Clients are losers.
They’re losing business to competitors, losing because they’re missing reviews, losing because they have negative reviews. The vast majority of clients are struggling to get ahead.
They’re constantly losing business.
Because these clients have a reputation problem.
They’re viewed a certain way by customers around them. Most of the time, that perception is poor.
1. Non-existent. Their online reviews are non-existent, they aren’t even considered as an option because customers don’t know they exist.
2. Poor quality. The ratio of positive / negative reviews are out of whack. Customers leave more negative reviews than positive.
3. Shallow & insignificant. Customers leave short, unhelpful and poorly written reviews. The reviewers aren’t credible, believable or relevant.
Your clients need traffic leads and sales. Reviews offer that. But thanks to these problems, customers aren’t willing to take a risk.
Clients won’t take a risk if they don’t understand
When it comes to online reviews, unsophisticated clients don’t get it. They’re a little fuzzy about online reviews, but it’s hard for them to understand the value.
As soon as they hear jargon they glaze over.
Most don’t understand SEO, they don’t know what SERPs are and they definitely don’t understand knowledge panels or local packs.
Which is exactly how most agencies sell online review marketing and management services.
Here’s why that’s a disaster.
The vast majority of clients won’t admit they don’t understand. They’ll simply reject your offer without explaining why in order to save face.
They don’t want to look stupid.
Want to increase your conversion rate when pitching non-digitals? It’s actually pretty easy.
You use analogies to sell your pitch.
Pretty obvious, right?
Choosing the right analogy isn’t obvious
If you want your analogy to be successful, it needs to meet three criteria.
1. Easy to understand
2. Commonly used
3. Relevant to your pitch
Miss any of these criteria, and a successful pitch is pretty unlikely.
Wait a minute?
Why use analogies at all? Couldn’t you use something, anything else besides an analogy?
You could, but it’s less likely to be successful.
An analogy transfers meaning from something your client knows well, to something your client doesn’t understand at all.
This is why an analogy is so important.
When it’s done well, your analogy takes a completely foreign idea and it makes it acceptable.
Analogies create safety.
Safety gives your clients the ability to assess risk. When they’re safe, they’re in a position to evaluate your pitch and make a decision. They can’t make the decision you want if they’re not feeling safe.
Where do you start?
What are some analogies you can use to instantly convey value to prospective clients?
Analogy #1: Hungry on a Road Trip
The vast majority of adults have driven on a highway. If you’re like most people, you’ve done your fair share of traveling, which means you’ve also experienced the unpleasant downside to driving on the highway.
If you’ve traveled with kids, you know what I’m talking about. A potty emergency where kids are in full panic mode. They need to get to a bathroom.
If you’ve done a fair bit of driving on the highway, you’ve experienced hunger on the road. You’ve run out of gas. You’ve needed a place to stay for the night.
So, you look for this:
This analogy is perfect because it meets the criteria we established earlier.
· Easy to understand. We’ve spent years looking for and reading these signs. So, as far as analogies go, it’s intuitive and self explanatory.
· Commonly used. When we need something, we automatically look for these signs. Which is exactly what customers do when they search for something online.
· Relevance. Customers searching on Google have the same problem. There’s a need, a problem customers want solved. Could be as simple as finding a great place to eat or as complex as corporate tax planning advice. The Road trip analogy works because it’s analogous to search.
When do you use this analogy? You use it…
Here’s the great part about this analogy. It’s an excellent way to explain local SEO, knowledge panels and local packs, without boring or overwhelming customers.
Analogy #2: High School Gossip
Gossip is an unpleasant fact of life. Most of us got our first taste of gossip from school. Gossip takes place at school and at work – it’s unavoidable.
It’s no different with your clients. Customers, competitors, the market – they all have something to say about their business. When their business is criticized unfairly it affects their revenue. This gossip hurts financially, and the worst part is, it’s completely out of their control.
Or, is it?
What if they can control it?
You obviously can’t control what individual customers say. But what if your clients were able to guide the direction and flow of the conversation? What if you were able to control the perception and influence of your company?
With reviews you can (see what I did there)?
This works well because as people, we’re sensitive to rejection. This analogy triggers the fear of rejection.
How do we know business owners are sensitive to rejection? They show us. Business owners have sued reviewers in the past. They’ve attacked and condemned reviewers who have rejected them.
Online review marketing and management puts clients in the driver’s seat. They may not be able to control what indirect reviewers think but, with your help, they’ll be able to direct the overall flow of the conversation.
Your client’s revenue is safe from a disgruntled customer.
But only if they hire you.
Here’s why the “High School Gossip” analogy works so well. It plays on our negative bias.
It also exposes a dirty secret.
Success isn’t a strong enough motivator. Avoiding problems, pain and suffering is. The stronger their pain, the more motivated clients are to find a solution.
Analogy #3: Voting for a winner
SEO can be tough for non-digital clients to understand. Mention on-page optimization, SERPS, backlinks, or social signals – throw any jargon around and customers glaze over.
You need an analogy.
Conventional wisdom says you should avoid politics and religion like the plague.
That’s absolutely appropriate. These are third rail topics that generate a significant amount of hostility. Which is why it’s a good idea to avoid that.
There’s something better you can use to explain the ins and outs of SEO.
Votes get you elected, backlinks and social signals achieve rankings which leads to more traffic, leads and sales. The more votes you have from high quality sources the more you’ll make.
How exactly do we win “votes?”
When it comes to “votes”, each of these factors offer a boost in the right direction. Done consistently and properly a win becomes far more likely than not.
Which is exactly what you’re looking for.
The more “votes” you accumulate, the more customers you attract. The more customers you attract, the more sales you make, etc.
Win more “votes,” win more customers. It’s a simple yet repeatable process your clients can follow.
These analogies won’t work for everyone
That’s the immediate concern.
And you know what? The skeptics are right. These analogies aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. When it comes to customer motivations, we’re all different.
There’s a simple solution to this seemingly messy problem.
Spend time with your customers. Get to know them. If you’re dealing with low volume requests in your industry you can deal with them one-on-one. Study their psychographics. Learn more about their interests, then create a tailor made analogy just for them. Your conversion rates will thank you.
What if you need a scalable solution?
Do the upfront work, really get to know your audience up front. Every industry, culture or subculture has its own set of interests.
Take developers for example.
Developers may enjoy playing an instrument, watching anime, play video games, building their computers and of course, writing code. See the trend?
Study your audience and customers will give you the materials you need to create the perfect analogy.
Most clients are on a losing streak
Non-digital clients spend their time running from one fire to the next. They’re focused on the most urgent problems so their losing streak only seems to get worse.
You can save them…
If you have the right analogy. The right analogy gives them clarity and focus. It gets you past their filters. They’re too ashamed, too embarrassed to admit they don’t understand.
You have a way in.
With the right analogy you’ll have everything you need to convince your client you can turn their losing streak around.