What hurts more than the sting of judgy Netflix asking, “Are you still watching?”… Losing a client to a competitor! It really stinks to get jazzed about the prospect of working with someone, have a great consult call and then… crickets. Worse, a few weeks later, on Facebook you see the potential client connected with someone else instead of you.
“But whyyyyy?” you cry out, over one too many glasses of wine with your girlfriends, telling them how you really thought you’d be “the one!” Here’s how to spot some reasons you didn’t land that client so that you’re always their top choice from now on!
You are not the industry leader.
If you are the best at something, there is no comparison. Even if your rates are sky-high, clients will still happily pay because there is no alternative to you. How can you compare someone who is in a league of their own? There’s a lot you could do to stand out as the only option.
For example, I worked hard to be the Best Wedding Photographer in Wisconsin by Wisconsin Bride four years in a row (I wrote about that here). While winning that award felt so amazing, and definitely allowed me to be the first choice for leads who came to me, you can be the best sans awards by focusing on the results you provide your clients, in a way that no one else can duplicate.
Take my friend Ashlyn Carter, for example. She’s able to charge more than other copywriters because her service creates a nearly-immediate return on investment. And, even though there’s a lot of copywriters out there, there are very few that specialize only on sales pages and email funnels with a fun, feminine vibe.
How could you be the best and stand out in your circles?
Your contract scared them off.
Uh oh, I’m going there. The legal talk – because you need to hear it. If your contract is long and boring, there’s a good chance that potential client isn’t reading it. And if the potential client isn’t reading it, they’re definitely not signing it. There have been so many companies I haven’t worked with because their contract showed a lack of consideration for my busy schedule. The terms were too long for our small project, or the language was wayyyy to user-UNfriendly.
If two companies are fairly similar, I’m going to go with the one who has the better user experience. Having a contract that cares about the client is definitely a no-brainer for improving the experience. If you think you might have a dud on your hands, click here to snag a contract template your leads love notes, not loathing.
Their expectations didn’t match up with reality.
This often results from a mismatch in one of two areas: (1) pricing or (2) your offer. First, if your site is a jigsaw puzzle of broken links and pixelated photos and you’re asking a lot for your service, a client is naturally going to be wary. They’ll likely head elsewhere. Or in the reverse, if your site is killer but your price is low, they may suspect something is off and ghost on you.
Second, I can’t tell you how many times an offer isn’t consistent from first touch to last. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and only want to offer full branding packages, don’t distract your visitors with funnel mapping services, or event planning. When you’re super specialized, you convey you are successful and in demand for that service. By offering slightly related, or worse, completely unrelated services, you confuse and overwhelm which leads to lost clients.
Go through your site from the perspective of a client. Do your services make sense?
Someone they trusted told them, “don’t do it.”
Referrals are key. Did you know that according to a Nielson study, 92% of people trust referrals from someone they know, and the big think-tank McKinsey has found that 20-50% of our purchasing decisions are affected by our close social circles. If someone is super excited to work with you but you can tell there’s someone in their life who is a harder sell, try to get on the phone with that person too.
For example, if the fiance is being super picky + price resistant, try to show him why you’re the clear winner as far as providing the service you’re selling. Bride’s mom in a funk? Figure out a way to show her some love and you might just get the gig.
You didn’t over-communicate.
It’s not enough to simply email a lead back. You need to really wow them with your attention to detail. A lot of people believe the speed you respond to a client inquiry determines whether you’ll get them. While that may be partly true, I have a better solution. What if, when a client filled out your inquiry form, they received a series of customized emails from you that nurtured them from lead to client no matter where you are or what you’re doing?
An automated email sequence can answer initial common questions, anticipate needs the client is too embarrassed to ask about yet (like pricing, or what to wear) and slowly warm the client up to your brand so that you become the clear choice. To learn how to put this in place, click here.
No shame in the game– we all have to learn. Which one of these five areas do you think you could improve in to wow your next batch of leads? Comment below!