Do you see through your clients' eyes?

02 October 2012, by

It’s a big shock to realise that no one really cares about your business, at least in the beginning of the process.

What people do care about, and want to know, is what your business can do for them.

You can imagine that information about how long you have been in business or why you started your company isn’t the most intriguing introduction. So why do so many business owners do it?

I know you love what you do and you’re crazy about your business, me too! It’s just that most other people, including prospective clients, aren’t thinking about your business. They are concerned with their own lives and what is important to them.

Think about what you prefer when you are in the position of a being a client. Would you rather learn about the background of the business or would you like to hear about how the business can serve you?

What we all really want to know is, "what’s in it for me" (sometimes referred to as tuning into radio station WIFM).

This quote by John C. Maxwell sums it all up: "People don’t care how much you know - until they know how much you care."

So how can you know what your clients care about? Simply put yourself in your client’s shoes and imagine what it is they want to know. Think about what issues they are facing and what they need.

If you don't know what your clients are thinking, you need to find out. The best way to find out is to listen to what your clients are already telling you. You can also ask them directly or with a survey.

Once you know the situation your potential clients are in, you can address it and share how your business can support them. Speak directly to them and let them see that you understand their situation and how your business can help.

Two perspectives
Here’s an example to show the difference between the perspectives of the business owner and the client:

Perspective of the business owner
We are a talented group of tax consultants who have been in business for 12 years. Our company prides itself on delivering outstanding services to small business owners. Our consultants are experts in advising on the appropriate tax services and we strive to deliver value throughout the process.

see through clients eyes

Perspective of the client
Are you a small business owner who would love to never have to file a tax report again? If you would like to spend more time on your core business and end the frustration that comes with filing taxes we would love to talk with you. Our clients feel confident and relaxed knowing that they don’t have to worry about penalties, mistakes or missed deductions.

Can you feel the difference? Which company would you hire to do the taxes for your business?

Implement the perspective of your clients into all of your communication, written and verbal. Think about reducing words like "us" and "we" and use words like "you" and "your" more often. You can also use questions in your copy to help potential clients identify themselves like the first sentence of the "Perspective of the client" example above.

Look closely at all of your communication and see where you can make some changes. Think about areas like:

Written Words
- Website
- Letters
- E-mails
- Brochures
- Business card (always use the back)

Spoken Words
- Networking
- Telephone conversations
- Speaking
- Videos

Make the shift, turn it around and think about your business from your client’s point of view. Then get into action and change the words you write and the words you speak when communicating what your business offers.

Not only will your clients find this much more attractive, it makes doing business a lot easier for you.

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Comments arranged by date (Total 4 comments)  
October 02 2012, 10:05AM

Totally agree. The less you speak about you and the more you focus on their problems, the better. Great article

October 02 2012, 10:35AM

Thank you for your feedback Borjagh!

October 19 2012, 09:51AM

Excellent article, Ms. Ward. Thanks for posting! I've been struggling with one client who wants to talk a lot about the history of his company (read: "brag"), which is fine for an About Us page and can provide credibility, but it often does not work in other areas of communication where you need to be upfront with the WIFM. Love the John Maxwell quote, too.

October 21 2012, 11:12AM

Thank you for your feedback Mandie! It can be a challenge to help people make the shift to the client perspective of WIFM. Glad you're on the front lines making it happen. All the best, Stephanie

About the Author
Stephanie Ward

Stephanie Ward is a Business & Marketing Mentor who helps passionate small business owners attract m...



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