Many entrepreneurs live under the misbelief that business is won over time through the building of a relationship. The truth is, whilst valuable relationships are built over time, the decision to engage you in the first place took only seconds.
Your ability to win business relies on how effectively you use your first 27 seconds on contact with a prospect. For the purpose of this article, let’s imagine the first point of contact is your website.
The 27 second principle is divided into three equal 9 second sections. Each one is critical and each builds on the one preceding it.
Below are the three sections:
1. Grab attention
2. Establish relevance
3. Create interest
With noise levels in the marketplace at an all-time high, it has never been more difficult to grab people’s attention than it is right now. Your prospects are being bombarded with messages to BUY on a daily basis from a wide range of suppliers. As a defence mechanism, people have learned to shut out the noise and put up the shutters, therefore making the challenge of grabbing their attention increasingly difficult.
So, let’s take a look at what it takes to penetrate the noise.
Step 1 – Grab Attention
Prominent psychologist and author of the “Paradox of Choice”, Barry Schwartz, provides us with the first clue. In his book, he explains that providing people with too many choices is not as helpful as we may have first thought. We have been made to believe that if we offer the broadest possible range of options to people, then we will give ourselves the greatest chance of success.
Schwartz’s research reveals that too much choice is actually counter-productive. Instead of making your prospects feel that they have found the “right place”, too many choices cause people to feel confused and usually results in the person looking elsewhere for a simpler decision making option.
In short, when it comes to the amount of information on your website – LESS IS MORE.
So, if you want to avoid creating confusion and having people exiting your site as quickly as they arrived, then you need to limit the amount of information you are attempting to communicate.
Remember, A CONFUSED MIND DOESN’T BUY, so that means highlighting one key message and clarifying your expertise. This step is critical to securing your positioning as a specialist rather than a generalist.
The key to GRABBING ATTENTION is to focus your conversation on the PROBLEM you solve, rather than the service you provide. What people want to know is can you solve their issue.
Step 2 – Establish Relevance
If you want to know how to establish relevance, you need to start by answering a simple question. What is everyone’s favourite subject? The answer is easy – THEMSELVES!
To create a sense of relevance therefore requires you to keep the conversation on the things that matter most to your prospect.
There are 3 ways to build relevance with your prospects:
1. Demonstrate that you understand your prospect by making sure you are speaking in their language and not using technical speak.
2. Look at the copy on your website and wherever possible, replace the word “WE” with the word “YOU”. This will ensure your copy is not about what you do, but rather what they experience.
3. Make sure your conversation is RESULTS FOCUSED and OUTCOME DRIVEN. People don’t want to engage with you because you have an amazing process; they want to connect because of what you can achieve for them.
Step 3 – Create Interest
Once you have successfully grabbed a prospect’s attention and established relevance, the final step is creating the interest to learn more and connect.
Below are five keys to creating interest:
1. Allow people easy access to additional valuable resources.
2. Offer them the opportunity to connect and reward them with access to an information rich pull marketing magnet such as an eBook, video, audio program, tip sheet, etc.
3. Use testimonials to provide proof of the results you have achieved with other people just like them.
4. Use video and photos to make deeper connections and paint a picture of what people can expect from working with you.
5. Utilise customer engagement opportunities through the use of social media, blogs, etc to allow people the chance to share their ideas and feedback.
Ultimately this is all about doing one thing – MAKING YOU EASIER TO BUY.
If you want to maximise the value of the people who visit your website and turn more of them into high value clients, then take a good look at how well you currently use your first 27 seconds of contact.