Are you a mind reader?

As I write this it's the hottest day of the year so far (Tuesday) and it's getting late in the day so my brain is getting a bit frazzled.  I therefore thought I'd cheat and find a funny video to share with you for this week's email and so I popped onto Google and typed in "hot office videos".  Suffice to say, I won't be sharing any of the videos that came up in the results!

But it got me thinking, do you know what your prospects are looking for when they're looking for your service?

What are they typing into a Google search and will your website come up in the results, either natural or paid?

What do they need to hear when you're doing your 40-60 second spiel at a networking event that will make them sit up and think, "I need to speak to that person"?

We all know our businesses inside out and it's easy to assume that everyone knows what we do, or to describe it in a way that involves too many technical or industry-specific terms that doesn't mean anything to anyone else.

I remember many years ago, when VAs where not common, thinking that describing myself as "a secretary who works from her own office instead of yours" would made it more understandable for people.  What I eventually discovered was that unless you'd had a secretary in a previous 'life', nobody really knew what a secretary did, so it didn't help at all!

So if you're struggling to get people to buy into what you can do for them, have a real think about how you're putting yourself across.  Try and put yourselves in the shoes of your prospects - what are they actually looking for and how would they describe it, not having inside knowledge of your industry?

A big part of this is the features vs. benefits issue that many people struggle with:

  • Features are what you actually do, ie. "process all your receipts and invoices and make sure your accounting information is up-to-date"


  • Benefits are what it means to the prospect, ie. "you will have valuable information on which to base decisions in your business; you will not get fined for late submissions; you will have more time to spend with your family & friends"

I'd love to hear what you think you do for your customers and I'll happily feedback what I think that means and see if it's what you actually do.


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