When you share a belief with your client, you have a connection. You have a shared understanding, you understand each other at a certain level. It is this understanding that underpins and can begin your relationship. Perhaps it begins a dialogue. This can continue to take the form of knowing , then to liking & then to trusting each other. It then gives you a basis to influence behaviour. You are moving them along a transaction chain, moving to a sale.
Watch my Scope on the topic & then continue reading for a more in depth discussion.
So you need to outline both yours and your client’s beliefs. This way you know your starting points. This, along with your (incl. client’s) UVP, sets the comparison points to establish lines of communication and connections. You then grow and build upon these lines. You can strengthen these lines and connections by using testimonials and other types of social proof to reinforce why the decision to purchase from you is a great idea. You can detail benefits to reinforce why a particular item is the right choice. You discuss innovations & ask questions to invite them in to a dialogue. You get them to share themselves with your items to show that they are valued. You are not alone in business, your clients are your business partner, for without them – you are bankrupt.
But what if you don’t believe you are aligned or that some critical underlying beliefs are at odds? I will go into what psychologists call ‘dissonance’ at a later date; in the meantime, let me quickly show you how it’s overcome.
For example, it is easier to get someone to do something, have a particular behaviour (make a purchase) if they believe that it was their idea in the first place. Go back and have a look at your client’s beliefs, then from their perspective try to align it with your own. If you can not see direct links, then look at quotes in testimonials, look at business cases; find ways to link their thinking to yours & make it their idea to make the purchase (rather than you pushing your item to them). Show them how their way & their beliefs really don’t differ from your own. Be honest, be authentic, don’t belittle or cajole. Show your clients that their beliefs do matter, that their ‘call really is important’ to you.
How can you build on this in your online presence?
The best place is your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). This list shows that you listen to your customers, that you’re interested in their concerns, & that you have solutions to their problems (not just excuses). From there you can build these into blog posts, podcasts, periscopes, YouTube videos – and increase your reach across social media, but more importantly, you help your clients to understand your beliefs structure and grow your relationship.
Don’t be afraid of showing your personal side when responding to customer queries & complaints online. It is the benefit small to medium enterprise has over big business. This personal touch makes it easier to develop long lasting client relationships. Showing customers that you believe in client service by responding to their complaints, show that you believe in the quality of your product, show that you value their feedback, show that you believe that their experience is important. This authenticity and honesty is fast becoming what ‘quality’ was 5-10 years ago. It is what differentiates business & it is becoming more important as clients look for more user experience than pure consumption. (more on this soon)
I understand that showing business beliefs can make business owners feel vulnerable. I also understand that considering, targeting, & using client beliefs is a new and unknown way to market for many established businesses. However, with client product knowledge growing, thanks to the internet, savvy businesses will grow stronger & influential client relationships by focusing on the client & the psychological factors which underlie and drive their behaviour.