In my last blog I described a simple framework for structuring client attraction conversations. The structure of the opening of an interview is You/Me/Us/We. In Part 1 we covered the You/Me part of the attraction conversation, in this posting we'll cover the Us/We part.
Us — You move into the Us phase by saying something like, “Let me give you an example.” At this point, you describe in a story a problem that you solved for a client. Obviously, the more the person to whom you are speaking projects himself into the story, the more credibility you will establish. In the story, you illustrate how you work with people in situations similar to your prospective client.
The primary motivation is to avoid loss. One of the best ways to create interest in what you do is to expose a loss in the other person's current situation. My friend and mentor, David Cowper, was a master at telling stories that engaged prospective clients. David worked with business owners. He knew that business owners want to reduce taxes and maximize the gains in their business. He presented the following concept through a simple story.
“Mr. ____ we work with successful business owners like you to find ways to reduce taxes and increase the value of your business. Let me give you an example. One of our clients has built a very successful manufacturing company. Working with his accounting firm and his other trusted advisors we were able to apply four Ds to significantly reduce his tax exposure, while growing the value of the business. The four Ds are Discount, Divide, Defer and Deduct. If we could show you a way to significantly reduce your taxes using this approach, would that be of interest to you?”
We — The last sentence in the above example is the We in You/Me/Us/We. The intent in the Me/Us/We parts of a Client Attraction Conversation is to establish your competence and your positive intent to work with them to realize their goals.
You differentiate yourself through your understanding of your client, the questions you ask, the stories you tell, and what you are able to create together. In a few short minutes, the You/Me/Us/We framework enables you to engage a prospect, establish credibility and earn the right to proceed to the next stage of the buying cycle.