6 Ways to Listen Your Clients
The primary purpose of any business is to make money. In fact, the definition of business is “exchanging goods or services for money.” In most cases, revenue depends on customers or clients. The foundation for your successful enduring business is a long-term two-way relationship with your clients. To foster this crucial relationship, you need to identify your Ideal Client’s problem and offer a Solution. Respond to their need and help them do, be, get or keep whatever it is they need.
Whether you attune to your Ideal Clients’ needs live or virtually, one-to-one or group, there are 6 simple guidelines to help you listen in the right way for the right things:
1.Listen Selectively. Many health entrepreneurs listen to the wrong people and let bad advice lead them astray. People whose business opinions matter fall into one of three categories: Prospective clients; people with knowledge or experience of your niche; people you pay for advice, such as coaches or mentors.
Be cautious about listening to anyone outside these groups. Or listen, but do not feel compelled to follow their advice simply because you know them! Don’t allow anyone’s negativity to throw you off-track. Don’t be influenced by opinions that are irrelevant to your business.
2. Listen for Repeating Patterns. Look for patterns or trends in the words, phrases, ideas or suggestions from your target audience. Then integrate those words or ideas into your marketing message, so that it speaks to people with those needs.
3. Listen for Specific Goals & Challenges. Every business is about solving some kind of problem that people are willing to pay for the solution! What solution do you offer that people are willing to pay for? If you want more Ideal Clients in your holistic health practice, listen for these 4 specific things: what’s working, what outcome do they want; what’s getting in the way of achieving their goal or outcome; how do they describe their situation? If you “read between the lines,” they will tell you exactly where they are, where they want to go and what’s stopping them!
4. Listen for Buying Triggers. You have probably heard that we base our buying decisions on emotion. Stirring up emotions may make people want what you offer. But most people are smart enough to not make a purely emotional decision, especially when it comes to their health or their money! So you also need to appeal to their need and their logic. Make sure your marketing message will trigger an emotional response – a desire, a want – which then activates a need. Then complete your message with a logical, compelling reason to accept your offer.
5. Listen for Power Words and Client-Specific Vocabulary. “Power language” means words or phrases with a high emotional charge. Consider the difference between saying “overweight” and “fat.” Or “show” and “reveal.” Or “cost” and “investment.”As you develop your awareness of marketing, emotional buying and client language, you will start hearing and seeing words in a different way. Pay attention to words from your niche, as well as from your own and affiliate professions. If your client base belongs to a certain generation, profession or sub-culture, use words, phrases or slang that speaks to them in their own language.
As a health professional, you would seed your marketing with words about the needs of your clients and the problems you solve, along with words about benefits and results – how your work helps people! For health entrepreneurs, this includes words relating to pain, pain relief, greater comfort, more energy or better sleep, for example.
6. Listen with an Open Mind. Many practitioners ask questions with a particular answer in mind. They have an agenda and simply use questions as a way to tell people what to do, rather than really listening to the client and responding appropriately.
Don’t assume you already know what your clients want. Don’t use your client consult session to get agreement or confirmation on your opinions. Really sit back and listen with an open mind to their needs. You will truly serve them when they feel heard!
Truly listening – and hearing! – establishes rapport and credibility. Trust and communication open up when you speak the same language as your audience! Once you tune in to your clients’ needs and craft a marketing message that addresses it, you’ll always have enough clients and enough money coming in. And you’ll gain confidence knowing that your work is making a difference in people’s health and their lives!