Cracking the code: The secret to connecting with clients in professional services

by Deborah Bartlett

image overlay

From lawyers to financial advisors, consultants to architects, the professional services sector is crowded with firms offering similar services and proclaiming their expertise.

But in this fast-paced arena, mere claims are not enough. To stand out, you need to understand what truly matters to your clients.

Instead of focusing on “why we are different,” switching to “what’s different for you” is a much more effective way to connect with your audience. Forget generic claims – delving into the value you deliver and the unique impact your firm will have on your clients’ lives, businesses, or goals, will resonate far more deeply with them. By shifting your perspective from self-promotion to client-centricity, you can crack the code and start making meaningful connections.

Compelling content and communications are essential in helping professional services firms forge genuine connections with clients and outshine their rivals because it’s expertise and insight they are selling. Here are four of our ‘trade secrets’ to crafting persuasive, engaging copy that inspires, motivates, and gives clients a nudge to get in touch.

1. Tune into your clients’ wavelength

Many businesses forget that what they want to say about themselves is not necessarily what is most relevant to their clients. It’s vital to remember that clients have unique challenges and pain points that must be understood before you start offering solutions. Demonstrate you get your clients by stepping into their shoes and asking crucial questions, such as:

 

  • What are their top priorities right now?
  • What challenges are holding them back?
  • What keeps them up at night?

Answering these questions will help you tailor your messaging so that you can speak directly to their needs. It shows you ‘get them,’ that you understand the issues they’re facing, can suggest ways to solve them, and ultimately, that you’ve got the expertise to help.

2. Tap into the power of storytelling

Forget dry facts and figures – humans instinctively respond to stories. Storytelling can evoke emotions, inspire enthusiasm and spark motivation. It’s a powerful tool that speaks directly to people’s hearts. While data may inform, it’s emotions that fuel action, even in business decisions. Remember that people buy solutions, not features. And stories can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level, making your solution irresistible.

You would be forgiven for thinking ‘storytelling’ is just a buzzword because it’s used so much in marketing circles, but there is science behind it. Neuroscientists have found that stories trigger our neural activity up to five times over, helping us to retain information.

Storytelling is arguably more important in professional services and consulting than other sectors. The intangible nature of services (not to mention that some might consider your industry as ‘dry’ or ‘boring’) means that prospective clients are buying into you, the promise you’ll deliver and the expertise you bring. Powerful and effective business stories will help you engage with clients, demonstrate the difference you can make for them in tangible ways and encourage them on their buying journey. But it’s not about the big sell, which can be an immediate turn-off for clients; it’s about using language that connects with your audience, sparks curiosity and builds those vital emotional connections.

3. Speak your clients’ language

It can be all too easy for professional services firms to turn clients off by slipping into industry jargon. Technical language can alienate clients, pushing them further away from, not towards, buying decisions. Using plainer, more relatable language will make you sound more human, and your clients will appreciate you speaking to them directly rather than talking down to them.

This is why tone of voice is so important. It’s not what you say but how you say it. Whether it’s warm and friendly, formal and factual, your tone of voice affects how your clients perceive you. Getting it wrong leads to disconnect, and it may damage your brand. A carefully considered tone of voice, developed to address your target audiences specifically, will help improve consistency and effectiveness across all your marketing channels.

4. Shine a spotlight on the benefits

Features tell, and benefits sell. American salesman coined the phrase “sell the sizzle, not the steak” in the 1920s, but more than a century later, businesses still often forget to emphasise the value they offer rather than the features of their offering. Prospective clients won’t buy into you unless they see how your business will improve their lives. While features and benefits both offer valuable information, most potential clients will be swayed by the problems you can solve for them, the impact of your work and how it can advance their goals. Clearly translating your expertise into tangible benefits that help solve clients’ problems answers the perennial question: “What’s in it for me?”

When you’re selling expertise, you’re selling people. That is why professional services firms need to form strong connections with clients. It can be challenging to translate what you do for a broad target audience, but well-crafted, compelling copy will showcase your expertise, establish your credibility, build trust and help you stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

Are you ready to transform your brand’s story into a captivating narrative that drives results? Does your tone of voice need a re-tune? Contact our talented wordsmiths today to find out how we can help.

Get in touch. Let us know how we can help.