Sunday, May 17, 2015

Client Rentention and Business Growth

Step 1: Retain, don’t scare

Lets focus on getting current clients to become repeat clients. Lets examine how the first meeting with your client is also the most important for the long-term success of your business.

If you provide services like personal training, chiropractic, or massage, you want to give your clients an incentive to come back again. You don’t necessarily need to present large purchase deals—just that next appointment. Once trust is built, you can get a longer-term commitment later on.

Regular clients are extremely valuable even if you see them once a month. If you gain two clients per week or eight new clients per month who continue to meet with you once a month, in six months, you’ll have forty-eight clients per month.

8 clients per month x 6 months = 48 clients per month

Retention is powerful, and you need a plan to systemically facilitate it. It hardly matters how often you see them or how many appointments they purchase. When you think long term, especially in service businesses, it only matters that you retain them.

Getting the next appointment isn’t the ultimate goal, but it’s the first step for long-term retention. Sometimes getting the next appointment is all you can do in the moment, but you never want to tell clients that just one, two, or three more appointments will resolve all their health problems. You don’t want to limit the relationship, your client’s benefits, or your profits because you felt pressured into telling them so. If they ask how many appointments are needed, be honest, and tell them it depends on the individual circumstances. Give an honest estimate.

Value Client Relationships

This method flies in the face of many sales pitch programs that tell you to get your clients to buy a certain amount in the first meeting. There’s nothing wrong with this approach as long as you don’t scare off potential buyers. The more reasonable, profitable, and consistently successful way is often to earn trust first.

I’ve found that being overly aggressive and trying to “make a bank raid” on the first meeting isn’t the best approach. Don’t try to get your clients to overcommit. Concern yourself with overdelivering, and the rest will take care of itself.

Develop a simple plan to get your clients to become lifetime repeat buyers. To facilitate the process, answer these questions:
  1. How can you make them want to come back again?
  2. What will you present to them to facilitate this?
  3. How can you make the next purchase an irresistible, “no brainer” decision?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bullies, Alphas, and Drama Queens

Dealing with Bullies

When a bad situation doesn’t allow you to remove yourself from it, you’ve got no choice but to deal with these kinds of people. If you don’t deal with them effectively, you’ll likely become their next victim. For the purposes of this section, we’ll call this person the “target.”

The target likely has an over-the-top, type A personality and will display power-hungry, controlling, domineering, egotistic, narcissistic, bullying tendencies. These people have no qualms in using unethical behavior to gain the upper hand, and they tend to pick on people that they view as easy targets. They often pick on people they view as unpopular and less likely to be defended by others. They may choose to bully anyone who is highly individual. Bullies don’t always pick the weak person but sometimes go after the individual who is more likely to be comfortable being alone and therefore less protected by peers. 

I deal with these people by not appearing to be too independent. I’ll make friends with people in power positions and who I trust, so a bully will think twice when seeing that I’m on great terms with the person in charge.  It doesn't hurt to be social sometimes even if its not the dominating trait in your personality.  Displaying a higher number of connections in itself may be enough to dissuade bullies looking for targets.

My dealings with these people are based on the idea that at some level, everyone looks for love, approval, and validation from others. You can use this to your advantage to gain power, especially in group settings, by showing that you need these less than anyone else. The trick is to do so without coming across as a jerk.  You want to show that you are social but also show that you don't care if the bully likes you or not. 

You want to make the target and their fans feel slightly below you. Make them work for your approval, love, and validation instead of vice versa. The goal isn’t to make them feel inferior. They’ll resent you, and you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the pecking order.

It’s also important that you don’t show hate, disapproval, disrespect, or disdain. Negative emotions are an emotional investment none the less, and people will believe that you secretly want the target’s approval (and are angry and disappointed that you don’t have it). When they see your resentment toward the target, they will suspect that you have ulterior motives even when you don’t.

Getting mad at the target is a form of seeking validation, which is the opposite of what you want. Never lose your cool, and do all you can to appear indifferent and make the target work for your validation. Appear neutral. Show that you can walk away from the relationship without any concern or loss. In other words, your life will be wonderful with or without them.

Its also important to note that you mus always stay in rapport. Don’t communicate in an awkward, obvious, or mean-spirited way and if anyone suspects you are using tactics at any point you will lose all credibility.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Retain Clients Forever

Make a Lasting Impression Every Single Time

When you watch a movie or read a book, you don’t want to be left hanging, feeling like something was missing. You don’t want to feel like the plot was incomplete or lacked meaning or that the story failed to  unravel. 

Even if the movie is a sequel, you still want your money’s worth, and you want the experience to be worthwhile and complete. Movies that leave us hanging are fine as long as the story that came before was well presented, well performed, and complete. You don’t want to feel like you just wasted twelve dollars and two hours of your life. You want to feel that the time and money was worth every penny. We all know the feeling of an experience that knocks our socks off, and this is the feeling you want to produce for your clients.

As a service-based business, much of what your clients experience comes from having a great attitude and being great at what you do. This sounds simple, but implementing systems and standards that ensure that this happens each visit can be anything but.