With cooler weather, we are opening the windows again. The cats love it (and so do I).
To a cat, every open window is a window of opportunity. They’re constantly waiting for just the right moment to make their escape.
As a cat owner, it’s my job to make sure they have screens so they can’t take advantage.
As a marketing educator, it’s my job to support clients as they watch for open windows and then take full advantage of what’s out there. Often a small window can have a huge impact on your bottom line… if you can move quickly to take advantage before the window closes forever.
Of course, many of my clients are extremely busy. Some even relate to the notion of being “time-starved.” For busy business owners, a window of opportunity draws mixed emotions. “Yes, I want to do it… but I don’t have time!”
For example, one business owner just emailed me, “I’m suddenly getting invitations to speak – but I don’t have time to prepare a talk! What can I do?”
I recommend you create your Opportunity Kit so you will be ready to take advantage of these surprise invitations. Here’s a fast way to get it done.
(1) Come up with a list of 5 or 10 questions that your clients have.
Stay away from process questions; focus on open-ended questions about challenges they face.
“How did you get to be… ”
“What are the 3 biggest mistakes most people make when they…”
“What are the unwritten rules about…”
“Why you need to know about this topic…”
– If your host wants to interview you, no worries; you know your topic. You’ll get kudos for being a well-prepared interviewee.
(2) If your host turns the mike over to you, interview yourself.
Turn the questions into topics and speak as you would to a live client. You wouldn’t need to rehearse for a client’s questions, so why rehearse now?
Present your genuine authentic self, with words and phrases that communicate the personality you want to brand. Don’t try to adapt to your host’s personality, if it’s different. Your host doesn’t want surprises. You were chosen for this opportunity because of who you are and what you bring to the table.
(3) Be ready with your client’s backstory.
Ask yourself, “What does my audience want? Where is their greatest challenge or pain? What’s their toughest obstacle?”
You then create questions, introduce answers, and leap through the window of opportunity with ease.
What are your clients really thinking? What’s the baggage they’re bringing to the call?
Suppose you’re a dog trainer.
A typical client backstory might be, “We’ve been through three outrageously expensive training programs. This dog makes Marley look like a model of canine obedience. We don’t want to give him back to the shelter, but he’s destroying our home and our bank account.”
Knowing your clients often come from three programs that didn’t work, you also know might be open to a totally different approach. She might be willing to pay extra to solve the problem once and for all.
Your client backstories can help you respond to challenges that won’t come up in ordinary conversation. A home decorator might realize her clients are terrified she’ll paint the walls purple (and maybe add pink polka dots). A lawyer can respond to client fears of being treated dismissively or even rudely.
Understanding your clients’ backstory allows you to prepare materials to be ready for your next window of opportunity. It’ll also help you recognize what’s a potentially profitable window and what’s a distraction.
Learn more about your client’s backstory with this free 22-minute online training. Available on demand.