What tips you should keep your eye on?

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1. Ask Current Clients for Referrals

Is your business stagnant? Are you out of fresh ideas? Let’s explore… One of the first priorities – ask your current clients for referrals! It’s amazing how many business people miss that source of contacts. Some people feel it’s a bit pushy or not-so-nice to ask your current clients for referrals. Why not? Are you giving your current clients value? They must be happy with you or they would have taken their business elsewhere. Consider giving incentives for referrals. Perhaps a reduction in your rate, a book you believe would be of interest, or some promotional item. Always send a “thank you” note too. Send an email card on a birthday or a small gift to a special client.

  1. Testimonials

Ask your current clients to write testimonials on your behalf. If they have trouble articulating their thoughts in writing, or they don’t have time, ask them to share how they feel about your service and then write it up for their approval. Whenever possible, use the full name of the person but do get their written permission first. It is much more believable than putting two initials or aliases after a testimonial. It’s terrific if it can be videotaped. More people will watch it than read it.

3.  Short Satisfaction Survey

You can also ask them to fill out a short satisfaction survey after you’ve rendered your service, Make it simple, ask them to rate your service on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. Leave room for additional comments they might want to add. This will not only help you understand your clients, but will also identify areas that might require improvements. Have them email it to you or provide a stamped self-addressed envelope.

4.  Give Presentations

If you give presentations, invite them to bring a guest. You might give the client free admission (or credit his/her account later) in exchange for referring a paying guest. The possibilities are out there. Grab one that feels right for you.

5. Networking

Personally, when I started networking I was a bit shy and awkward.  I felt it was selling (not my favorite thing to do and something we don’t do now).  Then I came from a different mind place.  I had value to give someone.  We would partner to help them make their business and professional life more successful..  So, I came from a place of joy.  Working with a coach could be life changing.  . I imagine you know by now you need to be a giver and good things will come back to you (power of attraction).  I now want to go to networking activities.  It’s a great opportunity to meet people you may have never touched before. So go to events in which you feel comfortable and enjoy.  Get involved – be part of a committee.  Remember six degrees of separation – even if the person you are speaking with doesn’t need your services, they know many people who would love to connect with you.  Go for it!  Let me know how it works for you.

There are many ways to grow your business. These are some basic ones. I certainly have more advanced strategies as well. What has worked for you? Please let me know below.

 

 

 

How do you keep in touch with clients?

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In my previous blog post, I discussed how Tim Templeton in his book, The Referral of a Lifetime, suggested how to divide your database into categories (A, B, C, D) based on their likelihood of referring people to you. To move people from one level to another (from B to A for example), you will want to keep in touch with them. Invest time and money on this group. This is well worth it. They will want to refer you to people in their world. People believe what others say about you more than what you might say yourself.

Templeton suggested perhaps the owners of your company write to previous clients. Thank the person for his/her previous business. That owner would then introduce you as someone in his company (if you are one) they could call as well as himself to see if they had any questions or comments. You state your associate will call in a few days to check in with them.

In a few days, you call and have a warmer call. Also, ask if you could follow-up with them periodically just to see how they are progressing, share some valuable articles and see if there was any way at all you could help them reach their goals. This ended up as a successful way to generate more referrals without even asking. It’s about relationships.

It’s suggested that you develop a follow-up program. Use a program like Infusion Soft, to automatically send out articles, and items of interest you develop for your database. You might also use “Send Out Cards” which is a reasonable way to keep in touch with a group of people rather inexpensively.

What ways do you use to keep in touch with special people personally and professionally?

Please write your comments below.  I will respond.

Do you want to soar in the last quarter of the year?

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It’s time to develop systems!

What would happen if you became ill and needed to leave your business for a few months or longer? Would your business fold? Would revenue increase? For most small businesses, survival would probably be difficult without systems.

A system is a series of steps that produces an expected outcome. Anyone in your business can follow them. Even when you are fine, you have freedom to soar to new heights when others are helping you provide services that are excellent and consistent.  Have your employees work on daily issues. You concentrate on growing your business and enjoying some free time. There are actual monetary savings when using systems.  Do what only you can accomplish and delegate the rest.

It’s important to have a marketing system so your pipeline stays full and referrals flow to you (see my blog entry on getting referrals).  Think about such things are pre-paying your services for a discount should they enlist your services for an extended length of time. Put an expiration date on your offers to get them to go in to action.

A system for payment of your invoices could start out as follows:

-payment is made the first of each month.

-an invoice is generated the 15th of each month prior to when payment is due.

-they will be sent via email

Etc.

This way there is no ambiguity.  You should not be interrupted concerning questions in this area. How many systems can you develop in your business? How would it help? Please post your comments below. I will respond.

Would you rather get a tooth pulled than do public speaking?

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Many people prefer getting a tooth pulled in the dentists’ chair to the thought of public speaking.

Here are 10 short tips that could start you on the right path to enjoying your speaking engagement…

-First, do some quiet meditation or deep breathing.

-Have a raffle where they throw in their business card in a basket or complete a small piece of paper listing their first name/phone/email address (legibly) before you begin
so they are entered for a prize – often about 1/2-1 hour of your time to help them achieve what you are discussing, etc.

-Have your opening remarks memorized and get the audiences’ attention by asking a question or presenting a funny story.

-You must practice a lot – use your mirror, practice out loud with a tape recorder and video recorder, if possible, so you can listen and give yourself feedback as well as get suggestions from those you know.

-First try out your speech in a less threatening place, such as the Lions Club. They are very welcoming.

-Be aware that your audience wants to hear your message not criticize you. You will provide valuable information that will enhance their business and/or personal life.

-A half-hour speech should just focus on one salient point. If you have 60-90 minutes, give three points. Make it interactive. Your audience won’t remember the majority of what you say but know how you make them feel.

-If time allows, do address some questions/answers and perhaps do a role play.

-It’s often useful to provide a Power Point presentation or have some fun toys to lighten things up (throw a beach ball for people to answer questions and win a prize, if correct).

-Give a handout about a few points you made, how to contact you and information about other programs you provide and other organizations who might like you to speak.

 

What beginning public speaking tips have you found useful?  Please share them with this audience.

Is it OK to fail forward?

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Should you look at your staff’s shortcomings or assets?

Researchers found by focusing on the positive, talent and creativity as well as better relationships are fostered. The researchers’ book, “Positive Organizational Scholarships” explores ways a company and staff excel, per Kim Cameron from the research team and professor at the University of Michigan Business School. She felt these companies were more profitable, increased productivity and had better ideas as well as improved ability to keep customers and staff longer than most companies.

They talk about centering in on successes and positive things employees contributed. Make certain staff members are aware of your feelings as well as upper management.  Cameron stated “…the highest performing senior-level teams use five times as many positive comments as negative comments, whereas low-performing teams use three times as many critical or negative comments.”

Be certain to applaud a job well done.  Encourage the traits you are looking for, such as, integrity and trust.

Be fine with some errors as long as they “fail forward” – learn from this new experience.

What do you find helpful in growing your staff? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts below.

 

 

Do you know powerful ways to keep in touch with your prospects or customers?

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Certainly, the phone is one way to keep in touch. The old-fashioned way often gets more attention. Make a plan, work the plan.

Tim Templeton in “The Referral of a Lifetime” discusses sending a card, letter or personalized newsletter (alternating which one you use) during each month of the year.  For example: For January, send a New Year’s card rather than being one of many sending holiday cards. In February, you might send some information of value given only to a select few (let them know that).  In March, you might forward a newsletter. Make it about them & their needs, not about you. Certainly, it should have your contact information on the bottom. People don’t need to be sold. They want to know you are there to solve a pressing problem for them. You might have heard, people buy more from pain than pleasure. So think about your ideal clients’ pressing initial problem. Then what is the next problem stemming from solving the first one, etc.?

If you have employees, give them an appreciation budget for small gifts or when possible, meetings during a meal. Let them know you are here to help and to let you know when they are having a problem that stumps them. Even if you are not in that field, you can probably refer them to others.  Be sure to give superior service once they are your customer. Then you could keep them for life!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Staying in touch with prospects or customers can be enjoyable (automate it whenever possible).  You want to serve them in a specific way. Isn’t that the reason you went into the field? Yes, you deserve to make a profit as well. You are in business. Make certain your contacts are well-served. They deserve it.

Please let me know what you have found helpful. I will respond.

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional marketing doesn’t work

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Traditional clothing can be beautiful. Traditional marketing doesn’t work any more. So what’s your key to business success? Ah, if only you knew which strategy would help you reach your goals. I suggest one now –  educational based marketing.

What makes this strategy different? You get the attention of potential prospects, keep their interest, and then lead them to the benefits of your product or service with the need to buy from you…and…now…is the difference.

Chet Holmes, discusses this in his best-selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine. He correctly states “you will attract way more buyers if you are offering to teach them something of value than you will ever attract by simply trying to sell them your product or service”.

You say, I already educate my clients! I’m sure you do. The internet is full of articles discussing content marketing and providing an education. However, you need to know given the large amount of advertising people are exposed to each day, they will tune out your message! Oh, no – a message you spent a lot of money and effort on? Say it’s not so? Well, do it correctly and you have a tremendous advantage over your competitors. Where do you begin?

Start with a powerful title. Do you think people buy faster because of pain or pleasure? It’s pain. People will want to avoid pain. Pleasure is wonderful but often can be put off. There is a place for a pleasure title – when they are purchasing your program later.

At this point, your title should:
-make them feel you are talking directly to them by using the name of a specific group they are part of (example: young mothers)
-you need to discuss the problem you are going to solve (it’s related to them –not your business-eventually you need to learn how to sell down to you though).
-give the number of points you will cover (example: 3 of the biggest mistakes ____make that _____).

Yes, it is certainly helpful to get additional insights when you are putting this together. Feel free to write some questions/comments below to get this conversation started.