"Oh I love the idea of a personal concierge! I definitely need you!"
You wouldn't believe how many times I hear this. The number of times I have told people that I am a personal concierge and what I do, only to have them almost jumping up and down with joy. You'd think each and every one of them signed up the next day, no questions asked. Unfortunately that isn't the case.
There is this hurdle, this wall, this locked door, I like to call THE GAP. 'The gap' exists between "oh my god I love this idea" and "here's my list of tasks, take my money!"
What I've discovered in over 12 plus years of working in this industry, is that 'the gap' is all mental. Every hurdle or locked doorway our potential clients perceive always comes down to what they're thinking.
"I can't afford a personal concierge."
"Why would I pay someone to do things I can do myself?"
"I don't trust someone else to do things they way I like it."
"I just don't know where to start."
"My tasks are too complicated to delegate."
"What will people think?"
"Who am I to have a personal concierge?
I could go on. There are an almost endless number of ways people who love your business come up with reasons as to why they couldn't possibly use you.
The big question his, how do we, as personal concierge business owners, overcome these hesitations?
Give Them The Experience
One of my favourite ways to get them through 'the gap' is to give them the experience of what it's like to use a personal concierge. I have found that if someone is keen, it is very rare for them to be disappointed once they try the service. In fact, I've had clients say "this could be addictive" once they realise how easy it is to get their to do list ticked off. The problem is, how do you get them to actually try you?
I want to talk to you about ways you can approach this situation so that you can help your prospective clients jump the hurdles they are putting in their own way and make the most of your amazing services. Not all of them involve real life experience, but all of them will give your prospective clients a true taste of what you can do for them.
1. Trial Package
In my business I have created a two hour trial package. If I'm honest, it is very rare that people have taken me up on this offer. Yet I do believe having it on offer gives people the peace of mind to know that if they so choose, they only need to pay for two hours, and if they don't like us, they don't need to continue. This is also a great option for people to give as a gift to new mums, those recovering from surgery, or anyone about to go through a particularly busy time. It makes it really easy for people to find out what a personal concierge is all about, with little time or money invested.
2. Money Back After First Task
I haven't yet put this guarantee on my website, although I am considering it. Why? Because it is through my experience that once people use us, they are very rarely disappointed. I would certainly limit the scope of the 'first task' so that you don't complete 10 hours worth of work, only to reimburse them if they aren't happy. I would also set boundaries about how and why they can take advantage of the offer. Yet, such a guarantee would certainly put people at ease and have them thinking, "gee, if they're willing to put their money where their mouth is, they must be good." Here's a great article from the Harvard Business Review on using guarantees as a marketing strategy.
3. Case Studies & Testimonials
Using case studies and testimonials as part of your marketing strategy (on your website, in your newsletter, on social media etc.) is one of the more successful and less intrusive ways of having your prospective clients experience your services. If they feel they can see themselves in one of your clients, they are more likely to feel comfortable with the fact that yes, they too can use a personal concierge service. I know so many of my clients have hesitated because they thought they should be a able to get everything done, because everyone else they know does. Little do they know things aren't always what they seem behind the scenes. It's your job to help them pull back the curtain and feel more comfortable about enlisting your help.
4. Social Proof
Social proof is an extension of the case studies and testimonials concept above. However, what I'm referring to here are the photos, stories and comments you share on Facebook, on Instagram, in a blog post. These are the 'real life' what I'm doing right now types of posts. Take a photo of yourself in the supermarket with a trolley full of groceries. Share a photo of the before and after of unpacking boxes or sorting a pantry. Create a graphic with a lovely line you received from a client that day thanking you for what you've done. One of the bonuses of doing this is, even though all of the above posts should not identify the client, I have found that more often than not that very same client will spot the post and happily acknowledge it was about them. They sometimes even share the post with their friends - it doesn't get much better than that! Our member Susan Ho of Good Neighbour Concierge is excellent at sharing the types of things she is helping her client's with on her Facebook page. And don't forget to check out her brilliant Facebook cover image!
5. Free Trial
Now, I'm going to be upfront with this one. I am rather against giving away your services for free. However, I didn't want to leave it off the list as it did help me kickstart my business and gain a few clients. How I have done it in the past is to offer gift vouchers as part of door prizes. It is a very low percentage of people who decide to take advantage of the voucher, and usually when they do, they are genuinely interested in getting help. Yet I recently heard of a better example from one of our members, Katy. Katy, almost by accident, decided at her initial in-person consultation with a prospective client, to complete some tasks for her, right there on the spot. Now, it could have been that the client decided not to pay her. Yet this wasn't the case. The client was so impressed that she asked her to complete a large list that very day and Katy walked out of her meeting with a cheque and plans for the future! This strategy will require building in extra time for consultations. You will also want to consider whether you advertise this, or just offer it on the day. However, I would agree that this strategy is an excellent way to get prospective clients to experience exactly what you do.
Now that I've given you five different ideas for how you can get your client's to experience you, do you have any more you'd like to share? What strategies have worked or not worked for you? We'd love to hear them so please share in the comments below.