I’m a professional – how dare you ignore me

It has never been tougher for a professional to attract attention and deep interest from prospective clients.

Most will tell you that it is because we are now in the most over-communicated information saturated society in history. That the average human attention span is now less than eight seconds. That our world is increasingly complex. That the post Global Financial Crisis has made everything tougher. That that we are all way more distrustful and cynical than we were.

All of these are true, and they have all made it harder.

But the main reason is none of these. It is that most professionals have failed to adapt to these new circumstances. Sure, they may be tweeting and blogging more, and these can be good things. But unless the professionals themselves have evolved then these strategies simply add to the global clutter.

Questions they need to answer are:

  • Who specifically do I help most, and how?
  • What is the value I provide as my clients see it in their hands?
  • What about me and my services will my clients want to buy?

On top of this, today professionals need to speak the language of the buyers, not the sellers. This is all about others, and focuses on bringing out value buyers want in six specific ways:

  • Show what is in it for them?
  • Focus on the tangible and touchable instead of the general and obscure
  • Paint pictures for their minds, instead of making noises outside their heads
  • Point to sharp differences, and avoid monotonous sameness
  • Let emotion play its part, because that is what they buy
  • Focus on beginnings and endings, because context and outcomes always trump detail and process.

If you think all that is easy, consider the following all too common description of a professional service firm:

“We are one of the leading full service law firms whose partners have extensive experience of providing specialized service in a wide variety of practices.” Interchange or add words and phrases like “cutting edge,” “dynamic,” “exciting,” “select few,” and “high quality” and you have a template most firms use. They turn away quality prospects every minute with this drivel. Sure, it sounds good and everyone else seems to be doing it. Trouble is it isn’t about the customer, has nothing specific to stick in their mind, and makes a white-painted wall look more interesting.

Professionals create clients in powerful conversations. And they can’t do that if they can’t attract quality prospects into those conversations. Sadly, most spend so much time boring people that it is a wonder they win any clients at all.

Starting now, take each bullet in this article and this week change something about your practice and how you present it. Take this seriously and you’ll be stunned at the result.


Geoff Kelly is an expert on how professionals create quality clients. If you want more or better clients, email [email protected] and ask for the detailed article “How to attract all the quality clients you can handle.”