How to Attract Clients Online Without Helping Your Competition

small business clients

small business clientsHave you noticed that most of your successes in converting prospects to clients happen in person?

That you have challenges getting clients from your online footprint (aka, your digital infrastructure), even if you’re getting consistent traffic to your website?

You’re not alone, and it’s not your fault.

Our world is changing, if it hasn’t changed already…

Your customers and clients now “work Google” way before they actually buy a service (or a product).

They contact Facebook groups to ask for referrals, and ask questions about you and your business BEFORE they contact you.

If you’re still using traditional ways to attract clients, you’re leaving a significant part of your addressable market to your competition.

Not that traditional ways to attract clients are wrong, or even that they won’t work…because they do.

However, there are some pretty stark differences between traditional client acquisition (business development) strategies, and what actually works in the current environment.

And…more of the newer generation becomes service consumers, managers, and business leaders, this difference is only going to be magnified.

Who are You Tailoring Your Message For?

When you provide professional services to your clients, you are always dealing with a variety of customers.   We call these “Avatars”, or “ideal customers”.

Even when you offer specialized services you have a wide variety of avatar’s that you could potentially be talking to.

After all, for most business the conversation leads to the new client, and you get to use 100% of your communication to close the deal.

This is how we are taught to attract clients!

Use In-Person Communication

One of the hallmarks of traditional way to attract clients is talking face-to-face with your prospect.

The opportunity to either sit across from your client, or talk to them on the phone is the (traditional) “best” way to turn them from a prospect into a client.

And…before we get too far here, if you’re selling high value services you SHOULD be getting your client on the phone.

That leads us to the most critical first step.

Build a Connection with your Prospect

This is where the “bottom line” thinker screams at their computer, “I don’t give a s*eep about a relationship!!!!”

For a small business owner…does the relationship matter?

Well, that depends.

But, here’s the real point.  If your prospect really wants your product, your already have a relationship.

It’s just not going to be about family, or recreation, or whatever else people talk about on social media.

Read your Prospect’s Body Language

The way most of us were taught to attract clients, you get the ability to read a person.

Are they rushed, angry, frustrated, excited, happy?  It doesn’t matter.

There are so many ways to enter the mind of your prospect when you can understand their current state.

And we get to adjust to the many non-verbal message we receive.

The fluid nature of the conversation, and what you do next really matters when you’re face-to-face.

Of Course You Tailor Your Message

Do you continue to talk about your service…

Cut the meeting short, take them on a walk down to the coffee shop, or any number of alternatives that your experience, intuition, and opportunity actually present.

All of these is possible when you’re meeting face-to-face, and none of these are available when that person interacts with your business behind a screen.


Getting Clients Online is Different

When you “talk” to potential clients online, you only get to use 7% of the same process you use with a face-to-face client.

Really, you only get to use your words!

Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication and found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words.

The other 93% of nonverbal and other communication is completely lost online, so we needs to use some different tools.

First, you have to GET THEIR ATTENTION!

I’d like to introduce your to your competition:

Yep…cats, dogs, funny videos.

Your potential clients are the very definition off ADD.

They have 27 window tabs open, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, 4 email clients with 150 email a day.

Not to mention a full calendar of meetings, and their life to live.

And you are coming at this person with the massive 7% of your message.

No wonder most businesses have a hard time getting clients online!

You Need to Build a Connection

People do business with those that they know, like, and trust.  However, they also only do business with those that are going to:

Solve their biggest problems.

There are many ways to develop a connection with your prospective clients, but the best way of building a connection is to help them…

…by actually helping them!

Understand Their Likely Objections

In order to use your words more effectively, you need to be speaking about the real issues and problems that your customer is thinking about.

What are the REAL pain points and issues that are keeping your clients from buying.

Every business owner that I talk with tells me that they know their customer’s pain points and objections (and maybe you do), but it’s amazing how frequently this changes once we actually do the research.

Remember that you are not your customer, even if you’ve experienced the situation previously.

If you’re not taking the time to communicate about the issues and concerns that your potential customer has, you are driving them to your competition.

Let Their Behavior Guide your Engagement

The most important buying signal available to any business is a client’s behavior, but the majority of businesses ignore this completely and focus on…


See, 54 million results about “Content Marketing”.

Good content is absolutely critical, but only as it related to YOUR customer’s journey.

What’s more critical?

How your customer actually engages with you.  We tell our children all the time, “it’s not what you say, but what you do that matters”.

This is even more important online where your client’s behavior should be direction ALL of your engagement with them.

If your online systems do you respond to behavioral indicators, you’re trying to treat your online funnel like a face-to-face interaction.

Price Makes a Difference in How you Close

In my very unscientific research, I have continued to see that $2000 is the natural breaking point for sales that don’t require some conversation with the client.

Below $2000 you can use a sales page or a video sales letter, above that price point and a consultation is recommended.

Regardless of your product or service, you want to use online medium to make your offer, overcome your prospect’s objections, and create momentum for the purchase.

When the customer journey is complete and they are now ready to actually purchase your service, that is the time to “push” for the consultation to close the deal.

For service providers, that opportunity to talk to your client and ensure that you are good match for your service is invaluable.


The differences between communicating in person and online are significant.

If you promote and sell your services online like you would in person, you will (continue to) be frustrated and not get the results you want or deserve.

If you are looking for how to translate this to your business, then I invite you to grab a Free Ideal Customer Profile worksheet (as a start).

Then, when you want to implement it in the fastest manner available, let’s talk.

Enjoy the journey!

[FREE DOWNLOAD] Ideal Customer Profile Worksheet

Get Specific about the Avatar that you are communicating with, and get more client.  Fill out the worksheet and stop wasting your time and money…

CLICK HERE for Instant access

Click To Share!