Can You Really Help Your Customer?

Whenever someone asks if you can help them, there is only one thing they are considering.

Do you really have the necessary direct experience to first understand their situation – and then the acquired knowledge for applying a viable solution.

People and Google LIKE Direct Experience

People like direct experience. This is why they are highly influenced by reviews on Amazon, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Of course, Google likes what people like. Their mission is to bring all of us more of what we are searching for so that they can profit from selling ads that further accomplish that objective.

When you share your experience of successfully working with hundreds or thousands of customers, you instantly differentiate your small business.

Relevant experience gives buyers confidence that they are working with someone that has been there and done it so many times they can do again in their sleep.

Most prospects will notice your marketing, but astute ones pay more attention to subtle signals that you can indeed help them.

The challenge for new businesses is acquiring requisite experience. This means someone has to take a chance to give it to them. Some will, but they will usually expect concessions in return.

Smart marketers sell direct experience – not stories borrowed from the Internet.

If you don’t have direct experience, the best thing you can do is to get it from those that do.

An ideal way to accomplish this is to offer to help them for free. Everyone can use an extra hand once in a while.

Get into the trenches with them and get that direct experience. Now you have a valid story that will resonate with those seeking your help.

In fact, you may even be able to offer a valuable fresh perspective, as well as some special expertise.

People and Google LOVE Recent Experience

The only thing more relevant than direct experience is recent experience. This why Google ranks recent content highly.

What else is relevant? Extensive experience. Google associates this with authority.

The combination of decades of experience with recently being in the game is powerful. You have likely encountered just about every obstacle one could imagine, and because your expertise is current – you know what to do next.

As the founder and owner of several small businesses, I understand most people like to know the owner is involved with their project. However, they also prefer working directly with the most skilled specialists.

In other words, customers want both relevant and extensive experience – as a result, so does Google. 

My landscape construction services business had a process that required four meetings to consummate a deal. As the business owner, I was always at the most important meetings, #1 and #4.  This was when we were introducing the capabilities or our company, and when we were closing a deal.

Meetings #2 and #3 were more involved with the technical work – something that my landscape architects could do more capably than me.

I could have and did handle all four meetings when my business was getting off the ground, so I indeed acquired direct experience during those years.

Yet, I maintained my relevancy by being involved with each and every project – applying my strengths when appropriate while also delegating to those with greater talent and more recent training in the technical aspects of our work.

My direct experience with hundreds of customers allowed me to introduce thousands of relevant stories. However, once the technical work began, my presence was unnecessary overhead.

That was our process for really helping our customers.

What’s yours?

Marketing today heavily favors content marketing and social sharing that validates your direct, extensive, and recent experience helping customers – much like those you are seeking to attract.

The most valuable thing you can do to enhance your marketing is to have direct interaction with real and live customers – yours or those of a more experienced colleague and friend.

Marketers are skilled at talking the talk – but the successful ones can prove they have also walked the walk.

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Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Photo Credit: renjith krishnan