A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: How to persuade potential clients to pick your business

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The following strategies are based on the principle of doing things that help potential clients reduce the risk of making a mistake by picking your business. Photo / iStock
The following strategies are based on the principle of doing things that help potential clients reduce the risk of making a mistake by picking your business. Photo / iStock

The reality of life is that for most products and services there is a large amount of different business who offer these same products and services.

So how do we get potential clients to choose your business rather than the other options they have?

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In this week's message I'd like to share two simple strategies that work well to persuade more people to pick your business rather than your competitors.

Both strategies are based on the principle of doing things that help potential clients reduce the risk of making a mistake by picking your business.

Reducing risk is important because all of us have had the experience of choosing a business for a particular product or service and being disappointed with the end result.

Because we have all had this experience we are cautious about choosing a business we have not used before in case it doesn't end well.

So one job in marketing is to help a potential client to reduce the risk making a mistake by choosing your business.

Here are two strategies that work well to reduce risk and persuade potential clients to choose your business over your competitors.

Strategy 1: Use Social Proof

The principle of 'Social Proof' says that we often make buying decisions based on what other people similar to us have done.

That way we reduce the risk of making a wrong decision.

Social Proof can be summed up in the unspoken question many of your potential clients have.

The question is 'Who else has purchased this product or service and what happened when they did this?'

When you can show these people PROOF that other people similar to them have purchased your product or service and enjoyed some wonderful benefits you will increase your chances of making a sale.

And that's why powerful client testimonials work so well.

They are compelling proof that investing in your product or service is a good thing to do.

Example:

Jeff Bracegirdle works with REMAX Realty who are the largest real estate agency in the world. Jeff has been the number 1 business broker in the world for REMAX (outside the USA and Canada) for 7 of the last 9 years.

Jeff recently showed me some of the testimonials he had received from clients that he had worked with to sell their business.

I was amazed at these testimonials because they were instant proof about how good Jeff was at selling a business and helping his clients to get an outstanding price.

You can see Jeff's testimonials here.

Positive client testimonials can be used many different ways to help promote and market your business to potential clients. And are a wonderful way to get potential clients to choose your business rather than competitors.

Strategy 2: Share valuable information with potential clients

I've talked about this strategy in many of my previous Herald marketing columns.
The idea here is that you share valuable information that potential clients will find useful when they are considering using your type of product or service.

Example:

On the home page of his website Jeff Bracegirdle offers a 28 page guide called 'How to avoid the 7 biggest mistakes when selling your business'.

In this guide Jeff explains in great detail the 7 most common mistakes that business owners make when they sell their business.

Jeff shows how to make your business instantly more attractive to potential buyers, how to solve the problem of confidentiality when selling your business and many more valuable ideas.

Any business owner who is thinking of selling their business will find Jeff's guide useful to read.

By offering a guide like this Jeff does two things.

A: He positions himself as an expert at selling businesses.

B: In the mind of potential clients who are considering using his business broking services he has now dramatically reduced the risk that they will make a mistake by using his services.

You can share valuable information many ways with potential clients.

• You can write a helpful 'how to' article.
• You can publish a short 'how to guide'.
• You can give a helpful 'how to' talk to a group.
• You can produce a short 'how to' video.

All these work well to position you as an expert at what you do. (And greatly increase the chances that potential clients will choose your business to use.)

Both the strategies I mentioned today are relatively simple to use. I recommend you use both of them in your own business.

'If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.'
- Jack Welch

Action Exercise:

Which clients and customers can you collect positive testimonials from over the next few weeks?

How will you share valuable information with potential clients and position your business as an expert in your field?

- NZ Herald

Graham McGregor is a consultant specialising in memorable marketing. Download his 396-page Unfair Business Advantage ebook at no charge from theunfairbusinessadvantage.com.

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A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

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