People selling professional services – that is consultants, accountants, lawyers, financial advisers and a range of others – face problems when it comes to getting people to buy their offer.
One the one hand businesses selling complex and expert services need time to build up relationships with prospective clients. On the other hand most people buy professional services in a crisis situation or at the very least when they need to buy – now!
The result is that choices are often hurried and not made for the best reasons. If you wish to change this situation you will need to sell your services in different ways.
One of the best ways to sell a service to people is to build a relationship with them before they are actually ready to buy.
A good place to start with this strategy is by thinking carefully about the purpose of your website.
Become a source of valuable information
From today commit to making sure you have a great website. – that is a website that your clients and prospective clients will want to visit.
Create a website that is a source of definitive and valuable information that is relevant to the concerns of the people who do business with you. Produce web pages which cover topics such as:
- How should I choose a consultant/financial adviser/coach?
- How do I get started with social media/planning for retirement?
- What exactly is …….. probate/power of attorney etc?
- What’s the best way to ………. prepare for the end of the tax year/cut estate agents’ fees?
Once you have posted that valuable content, you can send your current clients to look at your website to get answers in a simple and easy-to-follow format. This will back up what you say to them when you meet them. It will also reinforce your value as a trusted adviser.
You can also use the information on your website to bring new people to your site. These are the people who are searching online for answers to the above, or similar, questions, either because they need answers now, or they think they will need answers in the near future.
Bring them into your orbit, too. Start to build relationships with these people.
Let people take information away
Once people visit your website, the chances are they will want to take some of that useful information you display on screen away for future use.
Downloading information from web pages can be tedious. Sometimes it doesn’t download well. It may not format as you – or they – would like. People may need to download several pages and that takes time, especially if your website visitors are not internet experts.
Avoid these problems by creating pdfs containing answers to those important questions. Allow people to download these documents. Ensure that your material is branded, so that people will remember where this valuable material came from. People will either store the pdf documents they download on their computers, or, better still, they may print them out to use away from the internet. They will be more likely to do this if you include checklists and flow charts and step-by-step guidance. You may even include boxes for people to complete as they work through your guides.
Encourage people to use your material in this way by keeping the documents simple.
- Keep the colour schemes simple.
- Keep away from fancy graphics.
- Don’t make your documents expensive to print by having large blocks of colour on your pages.
Just offer valuable support in usable formats.
Stand out from your competitors
You have a clear purpose for creating a website that is useful. You want to stand out from your competitors in a positive way.
You want to demonstrate that you are:
You want your clients and your prospective clients to see you as different from the other businesses they could approach. You want those people to see you in a positive light.
You will start to differentiate yourself from your competition by making your website a valuable resource in this way. What’s more, creating a different sort of website is a simple, and inexpensive, business development strategy.
Using it could help you to start building relationships with lots of new clients.
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