When first contacting a client about your services, being as clear as possible about what YOU can offer is pretty obvious. After all, why should they care who you are? You approached them, remember? But what if they don`t have a clue about what they want or how to implement it?
Building rapport and trust are key in this situation, but sometimes you can let tunnel vision cloud your judgment.
What You Think They Want
I recently hit this little snag when approaching a potential new client, and I admit, a lack of experience on my part muddied the waters even more.
My first mistake was explaining just what I offered as a service, I had looked at their product, I had looked at their website. The product was great, the website awful. There were testimonials scattered everywhere, you had to go to multiple pages to get everything together.
I researched their Twitter, their Facebook feeds, I asked about their mailing list; "yeah we have a list, people ask us for info on the products occasionally".
By this point I have sweaty palms, I`m already trying to remember which drawer I left my cape in...
All of this was what led me to approach them in the first place, I saw loads of opportunities to create VALUE for both the client and myself. And that`s pretty much where it all started to go wrong.
I got excited, the client got confused, instead of taking things one step at a time, things got real.
What A Client Needs
The website was frankly terrible, so I offered to help there
Testimonials were great, but scattered, in video, rambling texts, on multiple pages
They had a great product but didn't promote it properly, email, Social Media, all poor
Spelling mistakes on their landing page (in the name of all that`s holy!)
They needed their hands holding throughout
They didn`t have a clear blog, just articles randomly placed
Just because they needed all of this, it didn't mean they needed it all in one conversation.
By the time I had gone over exactly what needed looking at, the client had had a mini panic attack.
Instead of offering to create copy for their testimonials page as I had originally planned, allowing them to de-clutter the site and give customers a focused area to see the value in the product, I donned my cape, scared the bejeebus out of them, and now they`ve gone away to have a lie-down.
The lesson of the day
If you went in with a plan, and a good one if I do say so myself, stick to it, improvising on the fly just confuses both parties
If it`s a new client, just focus on one thing, be it blog, copy, emails. If there's more scope, wait until the first job is done before you try to change the world
Trust makes the world go round, I lost the client above because I went in guns blazing before they had a chance to remember my name, why SHOULD they trust me yet
It`s a marathon, not a race, baby steps, contact-engage-offer-deliver-repeat.
KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid
I can`t wait to find another client like this, I would do everything differently, most clients I approach have one, two at most, things I can help with.
I didn`t take a step back from what I saw as a great opportunity, to really look at what I was saying to a complete stranger.
If I rang you at home on the phone as a complete stranger and told you your garden was a mess, your fence needs painting, did you cut your grass with a hammer? And for £500 I will fix the lot, and even clean your windows, you dirty devil you!
I dare say your language would be short and to the point and probably end in "OFF!"
Thankfully I still have a good relationship with this company, next time I will just offer to clean their windows first.
If your windows need a clean, testimonials need scrubbing or your blog needs a shine, hit the button!