and More Sales in Your Pocket

One of my co-workers recently had a business lunch with a few different people. One of the guys at the lunch ordered a salad with chicken. When the waitress brought out his salad, it was truly a sore sight to see. The salad with chicken had lots of lettuce and other goodies on it but only TWO PIECES of chicken, along with one piece of pure gristle. He showed the salad to everyone at the table, asking for verification, “Don’t you think a salad that comes with chicken should have more chicken on it?” The consensus was unanimous – there was absolutely NO DOUBT that the salad should come with more than two pieces of chicken.

He called the waitress over to bring the issue to her attention. She balked at his request for more chicken. She questioned why he should get more chicken; she initially wasn’t going to do anything about it. Finally, she agreed to take it back to the cook and let him determine if he neglected to put enough chicken on the salad. When she brought the salad out again, it had more chicken.

What was the disconnect here? How could a table full of people come to one conclusion, but the waitress wouldn’t jump on board? You could say that the waitress was simply backing up some unwritten restaurant guidelines on being stingy with patrons. But that wasn’t the case. What happened is that he changed his approach, his sales pitch, if you will, when he talked with the waitress. With his lunchmates, he took the time to show them the salad – the two measly pieces of chicken and the piece of gristle (yum). When the waitress came out, he didn’t do that. He simply told her, “I want more chicken on my salad.” Throughout his back-and-forth with her, he never showed her the salad. He just kept reiterating that he wanted more chicken on his salad.

Perhaps he’d done his show-and-tell spiel enough times with everyone else at the table that he didn’t think he needed to go through it again. Since everyone at the table agreed with him so quickly, perhaps he thought the issue was obvious enough that it didn’t need any kind of visual accompaniment. Regardless, the point is that he didn’t sell his case to the waitress.

That often happens with us in business. The benefit of our services seem so obvious to ourselves that we fail to accurately represent those benefits to potential clients. They come, listen to our spiel, and leave without signing a contract. And then we scratch our heads and wonder why.

The chicken salad incident simply serves as a reminder that with EVERY potential client we have to SHOW them the benefits of working with us. We can’t just assume it will be obvious to the client. How can you show the benefits? Well, it’s different for different businesses. However, here are some of the ways that Digital Dogs communicates with potential clients:

– Before and After snapshots of websites

For some reason, people seem to appreciate a web redesign only if they see how horrible the website looked BEFORE the redesign.

– Free Demos
We built an awesome app that sells itself rather easily once people see it in use. Scheduling a demo with a potential client can sometimes be difficult, but give them some incentive. Offer a Starbucks card if they’ll sit through a demo (mmm…coffee).

– Sample Reports
It always seems to help people see the kinds of results that current clients have received, and reporting works well for this purpose, especially for our SEO customers. We like to use actual client reports – not just mocked up samples – but we always make sure to get client permission before showing their reports to other companies.

These are just some of the ways that Digital Dogs tries to show, and not just tell, potential clients about our services. We realize we can improve with our methods, and that often we don’t utilize all the tools we have at our disposal.

What about your company? What are effective ways you’ve found for marketing yourself to potential clients?

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