Look around you. Unless you have a completely unique product or service (highly unlikely), you’ll have myriad competitors.
So what distinguishes you from all of them?
The answer is YOU!
No matter what you’re selling, two rules apply.
People buy from people. And you can’t sell anything to anyone. Which is quite counterintuitive.
The word sales comes from the Norwegian word Selje, which means to serve.
You serve your prospects by helping them realise they have an issue which you could solve. And show them why it would be in their best interest to proceed.
This is especially true if you’re a professional consultant.
Your clients are buying you. Yes, your ability to solve problems is a given, but it goes far deeper than that.
Your clients want to know who you are as a person. What you stand for. Your unique point of view. Your values and beliefs around solving their specific issues.
If they can’t grasp this, while some may become clients, they’ll never really accept your authority and trust you fully. There’ll always be a niggling doubt where they’ll question your advice.
I’ve had it happen. A client of ours took on a new business partner. While we’d helped our client reach significant success, his new partner (as related by our client) couldn’t get a handle on me and didn’t like me. As a result, they stopped working with us.
Looking back on it, it’s not surprising.
Every one of our successful clients has been indoctrinated into our world view over a period of time. They’ve heard me speak. Read articles over the weeks, months and sometimes years which provide value, taught real skills and most important, explained our point of view about solutions.
We share personal stories which let people into our lives. Our experiences resonated and they were attracted to us.
Was this an instant process? Hell no. It takes time to build up the know you, like you and trust you that is so essential for long term partnerships.
And as a result, we’ve never had to “persuade” anyone in the traditional sense to become a client. I can say that every one of them has come to a meeting with an intention of becoming a client. How do I know? They’ve told me.
But enough about us.
We’ve worked with every client to develop the same philosophy and communication system.
One, a financial planning organisation has significantly raised their profile over years by regularly contributing to major national newspapers like the Financial Review, being recognised as experts on the ABC and Channel 7, winning multiple awards and now joining major industry and government boards. All of which cements their credibility. As a result they have a full practice, can choose who they work with and have the enviable position of having a waiting list of high value prospects wanting to work with them.
Another consistently runs seminars on that great Australian passion, property investment. By filling a room they have a captive audience where they teach strategies and demonstrate their authority and gain credibility.
Like the financial planners, they have a very specific point of view regarding investments and by taking a stand attract their ideal clients.
Wrapping up, if there’s one thing I’d emphasise, it’s take a stand. Have a point of view, even a contrarian one if you can show that it holds water.
Then have the courage and confidence to shout that from the rooftops.
Be the tall poppy in a sea of mediocrity.