A consultant was speaking recently on a call and I heard something in her voice that was so familiar. She loves what she does. She’s crazy about working with her clients. Her passion for helping others is practically primal. It’s what she’s meant to be and do. Yet, she finds it challenging to explain to people just what it is she does and why people should hire her to do it.
I bet you can relate! We’re talented. We’re experienced. We’ve helped people achieve things they couldn’t have achieved without our services. We could practically do what we do in our sleep. So why can it be so difficult to speak about our services in a way that people will want to hire us?
The easiest way I’ve come up with to talk about the difference we make is through this three-step formula where I share a client’s success story. When audiences of potential clients hear the problems we can solve, the pain we can relieve, the ease we can create, then they’re ready to sign on.
Here are the steps.
- What was it like before your client reached out to you?
- What problems did you solve once you started working together?
- How has their life changed as a result of working with you?
A client is stressed out about traveling
- Client A was doing so much traveling with her husband, all over the world, but she hated packing and found the whole task so stressful. She didn’t want to relive past mistakes.
- I used her trip itinerary, information about what climate she’d be in and what people she’d be around to plan her daytime and nighttime outfits two weeks before her trip. In a couple of hours I created a core wardrobe for her that included variety and a set of accessories that would work with every outfit. I wrote everything down on a chart so she could take it with her. Never once would she have to worry about what she was going to wear.
- She sent me texts along the way to tell me how great everything was going and how thankful she was. The next time I saw her she said, “Brenda, I never want to do this alone ever again. You made this so enjoyable. There’s enough hassle traveling these days. Not having to worry about my clothes made this so stress-free.
A client is stressed out about what to wear to an important presentation
- Client B was giving an important professional presentation. She spends all her time in front of the computer and doesn’t have a clue about how she should present herself while she’s presenting. She’s put together an outfit last minute, shopping the night before, but never feels good about it. The stakes are higher now. People that are going to be in the audience are very influential.
- I understand the psychology of clothes; I know how to match her attire to her position and the group she’s presenting to. We planned a focused shopping trip for her presentation and I put her look together head-to-toe. I even gave her written instructions about how to wear her scarf so it would stay in place.
- An hour after the presentation she called me and told me she felt sensational. She had so many people interested in her services. For the first time ever, she felt like her looks matched her expertise. She was so grateful; she was in tears! She said, “I never knew I could look this great!”
A client is stressed out about the clutter that has accumulated
- Client C called and said she was entirely sick of spending money on storage fees for clothes she probably wouldn’t ever wear but was afraid to get rid of. She gave the storage service her “end” dates so she knew she had to have this solved within six weeks.
- As is true of nearly everyone, it’s hard to let go. I was able to help her see how the clothes she had in storage weren’t serving her now and they wouldn’t’ be serving her in the near future. She needed handholding. She appreciated my explanations about why things weren’t working for her. With my help, she was able to purge the past and look forward to wearing the things in her closet that did work.
- She said, “I don’t know why this was so hard for me but you made this so easy. And you didn’t have any judgment about it. I felt so much shame around this. Thanks for helping me take action. I feel like my whole life is ahead of me and I’m excited again!
The next time you’re in a networking group or giving a presentation or even running into somebody who asks you what an image consultant does, pull out one of your success stories. Tell them the problem the client had, how you helped, and what relief she got from working with you. The value clients find in you is contagious. Others will get it and want what your clients already have: peace of mind and joy in getting dressed.