On The Outside Looking In

Most decisions are motivated by trust.

When businesses make decisions about a web design and development partner, there are certain factors that help them reach that decision. One factor is ease of transfer and risk mitigation. If something goes wrong with their project, how easy will it be to find a developer who is a better fit?

Many businesses choose WordPress as a web platform because it already powers 23.6% of the web — and that number grows every month. Businesses know if one development team doesn’t work out, they can find another.

But Here’s The Downside

Navigating the multitude of developers to find a reliable and knowledgeable one is a Herculean task under the best of circumstances. It’s estimated there are 1 to 3 million WordPress service providers worldwide, but less than 1% of those are actively involved in the WordPress community. Less than 1% of WordPress providers are keeping up with the rapid changes in WordPress core functionality.

Business owners are not usually armed with the same information that web developers have. It makes it difficult for them to choose a reliable developer. Potential clients may not know what questions to ask to determine whether a developer knows their stuff or is just bluffing their way through the sales process.

Because clients are coming from a different place, they will likely choose a developer based on either experience, price, or convenience. Clients may not realize that expertise and price are usually directly correlated.
So, choosing based on price alone often leads to disappointing results.

What can we do to increase value to people before they even become our clients?

Education and Outreach

Part of our job is education. When people understand something enough, they are no longer intimidated by it. Instead, they are empowered.

Sometimes it is necessary to explain concepts to clients, as they are coming to us from different levels of understanding. If we can make them more empowered, and less intimidated by the technology — in addition to solving their problems, then we will gain their trust.

How Explaining Our Process Further Pays Off

At the beginning of a project is a perfect time to dissect what we are going to do. When we break down our process and thinking into bite sized chunks, this helps the client see what we are doing. It builds confidence in their project, reduces risk, and shows we have an organized plan for solving their problem.

Breaking Down Concepts

Because our clients are coming to our world from theirs, we have to listen and see where they are at. People have a small window for technical jargon. Keep that to the bare minimum or better yet, eliminate it altogether.

If we can explain things in a way that is easy to digest, our clients will grasp those ideas and be part of the project. When we start rambling in language our clients do not understand, their eyes start to glaze over and they are done listening. Explain everything in a way that each client can relate to.

Jargon is a wall built to keep people outside, and every industry has their own. Don’t keep people on the periphery; bring them into the fold. The way we speak should never make clients feel more uneasy than they were before. The way we speak should make them feel more confident that they can use their site, and that they made a good decision.

No One Should Be On The Outside Looking In

We’re not just being enlisted to solve technical problems, but also to be allies to our clients. We’re here to transform rough seas into calm waters, and to bring them peace of mind.

Communication is your primary tool. Learn to use it well. Don’t neglect it.

Author: John Locke

SEO consultant for manufacturing and industrial companies.