If you haven’t heard of Clients Oasis founder, Kennedy Cee, here’s a story of how he started. Everything below is straight from Chukwuka’s mouth.
Q: What change did you make that transformed Clients Oasis?
A: I had a month of cash left.
After burning through tens of thousands of dollars in savings to jumpstart my company, things were NOT clicking like I thought they would.
My business had originally taken off through client referrals from my previous company, The Biz Help. They just rolled in. So I thought marketing would be just as easy.
I was wrong.
It’s a terrifying feeling when you don’t know where your next client is going to come from, especially if you could go bankrupt otherwise.
I woke up every day with a feeling of fear in the pit of my stomach. I went to bed worrying. I dreamed about it. It was all-consuming.
In those situations, you can tell yourself it’s going to somehow be OK, but you don’t really know how.
But I still had hope. I was learning with each experiment, and I had just enough runway left to try another.
And that was exactly what I needed.
November 2017 was the last time I felt impending doom. After I changed one core strategy, within a couple weeks my business skyrocketed from $15,000 to $50,000 per month.
…And that begs the multimillion dollar question:
What shift could possibly be so significant that my business grew 3 times over in just 3 short weeks (and has continued to grow ever since)?
To understand the paradigm shift, it’s important to understand the $53,143 lesson that led up to it.
The downward spiral started at the beginning of 2015.
I was completing the consulting contracts I had originally gotten through my network, and I was out of referrals.
The first thing I did to bring in new clients was spend months creating a series of articles that walked business owners through improving their online presence. It took me dozens of hours to write and promote these articles.
Each article had a few hundred views. Several people told me they liked them and learned something valuable. However, a few months in, I had to accept the reality that it hadn’t generated one sale. Not even one! Painful I know.
That’s when I became desperate.
Foolishly, or perhaps courageously, I decided to hire four of the best social-media-traffic experts in the world.
I was sure that would fix everything.
Instead, it made things worse…much worse.
How much revenue did I generate with that $53,143 investment?
That means for every dollar I spent, I got back about 50 cents.
At first I was frustrated with the consultants. I blamed them. But the frustration shifted inward when I slowly realized that it was completely my fault.
The experts drove a boatload of targeted traffic to my website, but my sales funnel didn’t work. Almost no one bought.
The Turning Point
The turning point came when a mentor looked at all my marketing materials and noticed something that should have been obvious.
“You talk about yourself. You talk about your team. You talk about how great your offering is. Do you know what you don’t talk about? The client. What about his needs? What about her problems?”
That’s when I realized that I had been a total moron.
I tore down my funnels, all my webpages, and all my ads. I rebuilt everything from scratch around the CLIENT. I stopped talking about myself. I stopped bragging.
Instead, I focused like a laser on my clients’ problems and how I could help solve them.
It was basic. It was obvious. Yet this shift was the key that changed everything.
In 30 days, I went from earning 50 cents on every dollar I spent to earning back $3 and then $5 and then $10.
My Big Lesson: The Fundamentals Are Fundamental
In a nutshell, what I learned is that you could theoretically have the perfect sales funnel steps, but if you don’t focus on the customer’s problem at each step, the funnel will fail.
As a result, what I created for myself was a framework that I now call the Client-First Approach:
- Understand the problem you’re solving.
- Find the people who want their problem solved NOW.
- Build 100 percent of your communication around their problem.
- Demonstrate that you have the solution to their problem.
- Show them how to reach out to get your help solving their problem.
Do these five steps correctly, and you can begin making sales almost immediately.
As I painfully learned, do just one of these steps poorly, and you don’t have a successful business.
Step 1. Deeply understand the problem you are solving and how your service eliminates that problem for your clients.
In order to understand a problem, you need to understand the person with that problem.
In my experience, empathy is the best way to do this. We are all equipped with the amazing ability to feel what others feel. By developing this ability, we can more easily influence others.
I develop empathy for clients by first observing what they actually do in the real world rather than what I think they do (a key step in design thinking). I very closely look at the analytics of what they respond to and don’t respond to in the sales process. Next, members of our team interview potential and current clients.
With this information as a foundation, I use my imagination to visualize in vivid detail what it’s like to be my client. As a marketer, I ask myself:
- What is this person’s day like?
- What are they concerned about?
- What keeps them awake at night?
- What are the things they secretly want that they’re afraid to share?
- What do they think and feel that they wouldn’t tell anyone?
- What would they hope that someone will give them the power to do?
- What do they really want to do? (Not what you think they should do.)
Research shows that when we actively imagine how others might feel in a situation, our empathy increases.
The Takeaway: Don’t sell products. Know your client’s problems using empathy. Then, sell solutions to those problems.