How can small businesses encourage a strong response from a client?

“What about you?” 

What about you makes you the best choice for your potential client to work with instead of others? 

This blog post will help you to recognise and communicate what your brand means to your client. 

Positive brand feelings

This is the third post of the ‘activate fierce brand loyalty’ series. 

So far we have covered, “who are you?” and “what are you?”in the previous two blog posts. 

After answering those two questions, your ideal client will start to form feelings and judgements towards you. This is due to having a base of broad awareness. Following this, the brand building blocks of performance and imagery are then taken into consideration. 

The ability to create intensely positive feelings 

A brand is more than its product or service. 

A brand evokes feelings. 

As small business owners, you must consider how your brand makes your customers feel about you and them.  

There are the four responses your business faces:  

  • intensely negative  
  • mildly negative  
  • mildly positive   
  • intensely positive. 

How best to handle a negative comment

The reality for most UK businesses is that you rarely experience mildly negative or mildly positive feelings in the form of reviews or social media interactions.  

However, you know when someone has a negative experience; it is quintessentially British to make sure everyone knows about it!  

For example, someone may dislike the opinion piece you shared in your weekly e-newsletter.  

They email you angrily about how you are a total and utter disgrace!   

It is important to politely respond. Apologise for how they feel and do your best to resolve it. If the negative feedback is unwarranted and unreasonable, do not be afraid to unsubscribe them from your list. It is best to focus your time, efforts and content towards those that value it. 

Turning the peri-peri meter from mild to spicy 

Potential clients who have an intensely positive feeling towards you are likely to follow you on social media. They may be subscribed to your e-mailing list. Most importantly, it will lead towards an intensely positive feeling in which they are more likely to buy from you. It is vital to be able to communicate your knowledge and expertise consistently. There are various ways to do so: 

  • Tips and guides 
  • Case Studies 
  • Testimonials 

To make the most of these methods to showcase your knowledge, it is best to share content to specific segments of your audience. If you are aware that your potential client is in the tech industry, share a tech-related testimonial with them.  

A practical tip is to share specific e-mail content to a specified segment of your audience that it is applicable to. Following this, send a follow up email. To be able to turn a potential client’s mildly positive feeling to intensely positive, it is necessary for them to engage with the content. A follow up email increases the likelihood of opens and click-throughs, which then leads them towards the landing page with a call-to-action.

The more relevant the shared content is, the more likely they are to react to it. 

Through these feelings, positive judgements will be formed of your business and what it represents. It will enhance your image of credibility and superiority that makes you a business worth working with and paying for. 

Make Them Believe!

Image of the Monkees who sang I'm a Believer

It doesn’t matter whether the decision maker is the CEO/owner, a director or manager, they all have one over-arching need from you. Few will readily admit it, but it is the priority for any purchase…

To make them look good.

Most people have a boss. Whatever they do is aimed at making them look good to that boss. That is what ensures they keep their job and, maybe, even get promoted in the future. People want to be seen as good at their job. They want to feel valued and to be proud of the work they do. Much of that pride and value comes from comments made by their stakeholders – their peers, their bosses, and their reports.

Even if the decision maker is the top boss, he/she wants you to make them look good. Their investors/shareholders expect performance. Their staff expect the boss to make the best decisions. Bosses who make poor decisions either don’t last long in the job or their company doesn’t last long.

The role of marketing is to make the decision maker believe that buying from you will make them look good to the people they report to.

Your marketing is, of course, just one part of the equation:

  1. Marketing makes them believe
  2. Sales get them to sign on the dotted line
  3. Operations delivers on the promises made by Marketing & Sales

5 ways to make the buyer look good

There are, broadly speaking, five ways your business can make the buyer look good:

1. Save them money

Delivering a product or service more cheaply than their current provider is a great way to make the decision maker look good. But only if you are delivering on at least one more of these.

Saving money must always come another of these ways to make them look good. The old adage “buy cheap, buy twice” should never be mentioned when a client is talking about you.

2. Improve Performance

Whether you are marketing, and selling, a product or a service, performance improvement is another excellent way to make a buyer look good.

  • Ensuring their IT simply works
  • Increasing the traffic to, and the leads from, their website
  • Servicing the company car fleet, so they never break down
  • Training staff to increase their skills and improve their individual, or team, performance

are just a few examples.

3. Make them look good

Rather than the perception improvement, by this we mean you make them, or where they work, look good.

  • Providing great looking staff uniforms to improve customer perception
  • Supplying and installing new furniture to improve the look, and comfort, of their office.

for example.

4. Repair what is broken

Going back to the adage “buy cheap, buy twice” is often used; just make sure, if you are in this equation, you are the second purchase! Repairing something vital to their business, ideally quickly, will definitely make them look good.

5. Make them safe

Whether it is physical security issue (access control systems etc.) or cyber security (anti-malware applications), we all live in a world where security concerns are increasing. Making the business secure, particularly in this time of remote working, is a very good thing.

So how does your marketing do this?

Three Ways to Make your Target Audience Believe

1. Demonstrate you understand the issues they face

As referred to in a recent blog, all your marketing content should be about them – not about you. Make sure your website, e-brochures, whitepapers etc. all address issues they have that you can resolve for them.

Today’s decision makers don’t have time to work out whether what you sell will help them, so you need to make it abundantly clear from the moment they engage with your marketing.

2. Prove you can deliver a solution

Talk about what success looks like. The difference between what they are experiencing now and what they could be getting shows that you have experience of helping others with very similar issues. This is a key part of getting a prospect to engage with your marketing and enter your sales pipeline.

3. Back it up with evidence

Saying you can do something is one thing. Proving you can be integral in helping your prospect to become a client. Case studies and testimonials, as well as reviews on sites such as Google Local and Feefo, are highly effective. Ensure you have enough evidence to use both to get them into your sales pipeline and then to help them over the line.

If you have a new business, there is nothing wrong with a little creative license. I’m not advocating making up the evidence, but you can use your previous experience to great effect. Most people set up a new business doing what they have vast amounts of experience doing. Use that experience to demonstrate, and prove, you can deliver – at least until you can build a new set of evidence under your new brand name.


When your marketing makes people believe you can help them, and make them look good, they will engage and enter your sales pipeline. It’s then up to the rest of the business to deliver.


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