Toot your own horn (shh ... quietly)
Hooray! You've completed Marketing 101 and grabbed a potential client's attention.
Now, the marketing continues.
This time though, in Marketing 102, your goal is to build that always powerful know, like, and trust factor. Your goal is to give prospect the feeling that you're qualified and more than able to deliver what you promise.
Your goal now is to give that prospective client confidence--in you!
How do you do it? How do you instill confidence?
By tooting your own horn--quietly.
You don't want to blow their ears out with a huge blast, declaring, "I'm the right person for you!"
That approach won't lead to a contract falling into your lap. It may even lead to you getting thwacked! (Ouch!)
Instead, show your potential customer your knowledge, ability, and expertise by taking time to plan before your first meeting.
What to consider?
Suppose you're a web designer, and you'll soon be meeting with a potential customer who sells athletic shoes and equipment locally. They've contacted you to take their business online.
(Not a web designer? Don't worry—this approach is valid no matter which type of product or service you sell.)
BEFORE THE MEETING
First, gather as much information as you can on the prospect and their industry. Have any articles been published about them online? What are the hot buttons in their industry right now?
Details from this type of research will help you to speak in your prospect's language, and to be "in the know." Aren't you impressed when someone has done their research on YOU? It shows a level of care above and beyond what most others bother to do.
Second, play "eye spy" on the prospect's competitors. Point your browser towards other eCommerce shoe sites. How do they do it? What do their sites look like? How can your prospective customer's site make things easier, faster, or more user friendly?
You can use this information in the meeting to let your potential client know how you can make their site better than the sites of competitors.
Score! A point for you, the prepared one.
Third, scope out other companies or brands that might be competing for the dollars of your prospect's customers. For instance, might someone in the market for new shoes also be in the market for new workout clothes, or new equipment? What are THOSE competitors up to? And, more important, what techniques can your prospective customer use (with your help) to cause more dollars to flow their way?
Finally, if you haven't already from the previous steps, be clear about why your service will increase your client's profits, or differentiate them, or make them look marvelous, or solve whatever problem brought them to you in the first place.
You'll impress your potential client when you discuss their market, competition, and customers, and your service will be that much more valuable if you can offer suggestions during the meeting instead of just taking notes.
Remember, YOU'RE the expert.
Your prospect's job is to sell shoes. Your job is to help them sell shoes, not just design a website.
Toot toot toot!
Getting "in the know" might not sound as if you're tooting your own horn—but it is! By showing that you've done your research, you're quietly showcasing your expertise, and your ability to help your client increase sales. That's their goal. Your job is to help them meet that goal.
The same holds true no matter what product or service you're selling.
An artist seeking commissions might prepare various portfolios and information sheets around common events that lead to commissions, like a wedding, graduation, or birth.
A life coach seeking coaching clients might include a three-question quiz or survey on the "thanks for booking" page, asking the prospect to share a little about why they're seeking coaching. The coach, in turn, can use that information to prepare to speak to those issues during the meeting.
In my case, for a prospect looking for web content, I would study the competitions' web content. Do they offer informative articles on the site to create "stickiness," which keeps buyers coming back for more? What about the content on the home page? Is it keyword-rich and optimized for the search engines?
The point of all this is not to try to sell as many services or products as you possibly can, but to HELP YOUR CUSTOMER reach their goals or increase their sales.
Doing so will, in turn, help you reach your goals and increase YOUR sales.