Your business is probably changing lives, I will certainly give you that. The fact that every day you open your doors to the world in an effort to help them become better humans is nothing short of amazing. You may work a full-time job and then also run your business because it’s your passion, and that’s incredible. Or, you’ve sacrificed everything so that others can benefit from the thing that you’re an expert at, and that’s admirable.
But what if you could capture more leads?
Most of us get so immersed in our businesses that we forget what it’s like to be the new person just discovering us. We don’t think about how someone actually sees us for the first time. We fail to put ourselves in “their” shoes. If you’re a business owner, there are a few things you’d do well to keep in mind when you think about how a new potential client may view your business.
Here are 10 things I’d like to say to business owners to help them gain my business:
- My first impression of you is formed by looking at your website. Unless I hear about you from a friend, 9 times out of 10 I will find you through your website. There are 3 things I’m processing as soon as I click on your .com… #1 – “Does your website look current and fresh?” (if “no”, I actually don’t even consider the following 2 questions, I just move on to check out your competition). But if “yes”, I ask #2 – “Does it look like I would fit in there?” (by looking at your pictures), and #3 – “Does the vibe you’re communicating through your website look like something I would want to be a part of?”. All this happens in the first 7 seconds.
- If your website passes the 7 second test, then I go to your “About Us” page to see if you look like the kind of people I want to connect with. Your About Us page definitely matters to me… Do you look fun? Do you look relatable? Your staff pictures (videos are even better so I can get to know you a little) and how you write your bios are decision makers for whether I’ll reach out to you… or not.
- I found your website because I googled something. Maybe it’s “best workout in Charleston”, or “fitness gyms in Charleston”, or something similar. If you don’t show up in the top 5 (or better yet, top 3) when I google these things, I’m not going to find you and I’ll reach out to someone who does show up.
- When I search for you, I’m definitely going to read your reviews. What are people saying about you? How many people are saying nice things? What are the negative things? (I may even look at these first, if there are any.) Subconsciously I’m thinking that what other people say about you and how many say great things will most likely reflect the experience I will have with you.
- Written testimonials don’t matter nearly as much to me as video testimonials. Written testimonials, while ok, can sometimes feel contrived. They don’t feel nearly as genuine and engaging as being able to watch someone (in under 90 seconds) use emotion to talk about why they love being a part of what you are providing. They make me want what they have.
- It’s intimidating to come into your business for the first time. I’ve most likely been “researching” you for a while (weeks or even months). And, now I’m here because I’ve liked what I’ve heard, seen, and read. But, we all remember what it’s like to be the “new kid”. It feels like all eyes are on you. Everything feels awkward, but exciting. It’s hard to not know what everyone else knows – the culture, the language, who likes who, what the staff is like, am I wearing the right things, will I fit in, etc. It feels like the first day of 5th grade at a new school all over again. You make me feel welcome (and not like the odd man out), I’ll be forever thankful and stick around.
- I’m not necessarily looking for friends at the place I do business. Especially in the service industry, like fitness, often times we proclaim how great our community is and we say that’s what differentiates us. But, for the most part, people aren’t coming into your gym looking for new friends. It will be a by-product, most likely, but it’s not what I am focused on initially. Don’t tell me how great your community is, show me.
- If I email you and get an automated reply (“Thanks for writing. We’d love to talk to you. Blah blah blah”), that doesn’t feel genuine to me. Automated email replies feel just that – automated. I’d prefer it so much more if you’d just reply back to me within 24 hours (the sooner, the better) with a personalized email, making me feel like you really were glad I reached out.
- If you don’t answer the phone when I call, I’m probably going to move on to your competitors. I know we all are busy and it’s not always feasible to pick up the phone every time, but when you do, it makes a huge difference. Oh and when I call, I’d love it if I felt like you were really glad I called (smile when you’re talking).
- No one cares about your business like you do. I’m checking out your business because of what I need. I have a “problem” and I think you may be able to help me solve it. But, honestly, I only care about your business to the point that it serves me. I know that may sound selfish, but it’s the truth.
You’re probably no different. Start paying attention to the process you go through when you are in need of someone’s services. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings that a new person experiences.
There is a lot of competition out there. When you show up in big ways (which are often creating by doing a lot of little things right), people will take notice and want to be a part of what you’ve built.
In summary, here are the ten things. How are you doing on each of these?
- Invest in an awesome website (this will pay you back in dividends).
- Make your About Us page fun.
- Show up in the top 3 when people search for you.
- Have great reviews, and a lot of them (at minimum 25-30).
- Put video testimonials on your website (at least 3-5).
- Make people feel “at home” at every point of contact with you.
- Show the power of your community.
- Get rid of automated response emails when someone first emails you.
- Answer your phone.
- Keep clients needs always at the forefront.
Stuck on some of these things? We can help. Check out how.
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This post was written by Julie Weldon. (firstname.lastname@example.org)