Give ‘em what they need NOW.
So you’ve clearly described the characteristics of your ideal client and identified her major pain points. You’re ready for the third vital step in creating your Ideal Client Profile: letting her know you understand exactly what solutions she needs right now and demonstrating that you can provide those solutions.
This part of the process is pretty straightforward: You review her major pain points, assess your particular pain-relieving skills, and use that information to craft a list of solutions you are exquisitely qualified to provide. The goal is to make your prospect read this and be washed with a feeling of relief and excitement: “YES! She gets it. She gets me. This is just what I’ve been searching for!”
There are three main points to address when creating this part of your marketing message.
1. Emotion as well as intellect.
You want to make it easy for your ideal client to invest in your services. One of the most effective ways to do that is to simultaneously engage her emotions – that is, make her crave what you have to offer – and appeal to her intellect – so that she can logically justify what she wants to do.
You can’t afford to ignore either. When it comes to making decisions, it’s common to use the heart to decide what you want, then to use the head to come up with all kinds of rational reasons why that’s the “right” thing to do. If you appeal only to your prospect’s head, you run the risk of failing to make her acknowledge and accept that she’s in pain – and if she’s not in enough pain, she won’t buy.
On the other hand, if you appeal only to her emotions, without enabling her to be intellectually comfortable with her decision, you risk facing buyer’s remorse. If she regrets her purchasing decision, she might ask for a refund or fail to fully engage with you when you’re doing your best to address her pain.
2. Nuts and bolts.
I think of this point as being data driven. In other words, it addresses your client’s need for information (as well as instruction on how to effectively use that information).
For example, say you’re an expert on QuickBooks who works with entrepreneurs tired of struggling with their own bookkeeping. Your ideal client is horrible at keeping records, has no idea how much she spends over the course of a tax year, and can’t remember the last time her business checking account was reconciled. Your expertise in training entrepreneurs to effectively and easily use QuickBooks is what makes you a hero to this type of client. It’s the information you can share that makes you invaluable.
Consider the following when addressing the nuts-and-bolts needs of your clients.
- What tasks can you show her how to do more quickly, easily, effectively, and efficiently?
- What processes can you develop that will increase her overall productivity level?
You have to clearly share your problem-solving skills.
While providing nuts and bolts will make your client’s head happy, support will address her emotional and psychological needs.
Too many entrepreneurs try to go it alone, which means they run the risk of feeling isolated, unsupported, and very, very lonely. Knowing that someone (that would be you) has her back is a HUGE source of value to your ideal client.
You can provide this invaluable support in several ways:
- Encourage her.
One of the most powerful things I do for my clients is serve as a cheerleader – not in an obnoxious rah-rah sense, but in the sense of seeing and acknowledging everything she’s already doing right. There are two main reasons this is usually far easier for me to see than it is for the client: I’m not personally caught up in her situation, so I can see the forest as well as the trees; and I’m already in the habit of looking for what’s going well.
When I point out what she’s already accomplished, I provide an energizing boost and model this look-for-and-find-what’s-working behavior. This habit of looking on the bright side predicts and actually creates success. (Shawn Achor, in his book The Happiness Advantage, cites numerous scientific studies demonstrating that happiness and positivity precede success, not the other way around.)
- Challenge her.
Too many of us aim low. We figure if we set modest goals, we’re more likely to achieve them. The good news about this approach is that it’s comforting. The bad news is that it doesn’t work particularly well.
Psychological studies indicate that a goal which is ambitious (but not overwhelming) tends to be more motivating and engaging than a measly goal. You don’t have to be a certified coach to create an environment where your client feels both challenged and supported in reaching beyond any self-imposed limitations.
- Hold her accountable.
One of the best services you can provide any client, in any situation, at any time.
Just as many people aim low, many also allow themselves too much wiggle room when it comes to doing uncomfortable tasks.
How many times have you heard someone complain about “having” to move a task from yesterday’s To Do list to today’s list? How many times have you been the one complaining? I would bet substantial money that those perpetual-motion tasks are NOT the little, easy-to-do, low-payoff ones. No, those typically get done first. (Unhelpful, but true.)
The tasks that get delayed are what Stephen Covey calls your opportunities: activities which have no deadline associated with them, but which can have a major impact on your success if you actually get around to doing them.
Your commitment to hold your client accountable for those uncomfortable-but-important tasks will minimize her opportunity costs and enable her to do what needs doing. As Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge, puts it, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” And isn’t that really why your clients hire you – to propel them to greater success?
Identifying what your ideal client needs most right now will seriously ramp up the power of your marketing messages, and these tips will seriously help with the ramping. However, they won’t do you any good if just the thought of going through this process tends to freeze your brain.
If that’s the case, I might be able to help you thaw things out.
I specialize in getting entrepreneurs unstuck, making it easier for them to toss aside distractions and focus on what really matters to them. Are you my ideal client, one of those entrepreneurs I do great work with? Nobody knows at this point – but it’s easy to find out.
If you’re curious about our ability to kick serious business butt together, let’s set up a call where we can get acquainted and explore that possibility. Just call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “Are we ideal?” in the subject line. Give me some times when you’re available for a 30- to 40-minute get-acquainted call. We’ll connect, ask and answer some questions, and come to a decision that’s right for both of us: say good-bye and wish each other well, or start shifting you from overwhelm to overdrive.
(Thanks to Meme Binge for posting the hungry otter in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in marketing and tagged clients, problem solving. Bookmark the permalink.