How would you describe Wonder Woman’s invisible jet? In the cartoon series, the plane looked more like glass than invisible. Technically, we should not be able to describe it at all. Not without touching it and tracing its shape.
The Batmobile, on the other hand, can be easily described. Well, that depends. It could be the 1966 “Batman” TV series or it could be the one from the “Batman” movies. The car from the TV series is more iconic. Based on the 1955 Lincoln Futura, the Batmobile had a distinctive long, thin design highlighted by orange lines and featured sharp corners.
Like describing Wonder Woman’s jet without ever having seen the TV cartoon, describing services can be a challenge. However, it’s possible to make your services stand out with these tips.
Establish yourself as an expert
Blogging and social media have kicked the doors wide open to help professional services professionals share thought leadership and prove their expertise. Specialists can give presentations and keynotes, build relationships with journalists to become a go-to source for industry quotes and sound bites, and write blog posts and articles offering insights, analyses, how tos, and industry news.
Maximize opportunities by adding links to other content on your business website from within the post or article. Link to case studies, white papers, articles, webinars, and other useful resources. This allows your prospects to learn more about your services while boosting search engine juice.
If you have a mailing list, consider including a subscription box at the end of the article. Or, set up a pop-up box. Pop-ups may annoy some people, but that have been proven to work well.
End some articles with a call to action or contact information. I say “some” not “all” for a reason. If you end every article with a call to action, outsiders might not be willing to share your article. They don’t want to link to content that tries to make a sale or promote something. Be selective about any call to action that sells your services as opposed to leading readers to more insightful resources.
Have you ever noticed an expert in a field is often the one quoted or mentioned in a story? For finance-related topics, Robert T. Kiyosaki of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” or Suze Orman are often quoted in finance articles. You and your employees don’t have to be a TV star or author to reach influencer status in your field.
Focus on the benefits and end-results
Most of us know that focusing on the benefits works. However, what some think of as benefits tend to be features. An erase is feature on a pencil. The benefit is being able to correct mistakes or changes. Say someone writes down a wrong digit in a phone number and erases it to fix it. That person is avoiding the possibility of dialing the wrong number and missing out on reaching out the right person.
Getting your money faster is a feature of invoice financing. The benefit of getting your money faster is gaining more time to spend on your business to increase revenues. You won’t be wasting revenue-generating time on chasing payments and other stressful activities.
Another benefit is that you’ll pay your vendors and employees on time. No incurring penalties for late payment or ruffling feathers.
Ask yourself: How are my clients better off after using my services? Highlight those benefits and results.
Explain the process to deliver the services
Another challenge is that your prospects may not realize how much work goes into delivering the services they may hire you to do. Do you know what a factor does to make invoice financing possible? You might think they send you the payment for your invoice and wait on your clients to pay them back. There’s much more to it.
When you describe your process, your prospects will have a better understanding of the depth of what you provide. It also helps justify the price. Another option is to break up your services into phases. A prospect may be willing to try one phase of your services for $2k rather than plunk down 15 grand for the entire shebang.
While some services can’t be broken into phases, you can split up the process. For example, Phase 1 could be an evaluation of the situation and proposing two or three solutions. Phase 2 could be a demonstration or pilot. Phase 3 project completion. Phase 4 post-project evaluation. Phase 5 ongoing maintenance.
Use testimonials and case studies
The valuable thing about testimonials and case studies is that they let someone else do the talking for your company. For testimonials, try to get a first and last name, job title, and company name. Of course, make sure the client is OK with your displaying that information. If the client needs help with writing a testimonial, ask this question: What has our services helped you achieve?
The trick is to avoid hollow words like great, wonderful, and superior. What does “They’re great!” tell you? If the client didn’t like your services, a testimonial could be telling only part of the story as in “They’re great at delivering late.”
Think about the problems your clients have in common. The aim is to identify the most frequent types of problems they experience. When you use these in your case studies, prospects are more likely to see themselves in the story.
To make your case strong, show the side effects of not solving the problem. What happens if they’re hit by Kryptonite? How will it weaken their business like Kryptonite weakens Superman?
You want to compel your prospects to take action and hire you. It’s less powerful when you cover the problem and solution without explaining what happens if you don’t solve the problem. Prospects may think they can put it off or live with it.
Let’s say a company has the opportunity to take on a five-figure project. But they don’t have enough people and materials to cover it. They can either get working capital now or turn down the project. To avoid taking on new debt, the company looks into invoice financing.
Management reads the financial services company’s case studies about how they helped clients who needed working capital for new projects, big purchases, or to balance their cash flow.
A smart case study would show how a company that turned down the project can’t grow business. They’re stuck in status quo. They serve their current clients and don’t have the resources to accept new business. The only way they can grow is by jumping on new opportunities. However, accomplishing this requires extra working capital.
If they opt not to get more working capital and keep things as is, nothing will change. Profits remain the same. Management continues spending a chunk of their time chasing payments instead of doing revenue-generating activities. They could also be making late payments on invoices, putting their relationships with their vendors at risk.
Once you show what life looks like without the solution, then you dive in and show how the solution turns the company into a better version of themselves.
Put these tips to work to add tangibility to your services that looks more like the Batmobile and less like Wonder Woman’s plane. And you’ll be able to lasso more opportunities and see your business fly as fast as Superman.
Image credit: JD Hancock