This is a guest post from Jared Kessler, Mr. Kick- Ass himself.
In this post he talks about how referrals can actually kill your biz (yes, KILL it, that wasn’t a typo) and what you can do to fix this crazy phenomenon.
You know the drill… make him feel warm and fuzzy in the comments below, and if you’ve got a question- ask it!
Here’s how the conversation goes.
“Oh hey. I’d love to talk to you about re-doing the copy on my website. But don’t laugh at it. Ok? I know it needs work because most of my business is off of referrals – not new business.”
Scratching my head, while politely laughing along side of them to “be professional,” I think to myself “Oh God. I’m hoping it’s not any longer than a few days they’ve gone on feeling this embarrassed over their website.”
Do you now know why those in business mostly work off of referrals these days (especially those who’ve been in business for a number of years)?
It’s obvious. Right?
But before we get into it, I think I have to say how great it is that most of your business is off of referrals. You know what that proves?
That people love your service. Love your product. And trust you enough to deliver that same consistent quality over to their friends. Business associates. Or anyone else they’re proud to tell about you.
So if most of your business is off of referrals, where does your website fall into all of this? And what would be its main purpose?
Here it is (and please listen closely). Because unless you get and truly understand this, you’ll consistently struggle to get any kind of new business through your current website.
YOUR WEBSITE ISN’T FOR THOSE WHO ALREADY KNOW YOU SILLY! IT’S FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO DON’T ALREADY KNOW YOU!
Now sit with that. Seriously. Sit with it for a few minutes and let that resonate inside of your body. Feel it. Understand it. And mull it over in your mind.
So what’s it for, Mr./Mrs. Referral-Based-Business-Owner-Of-Yesteryear?
It’s to convince someone that knows absolutely nothing about you they want you. To convince those people that know they need a service or product like yours, but your site does it in a way where someone says to themselves, “I need to hire you. I need to own your product. I want your service.”
Because it’s 100% clear on how you’ll solve their biggest problem (or pain). What kind of business you are. And why they can trust you enough to deliver on what’s being said that you deliver.
So are we now 100% clear now on what your website’s for (my referral based business associates)?
And listen, I apologize if that came off a bit crass. A bit blunt. But here’s the thing…
Now you know why you’re only getting business through referrals, because your website isn’t up-to-par in where it really needs to be. And let’s face it. You know that. That’s why you’re embarrassed to tell anyone about your website. Right?
And listen… it’s really important to understand that I’m am only talking about people who “just work off of referrals.”
Because let’s think about this for a second… who’s going to ever want to do business with someone who’s embarrassed about any part of their business (hiding their head in shame from how their website looks or reads)?
“How you do everything. Is how you do everything.”
Because what’s currently on your site, doesn’t read in a way that accurately represents who you are. How great your product or service really is. What it can really do for someone. And it doesn’t currently position you and your business as a bigger solution to the deeper problem your customers face.
So here’s a few quick solutions that I hope will help. A few things that I believe can make a pretty big impact – if implemented correctly.
Be an Investigator
“Find out how your product or service is the solution to their deeper problem.”
For me, I say, “Simplifying great ideas into words that sell, I help businesses stand out from the noise, not just add to it.”
That’s a bit different than just saying, “I’m a professional copywriter. Kick ass copywriter. Seattle Copywriter” (or anything else you’d like to add to my title). Right?
Because after talking to dozens of small businesses, the one thing I consistently found that most people struggle with, is taking their great ideas out from their head. Simplifying them. And communicating it out into the world that gets them to stand out from the noise – the thousands (if not millions) of people that do what it is they do.
Know What’s Important
“You’ll also need to tell us less about you. And more about us.”
One of my previous clients was a Business Consultant. He did amazing work, but was continually getting frustrated in trying to figure out how to best communicate what it is he does for people that had never met him before – without the hard sell. Without the sales pitch. Without boring people to death in practically forcing a complete stranger to read a 4 page resume about how great his business is (the most common problem small businesses face today).
I mean seriously.
It’s kind of like dating. Right? I mean who wants to sit through a first date with some complete stranger you just met that loves shooting off everything about themselves in just the first few minutes of meeting (barely even finishing the appetizer)?!
Yet our website winds up doing the same thing. Right?
Turning people off, instead of turning people on.
So I got him to look at things from the perspective of how no one cares about us. How people these days take just a matter of seconds to decide whether or not they want to work with someone like us.
And how we can transform and find out how to create a deeper level of rapport with them. And a deeper level of trust (just through putting ourselves completely in the shoes of our potential customer or prospect).
Writing from their perspective. Not ours. Offering our business as the solution to their deeper need. Their deeper pain.
And a few days later I got a call from him about how ecstatic he was. Elated that I took out everything about how great his expertise is, and how much more it is about his prospects. Not him.
Focus More on Benefits (Less on Features)
Some people might already know this, but they still don’t seem to get it. Finding a way to communicate what people actually get when they buy from you…
Communicating how much time, money and frustration they’ll save (the big 3).
So my dear referral-based-business-friend who get tons of referrals falling off the virtual apple tree, you now know why referrals are killing your business? Having nothing to do with the quality of your service and how great you are…
It’s because you’re skipping over what your website’s really for – those who don’t know you, versus those who already do. Making absolutely sure that it reads in a way that’s more about your prospect, and less about you.
Because when all the referrals run dry, you’re business is doing one of two things. Standing out from the noise. Or just adding to it.
Which do you have? Which do you want?
Like this post? Me too, so if you liked it, please share it with your pals. Jared appreciates it, and you know I <3 you for it! 😉