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Two Words That Can Help You Get More Clients

Do you have a problem story? If not, you need to work on one now.

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Problem story.

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Ok, I know that's two words, but we're all friends here, right?

Anyway, "problem story" has become my new favorite term when it comes to getting more clients. Here's a quick definition: A problem story is simply your way of letting perspective clients know that you understand their pain and the overall problem that's driving their situation.

Most businesses in general, and service professionals in particular don't do that.

Sure, we'll tell them about our business. And we'll tell them how we can help. And tell them what they need to buy. But, in terms of relating and understanding their situation, and the specific problems and challenges associated with it ... not so much.

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Think of it this way. When I go to the Home Depot to buy a drill, I'm actually not trying to get a drill. The reason I go is because I need to make a hole -- the drill was just the tool I needed to get that accomplished!

And when you think about it, the same thing is true for your business. You're an instrument for solving their problem.

If I'm a lawyer, I'm a vehicle for solving their legal problem. If I'm a coach, I'm a vehicle for solving their client-acquisition problem. If I'm an accountant, I'm a vehicle for solving their tax or bookkeeping problem.

Thus, a really great way for you to win business is to demonstrate your understanding of a problem! Hence, the problem story. And the reason I call it a problem "story" (versus a statement or something else), is that stories allow you to emotionally connect with others. It allows you to share something with others, rather than simply tell something. 

And I know that doesn't sound like a huge difference -- telling versus sharing -- but emotionally, it's worlds apart.

For example, if I told you how I understand that clients are super important to your business ... maybe you believe me, maybe you don't.

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But, what if I shared an experience? The story of driving to some cities, not having enough money to make it back to my house unless I picked up two new clients during that 10-day trip? And what if I shared with you how I can still remember only having $20 in my checking account on four different occasions when I was starting up? What if I explained that's how I came up with these specific client-acquisition strategies for my practice?

Well, that's a horse of a very different color, isn't it?

Now, if you don't have a personal problem story, that's fine. Take one from one of your clients.

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Talk about their story and their situation, and how things were before they started working with you. As long as you're transparent and the story is truthful, then you shouldn't have a problem.

Oh, and when done right, your problem story can absolutely become the marketing equivalent to a Swiss Army knife!

Meaning you can use it:

  • On the home page of your website/blog.
  • In your social media profiles (definitely on LinkedIn and Facebook and potentially with others).
  • When talking to you perspective clients during a sales call.
  • On video content you publish via social or on your blog.
  • In your podcasts.

The point?

You should put your problem story anywhere you are engaging perspective clients. Your problem story allows you to emotionally connect with others, shows that you're "real" and that you have successfully dealt with a similar situation.

And that will absolutely have a huge impact on the results of your client-acquisition strategy ... just like it has with mine.

Brian Hilliard

Written By

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BRIAN HILLIARD is the co-author of Networking Like a Pro (Entrepreneur Press 2017) and popular speaker. As creator of the program "How to Market Your Business in Less Than 90 Days," Brian works with busy entrereneurs in the areas of Marketing, Mindset and Personal Achievement. Some of Brian's work has appeared nationally in Black Enterprise, Coaching World Magazine and the Martha Zoller Morning Show. During his free time, Brian enjoys playing golf and basketball and watching as many movies as possible on Netflix!