I was speaking with the managing partner, Chris, of a regional accounting firm about their marketing, sales, and business development.  The partners decided that they wanted to revamp their website. Specifically, they wanted to make their site catchy with new graphics, layout, and perhaps a logo. The in-house IT resource thought it should have slick animation. The business manager thought the website should list all of their service areas.  It is common for firms to focus on the bells and whistles instead of the content. Unfortunately, if you focus on the sizzle instead of the steak, your prospects will visit the site and leave hungry for something with meaning.

Like many professional services companies, their current website is loaded with text describing details that only an actuary could love. They have plenty of information about WHAT they do. However, what they are missing is WHY.  The same holds true for law firms, technology companies, architects, or any professional services firm. Your potential clients are most influenced by how well you can demonstrate a strong personalized understanding of their situation or needs. Case studies and stories can be powerful.

For example, they could decide to simply describe their services for IRS audits.  However, they would be better served to tell a story: “We received a panicked call from someone because the IRS notified them of an audit. The caller’s prior accounting firm did not have experience in this space, so they came to us for help. Clearly, the caller was nervous, not knowing what to expect. If we had not handled this dozens of times before, we might have been nervous, too. We clearly communicated the process to the client, and walked them through the each step to calm their nerves. Not only did they come through the audit with flying colors, but we helped them get an additional refund over the amount the previous accounting firm filed. Most importantly,
our client says that we took an otherwise stressful situation and made it easy to understand.”
  The story illustrates WHY the customer would care about the accounting firm’s experience.

When you focus on the WHAT, rarely does it come with any emotion. But, the WHY can often elicit emotion that serves as the catalyst for decisions.  So, the next time you find yourself describing WHAT you do, take a moment to share a story about WHY someone would want that solution, and how that issue might be impacting their business. You just might learn more about your client’s needs and you could even get invited to help. This is yet another step to take toward becoming outrageously successful targeting and winning business.