Let’s say you have a sense of the journey you take clients on, from A to B. You’d love to support more people with that journey, but at the same time you live with a daily niggle of doubt.
What if you’re wrong?
What if you can’t get everyone there?
What if clients get to the end… and want their money back?
Whether you’re new to self-employment and lack real-life client experience, or whether you know that not all of your existing clients make it successfully to their end destination, you feel unable – and unwilling – to promise results.
This leaves you with a marketing challenge. Without that certainty, how do you sell what you do?
If you’re holding back from promoting your work, here’s how to sell without making false promises.
1. State your intention
Rather than making the claim that, “This service will do X”, reframe your communications as “This service has been designed to do X”.
Put that within the context of your Big Why: “I’m passionate about _____, so I’ve created _____”.
Your prospective clients will see you as human: having the best intentions, doing the best job you can do. You’re selling your full commitment to them and your desire to serve them to the best of your ability. Think about the line we’re familiar with on legal documents: “This information is, to the best of my knowledge, true and accurate.”
2. Guarantee what can be guaranteed
At the tender age of 34, I’ve started buying anti-ageing cream; it’s one by Origins and it stood out as a moisturiser because it smelt nice, felt good on my skin and was made from quality, organic ingredients.
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t come with a leaflet that guarantees it will take my wrinkles away. I don’t expect it to make that promise. If I don’t like the product, I won’t buy it again – or if I really don’t like it, I’ll take it back to John Lewis for a refund.
But I won’t go knocking on the door of Origins, demanding my money back because my wrinkles are still there. My wrinkles are my responsibility, created by many factors – not least, the natural process of ageing! The cream has been designed with the intention of moving me in the direction of better-hydrated skin, but it can’t control the lines on my face and I don’t expect it to.
If you’re in a helping/healing profession, remember examples like this from other industries. You can’t promise results, but neither can they. Guarantee satisfaction, not results.
For your service, state explicitly what you can and cannot guarantee. I offer a wise investment guarantee on both the Passion to Profit and Blog for Clients courses. If a participant gets to the end of one of those courses and is not satisfied they’ve received clear guidance on how to enrol paying clients, or blog effectively, they can ask for their money back. It provides safety for me, as much as for my clients. Nobody walks away unhappy; we’re in it together.
3. Use testimonials.
Let others sell for you. Case studies and testimonials are so powerful because they are the stories of those who have travelled from A to B with your support. You’re not promising the same journey for all; you’re simply sharing, “Here are the facts about what this one person experienced.”
Of course, we know when we look at a sales page we’re only seeing select feedback. I had the idea a while ago about business owners including “negative testimonials” on sales pages: case studies of those who, for whatever reason, haven’t reached the end goal. Have you ever seen anyone do this? And would it strengthen or diminish your faith in a service professional?
Over to you
Have you held back from promoting your work because you can’t guarantee results? Do you have any tips to add to these three? I’d love to hear from you so leave a comment below.
Haven’t yet identified the A-to-B?
If you’re not yet sure what journey you take clients on, you’re missing out on a core piece of the marketing puzzle. It’s time to make your marketing easier! We cover this in depth in the Turn Your Passion to Profit course which begins again in January. Click here to get front of the queue. You’ll be first to hear when we open for enrollment, plus you’ll get access to the very best deal.
P.S. PASS IT ON
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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2013