishments and plenty of jargon to prove our excellence. In fact, I have found that the less said creates the greatest gains.

Most of our universe of potential clients actually know very little of what exactly lawyers and accountants (and other services professionals) do. What they want is to believe in is a result. Building trust in a result comes from eliciting an emotional connection to you.

Here is a quick exercise that might help you focus on eliciting an emotional connection:
  • Go to your website and select three to five regularly visited pages (and definitely include your landing page).
  • Create a two-column list. Name the first column "Facts" and name the second column "Emotional"
  • Read each sentence on each page and for every sentence make a check-mark in the column most appropriate for what is stated. Does the sentence state mostly fact or does it emote an emotional appeal.
If your list leans toward "fact" it may be time to hire a new writer like Elizabeth Cockle to help your words to really connect with potential clients. If your words lean toward "emotional" I congratulate you!