IGNITING CONVERSATIONS THAT SELL – PART 5
Your target market has a problem, so you have created a range of marketing resources that illustrate how you have supported others to solve problems ‘just like theirs’. Hiding behind your brochures, however, won’t get you anywhere in professional services, so you have told your story through different channels – written, visual and in person – ensuring that you touch your market multiple times, in multiple ways.
Your market is beginning to learn more about you, what you do and how it may help them. In particular, your marketing communications are teaching them what you know about the problems that they commonly experience. Even better, you are sharing solutions.
They now know that you have the experience and skills to support them to solve their problem. You are clearly capable. But are you the right choice?
We are at stage 4 of our sales process. Our goal is to ‘validate’.
Stage 4. Validate
Your target market is weighing up who is the best firm to support them. You understand their problem, but do you understand them?
You must demonstrate that you are not only capable, but also the right choice. You must validate your claims, presenting the range of options and proving, over all others, that yours is the best.
Validation is a process in itself and can be done in various ways. It starts with building credibility and then moves onto differentiating your services and proving that you are the right fit.
The most authentic way to build credibility is to gain endorsement from outside of your own business. There are many ways to do this – winning awards, being a source of ‘comment’ to the media, speaking at industry events, being introduced to prospects by someone that they respect, holding a position on an industry (or other) board, participating in working groups outside of your business, publishing a paper or book etc. The most powerful, however, is social proof – the ‘like’, the ‘comment’, the ‘share’ on your social media feed – but, above all else, is the good ole testimonial.
Because it’s incredibly powerful when someone ‘just like them’ says that you are the right person for the job.
Yes, client testimonials are golden. You may have a short video of a client speaking highly of you, an approved quotation or a letter of commendation or thanks. But sharing them authentically becomes a challenge too. Expand your client feedback with a case studies and stories that provide further insight into how you approach a problem, work with a client and support a resolution. Ideally, with the right experience and testimonial, you will be able to tell their story and invite them to step into it.
And when they’re ready to take that step, we move onto stage 5 of our sales process.