Earlier this year, we shared our thoughts on how to identify your ideal client. This month, we’re going to consider what to say to them once you know who they are.
Speak to their concerns – Whether from surveys, conducting focus groups, or simply talking with a sizable portion of your client base, you’ll have developed a fair understanding of what the majority of your customers have in common. Most importantly, this intelligence should include understanding problems that you can help them solve, or goals that you can help them accomplish. Your messaging needs to speak to these concerns at the very outset of a communication in order to get their attention quickly. Then once a prospect is paying attention, don’t beat around the bush in stating how your business can meet their demands.
Impress them with your expertise – If you’re conducting a business-to-business campaign, you want to show that you understand your client’s livelihood. Therefore, in the course of explaining how your own company will meet their needs, throw in some terminology or phrases that are specific to their industry. Don’t overdo it (and for heaven’s sake, verify that you’re using your ‘key words’ correctly!) but demonstrating familiarity with your customer’s industry will increase their confidence in you. Additionally, and for any sort of customer, be sure to mention any awards, designations, or professional qualifications that you have as an aside to your main message.
Recognize their individuality – You’ll be assuming members of your target audience have many things in common, but don’t forget what folks say about the word ‘assume.’ Craft your mass-audience message to acknowledge that no person or organization is exactly like any other. One of the easiest and least obtrusive ways to do this is by using the word ‘you’ in your advertising copy. (FYI, the individuality-vs.-mass-appeal conundrum is why you often see phrases like “if you …” or “whether you …” in marketing copy.) And anytime you can easily customize communications with a client’s actual name, do so.
Acknowledge (and defend against) objections – If you’ve spent any time at all your business, you already know why a good portion of your prospects are hesitant to become customers. There’s no use pretending these objections don’t exist, so the best course is to meet them head on. (This will also reinforce that you understand their interests.) Be first to cite their concerns. and explain how much better off—overall—they will be once they decide to do business with you.
Offer proof of your value – As one excellent way to defend against objections—as well as show that understand your customers—is to provide them with real-life examples of your success. This could be as simple as brief customer quotes, or as detailed as a lengthy case study. And while you may not want to prominently include this element in all of your communications, we do recommend letting prospects know that such testimonials are easily available for their review.
Presume a long-term relationship is in the making – This is not something that you should necessarily spell out in your marketing communications. Rather it’s a thought that you should always keep in the back of your mind. That is, speak to your customers as if you both want and expect to serve their needs for years and years to come. Maintaining the mindset of an enduring relationship is a very good way to witness a happy self-fulfilling prophecy.
Below are some more resources on building client relationships: