Not literally (although that may come)*.
What I mean is that this week the shoe’s been on the other foot: I’ve been searching for a gardener and found myself becoming a regular punter. A typical prospect. An imbiber of website copy. An analyser of 5-star reviews.
That’s because sometimes recommendations don’t work out.
So I had to resort to Google. And once I did that, I was comparing and contrasting people at such speed, that I noticed what was making me hit the ‘contact’ button and what was stopping me.
So what did I find from being on the other side of the fence? Here are my field notes:
👨👧👧 Profile pic of gardener – extra points if with family – BIG TICK. Nice Person, not some strange opportunist who happens to have found some hedge clippers down the back of the sofa. Not a picture of a tree – this means nothing to me. This is the financial services equivalent of a picture of a piggy bank, small green shoot or a calculator.
🔗 Website where the links work and it’s easy to find contact details – FAB. You’re still in business, you want my business, you care about making this easy for me. You must therefore be easy to work with, professional etc.
🖼 Before and after pictures – YES. You take pride in your work and are confident with the results. You actually do the job I want doing.
📣 Testimonials – WHOOP. Quick scan a handful tells me you’re reliable, trustworthy, value for money and professional. You’ve also recently been giving a discount to OAPs – cuuuuuute.
🤗 The words ‘I look forward to your call’ – BINGO. This makes me feel as if you genuinely want to hear from me, and not that you’re too busy or that I’m too small for you.
I found all this – particularly the last point – reassuring because I employ these subtle touches in my work, but sometimes they’re so subtle that I question their effectiveness. But they really matter.
Because it’s easy to describe your qualifications etc and show people your experience. That tells me you can literally do the job, just as I’m sure that these people can all chop dead bits off plants.
But that’s just part of the story.
What people really want to know is whether they’ll get on with you.
I want to work with someone whose enthusiastic and cares about my predicament, eg how my overgrown apple tree is impacting my middle class life.
Because if they care it means I’ll get the exact results I’m looking for, and it will also be an enjoyable experience. And that’s important because this person is going to be in my garden, drinking my tea and hovering around my bedroom window for the next few weeks, months or years.
Most clients of clients I speak to always talk about their adviser’s bedside manner, non-pushy approach, ability to reassure and exceptional listening skills, and this is what’s important to get across. So you may explain that you can do the numbers bit, but does your messaging show you care?
🐶 *Getting a new pup next week