Giving Advice vs. Giving Information is Costing You Clients
Giving Advice vs. Giving Information is Costing You Clients I once asked the members of our program calls, how much time they were spending with prospects to close a sale. A few members, who were service providers, knew exactly how long it took them to convert a prospect into a paying client. While others, sadly, said they often spent 30 minutes with a prospect at a networking meeting, than an hour or two meeting face-to-face with THE SAME prospect (while giving advice), and than another 30 to 60 minutes over the phone (still giving advice) to THE SAME prospect. So, that is 30 minutes at a networking meeting, 1 or 2 hours face-to-face, and 1 more hour over the phone. 3 ½ hours giving advice to one prospect. No wonder they no longer needed your help. Not good.
You see, I used to be guilty of giving away advice for FREE. And, I discovered most self-employed service professionals give so much advice away, that their prospects have enough information to solve their problem on their own. These professionals are using outdated marketing and sales techniques to convert a prospect, into a paying client, and it's frustrating them. That why professionals who use newer systems and communication leverage techniques, can totally transform their business to become more efficient and effective. They end up working smarter, not harder.
You must know the difference between giving information and giving advice. When you give advice, you are giving tactics that can be converted into action. That's why those who participate in our Client Communication Success Programs receive our advice such as, "Here's what you say, here's what you do, here's when to do it, here's why you need to do it that way." Giving advice that is specific is incredibly empowering to a client. But, advice also empowers prospects not to purchase your services, since you've helped them solve their issue without paying you.
Now, giving information is inconclusive. When you give information to a prospect, you're giving them puzzle pieces of a picture to focus on. Most of the time prospects don't even know they're out of focus, until you focus the picture for them. Giving them information helps them put the puzzle pieces together, on their own terms. So they take the first puzzle piece, then add that to the next puzzle piece, and go on and on. Finally, they see part of the picture, and realize that they need your advice to stay motivated to continue. That's what leading prospects into paying clients is all about.
Let's face it the marketplace has changed. You can't use the same marketing and sales communication strategies year after year. Therefore you want to target your information towards the 20% of the local or global population that are already PRE-QUALIFIED and eager to buy from you. So, I recommend that you:
1. Start watching how successful business owners communicate information to prospects, and model your communication after what feels natural to you. Notice how long it takes them to reach their point. (They make their point quickly. Hint. Hint)
2. Go to your local library, and check out DVD's from top earning American professionals. If you are targeting a foreign born professional, seek out videos of sales professionals from that culture. Watch what they wear, how they stand, and their facial expressions. They're confident about what they sell, and they know how to sell information to that culture.
And, I know it may be hard to believe, but I assure you, when you change the way you communicate ADVICE to clients, and INFORMATION to prospects your business will grow. It has worked for me, and we've done it for our clients too.
About the Author:
Kim Schott, your Global Client Communication Mentor, is the author of the Keys to Client Communication System™, the step-by-step, paint by numbers client communication program help self-employed service professionals to attract more clients in less time. To receive your weekly how-to articles on consistently attracting more local and global clients in less time, visit www.SchottCulturalConsulting.com
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