Ask the Magic Question to Get Loyal Clients!

Ask the Magic Question to Get Loyal Clients!

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Nearly every new client asks me how often she should come in, or how many treatments I think she will need.

A good answer for this is: “What I discover during the treatment helps me assess your needs. So I don’t know until we’re done exactly what you will need in terms of ongoing treatment. We’ll discuss this after your session. For now, you’ll get the best benefits if you just focus on today’s session. How does that sound to you?” (Of course, you would customize this script for your specialty.)

After the session, you can simply ask your client, “How do you feel now?” Most people will be very positive and enthusiastic. They often say, “When should I come back?”

But if not, you can use this Magic Question: 

“Would you like another appointment?”

Your response shows the client that your goal is for her to get better. You might say something like: “Well, your [problem] needs more work. If you wait too long between sessions, we start from the beginning each time and healing is slower. But if you come back for [number] sessions close together, you will progress more quickly. Once we get [problem] under control, then you can cut back to monthly maintenance treatments to keep it from developing again.” A script like this can be modified for many different healthcare modalities.

Your customers are much more than just a revenue stream. They each present an opportunity to forge a long-lasting partnership. An attitude of caring and some positive thought can go a long way toward converting first-time customers into repeat clients. Here’s something else very valuable, a simple magic question that keeps clients coming back and turns them into long-term clients…

just five little words: “Would you like another appointment?”

Most people say yes!

A bodywork client emerges from your treatment room in a state of relaxed bliss. If your wellness biz is other than bodywork, such as nutrition or family counseling, the client will have motivating new information or inspirational insight. The client answers yes to your Magic Question because her amazing experience with you is fresh in her mind! She may already be thinking that she should do this more often, perhaps even on a regular basis. So when you ask her if she wants to come back, she gets the impression that you are in tune with her needs, because she was just thinking the same thing! This is the time to secure her repeat business.

Keeping the client’s best interests in mind, give her a clear assessment of what you think she needs. I fill out a Treatment Plan, review it with the client and give her a copy to take home. This gives her something tangible to walk away with, to help her remember you. Every time she sees it on her desk or fridge, she recalls her fabulous session with you! It also keeps you in her mind if, for some reason, she leaves without booking another appointment.

When someone needs your services but has concerns about finances or scheduling, acknowledge their concerns and respond accordingly. Remember it is not your job to help them find the time or the money! Your job is to tell them how you can help. If you do a good job of explaining the value of your work, they will be inspired to find a way to work with you! They will be motivated to become a long-term loyal client.

And they will say yes when you ask the Magic Question:

“Would you like another appointment?”

How to Get More Clients with Ripe Peaches!

How to Get More Clients with Ripe Peaches!

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Summer! It’s time for my favorite fruit – fresh peaches! Growing up on my grandparents’ farm in South Carolina, I spent many lazy summer days reading Anne of Green Gables books in a peach tree, nibbling and dribbling peach juice down my chin!

Do you like ripe peaches too? Well, you’re really gonna love ’em for a juicy business boost in your wellness practice!

“Low-Hanging Fruit” and “Warm Prospects” are conventional marketing terms for interested people who may be a perfect fit for your health business, but they haven’t yet become clients. My inner Southern girl likes to think of them as “Ripe Peaches” – potential clients who need follow-up.

Low-hanging fruit is ripe and ready for picking – like ripe peaches hanging on the tree. They are so heavy with sweet, juicy ripeness that they weigh down the branches, and practically fall into your hand with a slight touch – when the timing is right!

In your wellness practice, the Ripe Peaches are people you’ve met and discussed your work with in the past 1-24 months. They were interested but perhaps the timing wasn’t right for them, or maybe they couldn’t afford it at that time. You may have met them casually at a social event, or in a more structured business setting, such as a networking meeting.

And don’t forget that former clients are the ripest peaches of all! They already know you and your work, you have already established the vital know-like-trust connection. All they need is a slight nudge to drop into your waiting hand!

Don’t wait for potential clients to call you! It is part of your job description as a business owner to follow up with leads. Simply give them a call, re-introduce yourself and remind them where you met. Don’t try to sell your services to them. Just let them know you’re thinking about them, ask them how they’re doing and offer them a complimentary gift, such as a no-cost Discovery Session, free info on your website or an invitation to your upcoming talk.

Timing is crucial! If picked too soon, your peaches are inedible – green, hard and sour. Wait too long and either they’ll rot or someone else will pick them!

Likewise in your health business: if you push to sell your services too soon, you will lose prospects before they “ripen” – that is, before they get to know, like and trust you. If you wait too long, they may lose interest or go to another practitioner for the help they need.

Research shows that it takes 3-7 contacts for people to respond to business follow-up. So continue contacting your Ripe Peaches on a regular basis until they opt out or make an appointment.

Who are your Ripe Peaches? Who can you think of that you’ve met and discussed your services with in the past couple years? Have you collected contact info from everyone you meet in doing business, as well as casually or socially in your daily life? If not, start doing so immediately! Always ask: “May I have your card?” Odds are they will ask for yours in return.

BROWNIE POINTS! Wha-a-at – you haven’t been collecting contact info from everyone you meet??? Start doing so… TODAY!!

Make an offer they can’t refuse, such as special pricing or a free Discovery Session. Ask if they would be interested in hearing about your special offer. Prepare in advance – don’t try to wing it when the person answers the phone! Decide what you want to offer and memorize a friendly conversational script.

Continue contacting your Ripe Peaches on a regular basis. Don’t be shy – like that introverted little girl reading books in Grandmama’s peach tree! Always give something of value in each connection, such as free info, a product or service, followed by a great offer! Don’t take rejection personally!

Now… go pick those “ripe peaches!” Follow up with people who have shown interest in your work! Then make them an offer they can’t refuse – to start working together to help them with your unique solutions!

The Prosperous Practice Home Study System shares how to consistently build your wellness practice with new clients, in a natural, authentic way, without seeming pushy or desperate!

Mid-Summer Marketing Tune-Up!

Mid-Summer Marketing Tune-Up!

Image result for summer sizzleIs your wellness practice dwindling over the summer? It’s not too late for sizzling hot summer success! Take your laptop to the beach or pool and rev up your marketing.

If your business is suffering from Summer Slowdown Syndrome, there’s still time to rev up your practice for the end of summer, plus get a jump-start on your fall marketing!

Here are some strategies you can use with great results for a successful summer:

Offer treatment packages instead of individual sessions, insuring that buyers will come in regularly for the rest of the summer.

– Learn our exact formula to create and sell Treatment Packages in Steps to Success 8: The Prosperous Practice Guide to Packages and Programs. 

Teach a class or workshop in self-care techniques.

Offer a special program for a targeted group, such as “Athlete’s Advantage” or “Get Psyched for Soccer Success.”

Market to tourists and summer visitors who need health care while on vacation, via guest services and concierge desks at hotels, resorts, B&Bs.

Target summer sports teams to treat mishaps on the playing field.

Offer a Backyard Warriors treatment for people with achy-breaky backs from gardening or playing too hard.

Market services for kids and students while they’re out of school for the summer, via pediatricians, organized sports and summer fun programs.

Promote a Sun Worshipers Skin Care treatment for people who overdid it with sun exposure.

– Start a worksite health program for employees, offering info or mini-treatments as a way to invite them to your office for more.

– Prepare Fall marketing while your schedule is lighter, such as a Back-to-School Special.

Get a head start on Winter – prepare Christmas cards or plan your holiday client party. (I buy cards at after-Christmas sales, so I have them on hand for early prep.)

Schedule next summer’s marketing, so your business doesn’t slow down this time next year. (Go on – DO IT NOW – put next summer’s marketing into your spring calendar!)

Get some R&R to recharge, to make sure you’re ready to roll with your great Fall marketing.

Email The Prosperous Practice for a complimentary Discovery Session to discover exactly what you need to grow your practice to the next level of success.

 Tackle a Big Project! If your client schedule has dropped off, take advantage of the extra time to do something you’ve been putting off – launch a website, start a blog, develop a workshop, set up a Joint Venture. Be sure to mention your project in your weekly ezine.

 Take a Vacation! Recharge yourself with some TLC for the upcoming busy Fall season. Get some good self-care – bodywork, exercise, rest, fresh summer produce – peaches and cherries!

– Pre-write and pre-schedule Fall articles for ezines, blog & social media posts.

 Prepare Your Fall Launch! Plan and start your Fall Marketing Campaign by doing at least one marketing activity each day for the rest of the summer, to plan & promote programs such as: Back-to-School Specials for teachers & school staff; Athlete’s Advantage for autumn athletes; Halloween Trick or Treat Bags for clients and biz associates. What fall services will you offer this year?

– Get everything you need to market and grow your practice with The Prosperous Practice Home Study System!

There’s a huge variety of marketing strategies you can implement to make sure your clients don’t forget you over the summer – even if they don’t come in for a while. But if you didn’t plan ahead and you end up experiencing Summer Slowdown Syndrome, use your time wisely to get your practice ready for a very busy and profitable Fall-Winter season.

Don’t get caught unprepared next summer – it will come around sooner than you realize! Answer the following questions to help you plan ahead:

– How were you affected this year by Summer Slowdown Syndrome?

– What could you have done differently for a more successful summer?

– How will you address it next year?

– What will you put in place now to prevent Summer Slowdown in the future?

– Which Sizzlin’ Summer Success activities appeal to you the most?

– What will you do now to prepare for upcoming Fall & Winter marketing?

– What specific times do you commit to doing these things?

– Book these times into your schedule as appointments with yourself!

To learn the best marketing strategies for your wellness practice, check out The Prosperous Practice Home Study System!

Let Freedom Ring in Your Wellness Biz – with Systems!

Let Freedom Ring in Your Wellness Biz – with Systems! 

“In a world with no systems, with chaos, everything becomes a struggle, and predictability is not there. And it becomes almost impossible…”  – Bill Clinton.

There’s much more to being a successful wellness entrepreneur than working with clients. Do you struggle with all the endless details of running your practice – clinical, clerical, administrative and marketing tasks?

And this is all in addition to our primary purpose – taking care of clients! Whew! No wonder so many practitioners stress out or burn out!

As a healthcare professional, your plate is indeed very full! But  don’t worry – there’s help for the overwhelm! When you set up systems to handle the patient,  business and marketing activities, you can work more efficiently and have more freedom for personal time and other important aspects of your life. Once you implement specific policies, protocols, tools and resources to manage your practice, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without them!

If you’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed, if crucial tasks are falling through the cracks – then you’re wasting valuable time and precious energy that you could use to serve clients and achieve your goals. Systems keep your marketing on auto-pilot year-round, with ease and convenience for you, throughout the lifetime of your business.

Systems are simply procedures for organizing your business. They are crucial to grow and move to the next level with your income. Whether your business is new or established, systems will get you to the next level of success, and the next after that. How do you currently get things done in your business? Most likely you have a self-generated business, meaning that if you don’t do it yourself, it doesn’t get done!

Take a close look at all the different parts of your business. For example: how you get clients, how you get paid, how you deliver your services or products, as well as administration, marketing and scheduling.

You can actually devise a system for each of these activities. In my business, every aspect is systematized – scheduling, marketing, client sessions, promo, admin, social media, networking, ezine, blog, even cleaning and laundry! Everything has a time and a place, and gets done efficiently with time to spare! How will you use your spare time?

Look at the different aspects of your business to see what’s working well and what’s falling through the cracks. Decide which things absolutely have to be done by you and which can be delegated. Ask how something can be systematized so that it is done the same way each time. Where can you fit these tasks into your schedule? What can be automated with technology and what can be delegated to others?

For instance, keep a script or checklist by the phone for intake with new clients. To further systematize this same task, have your prospects pre-screen themselves by reading the FAQs in your website, so you don’t have to repeat the same conversation with every prospective client.

Use systems all over your business! Whether promoting a new program or cleaning the bathroom – systematize it! Whatever it is – closing the sale, ordering supplies, client intake – whatever it is, give it a system so you always know what to do and when to do it. Systems also allow you to delegate certain aspects of your business, freeing up your time for more flexibility, freedom and fun!

Remember to make time in your schedule for marketing! Do you find yourself at the end of the week wondering where the time went and feeling frustrated because you only accomplished a fraction of what you wanted to get done? If so, then you need a weekly calendar with designated blocks of time to work on your business, as explained in detail in The Prosperous Practice Home Study System Module 2: Make Room for Marketing.

Make a commitment to yourself to honor your intentions. This will instantly improve your productivity and reduce your stress by giving you more control over your time! Then stick to your boundaries – your system won’t do you any good if you don’t follow it! Turn off your phone ringer, email notifications and all other distractions – electronic and otherwise.

Don’t wear all the hats in your biz. Instead… delegate! Most likely at this point you’re in business for yourself, with yourself and by yourself – meaning if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done! The key to having a business that runs like a well-oiled machine is to get help and delegate certain tasks to a live or virtual assistant.

If you are handling everything yourself and important things are not getting done, this translates to lost opportunities, fewer clients and less income. If you think you can’t afford it, start small with delegating 1-2 hours per week to an assistant. The goal is to focus your time and energy on attracting clients and working with clients, while someone else does things that are outside your area of expertise.

Avoid overwhelm, burn-out and chaos! Systems are crucial if you want to multiply your business and get to the next level of success in your wellness practice. Whether you are struggling, starting, sustaining or succeeding, think about all the different tasks needed to keep things running smoothly. Then create a repeatable system that works every time for each business activity!

Steps to Success 12: The Prosperous Practice Guide to Ongoing Systems

Would you like to know in advance what you’ll be doing every day, week and month to grow your business? All the great marketing strategies in the world won’t help you succeed if you don’t implement them in an orderly plan. Keep your practice on track and your life in balance with business, marketing and lifestyle systems, so you can focus on your purpose – to serve clients with your unique gifts.

How to Be a Money Magnet!

How to Be a Money Magnet!

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What was your motivation for entering your wellness profession? Was it to make a lot of money? Probably not! For most wellness practitioners, when deciding to enter this field, our original goal wasn’t to accumulate money. It was to help others.

But even though money isn’t your main motivator, you can’t ignore it and expect to have a thriving practice and abundant life. There’s bad news and good news about this.

First, the bad news: Most wellness entrepreneurs have not been trained in how to develop a positive, healthy relationship with money – one that honors both their desire to serve others and to prosper financially. So instead of regarding money with respect and appreciation, we unconsciously push away money or opportunities to earn it. Many influences in our culture – family, society, religion – have shaped our attitudes and behaviors with money. We often send mixed messages to the Universe – saying we want to be prosperous while harboring a money mindset that sabotages our success.

And the good news: It’s easy to turn this around with a simple attitude adjustment! A simple mindset shift leads to different action. Different action produces different results, helping more prosperity flow into your life.

Answer this honestly: Do you push away or ignore money opportunities? Make sure you send a clear message, align your mindset with action and make the most of opportunities that come up, using these 3 money mindset tips:

Tip #1 – Eliminate Money Drama!

Do you unknowingly create or allow money drama in your life? I used to do this! But once I realized what a time and energy drain it is to get caught up in financial drama, I took steps to eliminate it from my own mindset and behavior, by gently excluding certain beliefs, behaviors, habits, situations and people that did not support my goals.

In your wellness biz, your income represents many things. It provides the basics of life – food and shelter. It may help you provide for others. Your income is also a symbol of your self-worth, as well as reflecting how much good you’re doing in the world, how much you’re accomplishing and well you’re achieving your purpose of helping others.

Money drama is a success saboteur that can manifest in many ways: running your bank balance into the ground, never knowing your account balance, credit card abuse, coming up short every month, ignoring your bills, borrowing from others, feast-or-famine money cycles, shopping addiction, anxious nights – all that stuff is money drama!

Recognize where you’re allowing your own and other people’s money drama into your life, then take action to eliminate it. If you actually don’t have enough money, learn to cut way back on non-essentials for a while, adjust your lifestyle within your means, find ways to earn additional income and pay down debt.

Tip #2: Let Your Light Shine!

Stop playing small! Don’t hold back from the fullest expression of your talents and abilities. Doing so denies your divinely-given natural gifts and talents. Dimming your light disempowers you and those around you.

Many wellness entrepreneurs play small, hold themselves back or diminish their abilities and accomplishments, for fear of offending others. Now think about this – before you skip past it saying, “Not me.” If you were to suddenly double your income, whom would you be concerned about upsetting? From whom would you withhold this information? It’s common for someone close – a friend, family member, coworker, for example – to feel threatened by your change and act or speak against you because of envy.

Shine your light brighter! When things go well, proudly let others know about it! Affirming your abundance may attract more income for you, so turn up the volume and hear that sweet sound – cha-ching!

Tip #3. Stop Believing That Sacrifice Serves Others!

You can be poor and serve some people or you can be prosperous and serve more people. Assuming your purpose as a practitioner is to help more people live healthier lives, which do you choose? Which is in better alignment with your purpose?

I know some practitioners who love to help poor people. I also know some who feel guilty about getting paid to help people, about profiting from people’s pain. Community service and pro bono work are fine, even noble! But then these practitioners end up with no money as well! How does this serve your purpose of helping lots of people?

The greater your success, the more people you can help! By helping people who can’t pay you, you are denying the opportunity to expand your practice so you can help many others. I recommend that you create a profitable niche of ideal paying clients who are willing to pay you well for the benefits that you provide for them. And then…

Once you have your own finances in order, you can reach out to those who can’t afford to pay. It’s like the airline policy – put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else with theirs! This way, you can actually help many more people. This way, everyone benefits – you and your clients!

Instead of pushing away money and opportunities, welcome them! Shine your light and fulfill your Divine Purpose – to serve others and live the rich life that you need, want and deserve – supported by your very own… Prosperous Practice!

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

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Fortunately there’s a better way to connect with clients and prospects than shouting through a bullhorn! A business newsletter is a marketing power tool that can help you reach more people and attract more ideal clients!

– Is your practice the first thing your clients think about when they need health care?

– Do you want loyal clients who don’t even think about going to another practitioner?

– Would you like to have a solid base of clients who regularly refer others to you?

– Do you want referrals from physicians and other healthcare providers?

– Would you like for these referrals to also become loyal clients who make referrals?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, a newsletter is an ideal way to make it happen!

One of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make as a wellness practitioner is to not contact your clients on a regular basis . And yet, according to a research poll, only 10% of practitioners send a client newsletter.

The most valuable business asset you have is not your office, not your equipment, not your skills – it’s your clients. When you don’t keep in touch with current and past clients, they are less responsive to you, less loyal to your business and less interested in your services.

So it’s crucial to the success of your practice that you take good care of your client list – and not just when they are in your office for an appointment. Making sure you take care of them between appointments is the best way to keep you on their mind. And this is where your keep-in-touch marketing system comes into play.

Your newsletter is more than a tool to educate clients about health. It also allows you to:

– Offer special promotions.

– Keep clients informed about your business news.

– Build trust by sharing little glimpses into your personal life.

– Keep your business on their mind.

The whole purpose of marketing is to build relationships with people over time, so they always think of you for their health and wellness concerns. A newsletter or ezine helps to build a solid relationship with clients, so that you retain their business over the long-term.

Contacting your clients on a regular basis is the strongest marketing strategy you can use! Keep in touch with the people on your list of current and past clients, so they stay responsive to you, loyal to your business, interested in your services and happy to refer people to you.

While a printed newsletter is effective, an ezine is even more so. An ezine – tech-talk for email magazine – has an added advantage of saving you money, because it doesn’t have printing and mailing costs. Either way – print or online – a newsletter helps you:

– Remind them that you’re here to help.

– Communicate with your clients and colleagues.

– Build the crucial know-like-trust factor with potential clients.

– Establish recognition of your brand.

– Promote your service.

– Encourage referrals from clients, doctors and other practitioners.

– Give you an edge over competitors who do not use a newsletter.

Your ezine can be your silent sales partner! Here are 10 simple ways to add marketing energy to your email newsletter.

  1. Have an opt-in box so that people can subscribe if they received your ezine from a friend!
  2. Embed clickable links to your website with text and images throughout your ezine. Provide links to products, programs or events. Your ezine banner should contain a clickable link to your website home page. Links help readers get more information fast and can have a big impact on sales.
  3. Include links for readers to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and any other social media sites that you – or they – use regularly.  There are many attractive and affordable options of icon sets for visual interest.
  4. Use a P.S. to ask readers to forward your ezine to their friends, followers and colleagues. You can also use the forwarding feature available with most professional online email services.
  5. Post updates on social media sites each time you write a new article. Include a link to your opt-in page and encourage readers to subscribe for regular delivery.
  6. Grow your mailing list fast, with a link or reference to it in places people are likely to opt-in. For example: your email signature, in your bio, within the footer of online articles, your business card and all printed marketing materials.
  7. Include an offer. Make your ezine an effective marketing vehicle with this one simple rule: Always include an offer – an existing product or resource, a new launch, a free Discovery Session, a “read more” link to your website.
  8. Provide a free way to learn more about your business. Whether casually in a social situation or more formally in a presentation, offer your ezine and its free gift to everyone you talk to.
  9. Start where you are and make improvements as you go. Don’t get bogged down in creating the perfect ezine before you start sending it.  With the online format, it’s easy to make changes.
  10. Send it regularly and frequently. Weekly is ideal! If that’s too overwhelming at first, send it every 2 weeks. Less than that – don’t bother!

If you’re short on time, implement one feature each week until your newsletter is complete and your publication schedule is in full swing with a weekly ezine going out to all your clients and colleagues! A note via email, postal mail or on your recent blog post, plus a simple offer, are all you need to get started sending your ezine today. Tweak it a little each time and before long you’ll have a high-powered marketing tool that attracts clients while you work, play and sleep!

Narrow Your Niche to Make More Money!

Narrow Your Niche to Make More Money!

“You can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” –Abraham Lincoln.

Image result for dartsWhat’s your niche? Whether you pronounce it “nitch” or “neesh” – you need one in your wellness practice!

One of the biggest marketing mistakes I see practitioners make is not being clear about their target market. I know because I’ve been there! I used to think like a lot of practitioners – that I needed to market my services to as many people as possible to get enough clients!

And guess what happened?! When I marketed to everyone I never had enough clients! When I narrowed my niche to a specific population, my practice filled quickly!

What about you? Do you target a specific group? Do you know if there is a demand for your service, and do you have a plan to market and sell what you offer?

Some practitioners believe that it is unethical to make money from other people’s pain or problems. Others may think they just have to share their divine gift and God will provide for them.

If your business ideal, dream or goal feels like divine inspiration, then you’re off to a good start as a Spirit-based practitioner! But your message has to reach the right audience to bring you more success and income. The following steps will help you create your unique wellness idea, take action on it and get the results you need, want and deserve!

Step 1: Research
Research your idea to see if there is already a market demand for your particular wellness modality, idea or perspective. Don’t worry about competition. If others are already doing what you offer, it means there’s a market for your service or specialty. If no one is doing it, you will either need to change or narrow your niche, or work harder to establish your niche in the marketplace.

Step 2: Identify Who You Want to Work With
Once you get clear on your target market, you can develop a marketing plan that attracts the right people and discourages those who are not a good fit for your wellness biz. You may think the best way to get lots of clients is to market to everyone! But you actually get more ideal clients by narrowing your niche to a small specific group. Here’s how to identify your niche:

Your niche is made up of people who already know they need help, they just don’t know how to get it. That’s where you and your marketing come in! Use your marketing materials to speak to your ideal client as if you were having a conversation with them about their needs and your solutions. Word your marketing messages in a way that your ideal client will ‘see’ herself in your magnetic marketing questions. She will answer ‘Yes!’ to them and pre-qualify herself as your enthusiastic new client!

An effective way to do this is to create what is known in marketing circles as your “client avatar” – a fictitious individual with all of the qualities you desire in an ideal client. Then craft your marketing messages as if you are speaking to this one person.

Here’s a motto that will help you focus your marketing on your niche: “One person, one problem, one solution.” Even if you offer multiple services and serve multiple niches, each marketing message or campaign should be directed to one particular issue.

Here’s an example from my massage therapy practice of how I target two different niches:

1. “Are you suffering with pain from an old or new soft tissue injury? Our Freedom from Pain program will help you regain movement and comfort, so that you can function at your fullest potential.”

2. “Are you so overwhelmed with stress and fatigue that you cannot live your life as effectively as you would like? Research shows that a one-hour massage gives body and mind the equivalent of 3 hours sleep! Our Rest and Revive series will restore ease, well-being and energy!”

As you can see, I serve more than one niche, but I customize a different message for each group.

Narrowing your niche does not mean that you can’t serve people outside of your niche. It simply means that you will aim each marketing arrow at a specific target. If your arrow hits people outside of your niche, you can decide whether or not they are a good fit for your business. If so, go ahead and serve them; if not, refer them to another practitioner who might be a better fit for them.

You will not have to turn away non-ideal clients, because they will not ‘see’ themselves in your specifically-targeted message and will realize that your service is not for them. Your special gift will not be expressed at its highest potential if you work with people who don’t fit your Ideal Client profile – those who don’t need what you offer, who drain your energy, squabble about money, make excuses, procrastinate or disrespect your time. But that’s exactly what happens when you target too wide an audience, instead of a small niche – specifying exactly whom you do and do not accept as clients.

Step 3: Sharing, Not Selling

Finally, you need to get comfortable with sales. I don’t mean the stereotype of the slick used car salesman who tries to talk someone into something they don’t want or need! I’m talking about offering something you believe in, to people who need it – a solution that matches the needs of your niche. Think of it as sharing your services, not selling.

Conscious business marketing is totally ethical. It is not about closing the deal. It’s letting people know how your work can benefit them and solve their problem. Remember, every successful business – including yours – has the solution to a specific problem, pain or challenge.

Ultimately, as a wellness entrepreneur, you need to go beyond your big idea. To bring your great business idea into reality, you need to start with getting clear about your niche and the best ways to reach your ideal audience with your marketing message.

Rock Your June Income with Gift Coupons!

Rock Your June Income with Gift Coupons!

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Try saying this fast 10 times – Dads and grads and brides and grooms!

June is bustin’ out all over! And it’s a great month for bustin’ out Gift Coupon sales in your wellness practice, because it’s the traditional time of year for… dads and grads and brides and grooms!

I recently sold a package of 8 mini-massages to a blushing bride-to-be for her bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s gifts. When the recipients call to book their 30-minute massage appointments, I will offer them an upgrade with more service for an additional fee – a value-added service for them and more income for me!

Last week a new client who came in for her first massage, walked out with 3 Fathers Day Gift Coupons in her purse – for her husband, her father and her father-in-law! She said the humorous promo sign by the toilet motivated her!

Gift Coupon sales are a major source of income in my massage therapy practice. Almost every day, a client buys a Gift Coupon for a special occasion, or packages of mini-massage coupons to keep on hand for last-minute gifts, or for times when they need to give presents to many people for one occasion.

If you’re not currently selling Gift Coupons, consider adding this income-generator to your offerings. If you do offer them – but don’t sell as many as you’d like – try these 13 ideas to boost your sales:

1. Promote Gift Coupons for holidays. Plan promotions for each holiday and start your campaign 4-6 weeks before the date. The month of June, Christmas, Valentines Day and Mothers Day are the biggest holidays for Gift Coupon sales, so plan accordingly not to miss out on these golden opportunities. Get the word out to your clients via email, postal mail, phone calls, social media and office signs.

2. Make Gift Coupons visible. Create a display in your reception area, ideally where clients can see it when they check in and again when check out. Have a sign saying something like: “Share the Gift of Health for Someone Special!” And be sure to mention it, in case they’re in a hurry and don’t read the sign: “Do you need a gift for someone?”

3. Display signs to promote your Gift Coupons. An ideal place to post a sign is on the back of the treatment room door, so clients see it as they leave the room. Make sure you have attractive signs visibly posted throughout your office. Another good display area is the restroom – in clear view from the toilet!

4. Talk to clients in person. When people come in for appointments near holidays, remind them that you sell Gift Coupons. There’s no need for pushy sales. Simply remind them that Gift Coupons are available for wonderful healthy gifts and much better than a bottle of scotch!

5. Send out reminders. Make phone calls, mail postcards and/or send email to remind clients that Gift Coupons make great last-minute gifts because they are easy to buy and they are appropriate for all sizes, all ages, all genders and all occasions. Offer to postal mail or email the Gift Coupon to the recipient.

6. Offer an incentive. For more sales, make sure there’s something in it for the buyer! If the buyer is a client, give them a value-added service at their next appointment – something that does not increase your time or cost. Examples: Integrate hot stones into a massage, add a special recipe with nutrition counseling or a customized asana series for a yoga student. See what you can come up with that fits your modality – something that gives the client extra value without adding to your cost.

7. Send a letter. Be sure to contact inactive as well as active clients. Emphasize how easy it is to shop for everyone on their gift list for many occasions. Offer to sell by phone or on your website, making sure you’re prepared to accept credit card payments.

8. Offer shorter time frames. Instead of selling Gift Coupons for one-hour appointments, sell just half-hour times. If your service or product is not time-based, consider a smaller offering that still provides value. With a lower cost per unit, people are likely to purchase more, which will increase your overall sales.

9. Offer to upgrade. When the Gift Coupon recipient calls to schedule their appointment, offer to add additional time or service for an additional fee. For example, a 30-minute coupon could be upgraded to 60 minutes, or an acupuncture treatment could include a take-home herbal tea. They see it as getting a bargain, such as a 60-minute massage for the cost of 30 minutes. Again, if your business is not time-based like massage, think of a low-cost, high-value upgrade that you can offer.

10. Sell only high-quality Gift Coupons. Use full-color professional printing on large cards with envelopes, to increase the Gift Coupon’s perceived value. Or have plastic renewable gift cards made.

11. In addition to Gift Coupons, you can offer other gift items from your retail area, and make up gift bags or baskets which include a Gift Coupon and a few small gifts.

12. A big seller in my massage practice is packets of 4 or 8 Gift Coupons for mini-massages – 15 or 30 minute sessions. People love these when they have lots of gifts for one occasion, such as a bridal shower, or to keep on hand for last-minute gifts when they don’t have time to shop. Recipients are always invited to upgrade to a longer session when they call to schedule.

13. Set up a Gift Coupon Station. I have a special table that I decorate for each important Gift Coupon occasion – Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Bridal, Graduation and Christmas. Include flowers and/or balloons; pens, envelopes & stamps (offer to mail for them); a sign, price list, sample GCs, extra gifts.

I recommend using the terms Gift Coupon, Gift Voucher and Gift Card instead of Gift Certificate, and here’s why: Most states have laws about the expiration date on gift certificates, usually 1-5 years from date of purchase. (Here in Hawaii, it’s 2 years). Coupons, on the other hand, are allowed a short expiration time – days or weeks. (Think about all those grocery coupons with expire dates – can’t do that on a gift certificate!) Because we want those gift recipients to come in ASAP and not lose track of their gift, a Gift Coupon with a 7-30 day expiration will encourage them to redeem their coupon soon – before they lose it! This also gives you a sooner opportunity to educate them about the benefits of ongoing care and enroll them as a long-term customer.

If you don’t sell Gift Coupons, consider adding this income-booster to your services. If you don’t sell as many as you’d like – try these effective ideas to boost your sales! Remember – each Gift Coupon recipient is a potential ongoing client who will also buy Gift Coupons and refer others!

Enroll New Clients with the Comfortable Sales Conversation!

Enroll New Clients with the Comfortable Sales Conversation!

Image result for push rock uphill

Don’t be like Sisyphus! He is the character in Greek mythology who was punished for his arrogance, by having to repeatedly roll a huge stone uphill, only to have it roll down again every time he reached the summit. 

Selling your wellness services should not feel like pushing a rock uphill – for you or the client. Luckily for you, there’s a system for selling your work that magnetically draws clients to you in a graceful and comfortable way!

This step-by-step system helps you to comfortably and confidently enroll clients in your services. It is based on offering free treatments or consultations to interested prospects, serving two purposes:

– Familiarize people with your work.

– Offer them ongoing care and support.

When a prospective client comes in for their no-cost Discovery Session, schedule enough time to sit down and have a conversation about their needs. If you include a sample session or treatment, allow time to talk with the person afterwards.

The Sales Conversation consists of a series of 7 key questions to ask, to engage people in a talk about their problems and your solutions. Practice and memorize the questions so you can ask them comfortably and confidently. These 7 questions will help you convert prospects into clients:

1. What is your main health challenge or goal?

Their answer to this question will help you know how to explain your services to them, to show them how you can help achieve their goal. Most people have some type of health or wellness issue or a goal. You want to understand what is important to them. Also, you need to be well-informed about the value of your work for a variety of conditions or situations.

2. How will it affect your life to achieve this goal?

Once they clarify their main goal, you need to know why it’s important to them. Of course, you know the benefits. But you want to understand why it is important for that person, such as “My back pain keeps me from playing with my kids” or “I want to run my personal best in a marathon.” Part of our job with our marketing and our sales presentation is to perceive people’s emotional needs.

3. What have you done to deal with your problem and how well has it worked?

This is really two questions, but they are related. Their answer will allow you to position your services in their health care regimen – to integrate your care with whatever else they are doing. Do not negate their current care or make them feel wrong. Explain your modality as an added value, as an enhancer to everything else, rather than replace what they are already doing.

4. What could happen if you don’t resolve this problem?

Sometimes you may have to point out the need for people to take action. Maybe they have never considered the consequences of not dealing with their problem. They may think it will eventually clear up on its own, like a rainy day or a bad cold. So you need to clarify what could happen if they don’t take measures to help themselves. I sometimes compare it to vehicle care: Your car will break down if you don’t take care of small problems or keep up with regular service. Example: “If you don’t get your blood pressure under control, it can lead to heart attack or stroke.”

5. What do you think might prevent you from achieving your goal?

The way people answer this question will expose their objections or resistance to enrolling with you, and give you more insight into their mindset. The better you understand them and match your message to their thinking, then the more powerful and effective your Sales Conversation will be. The three most common concerns people have are: money, time and effectiveness.

6. How committed are you to resolving this problem?

Find out how willing they are to improve their situation. Ask them if they truly want to resolve their problem. Ask: “On a scale of 0-10, how important is it to improve your situation?” Once you have their commitment, you can confidently offer your product or service because you know what they want, why they want it, why they aren’t getting it and what their resistance or objection is about. If their commitment level is “Do anything, pay anything,” then you’re in a good position to sell your highest-priced package. If they seem lukewarm or hesitant, start with a smaller package.

7. Which one of these plans would you like to choose today?

Have 2-3 treatment options at different price points for them to choose from. After presenting your packages and programs, you then say, “Which one of these plans would you like to choose today?” That’s it. Don’t say, “Would you like to get started?” Don’t say, “Go home and sleep on it.” Ask which package they want, then be quiet and wait for their answer. Don’t speak again, even if there is an uncomfortable silence. Your silence indicates your confidence that they are now ready to commit. If you start talking or trying to convince them, you could appear pushy or needy. Bite your tongue if necessary!

Go over the Service Agreement item by item and have the client sign it to indicate that she understands your policies and terms of service. This prevents misunderstandings later on.

To close the Discovery Session: “How would you like to pay for your program? I take cash, checks and credit cards.” Process the payment. Schedule the appointment series.

Finally, congratulate your new client again on a smart decision and say goodbye… until the first appointment!

10 Strategies to Survive Summer Slowdown in Your Wellness Biz!

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome in Your Wellness Biz!

Summer – as the temperature goes up, your practice can go down – before you realize it’s happening! So you need to get crackin’ now to prevent Summer Slowdown Syndrome! It’s mid-May and not a moment too soon to start your summer marketing campaign!

Image result for almost summerWhat causes Summer Slowdown Syndrome? Clients – even the ideal ones – tend to disappear from your wellness practice over the summer. Schedules change, people travel, kids are out of school, summer guests visit. Your practice can get off track with fewer clients, causing a big dip in your income. Then you’re faced with a challenging recovery to get back in gear for Fall.

Or… you can plan ahead for a sizzling hot summer business and a smooth transition into a busy, productive Fall!

Preparation is the key to avoiding Summer Slowdown in your wellness practice. Plan and prepare now, in the last few weeks before summer. Don’t wait until business slows down – that’s like fixing the roof when it’s raining! 

Here are 10 strategies to help your wellness practice survive Summer Slowdown Syndrome:

1. Target a Sub-Niche! While many people travel during the summer, others opt for a “staycation.” Offer a summer special to those who stay home. More summer target groups: Teachers and school personnel; children & teens; summer tourists; summer athletes; house guests of your friends and clients!

2. Offer Packages and Programs! Enroll clients in prepaid, pre-scheduled treatment series, starting now with a ‘drip campaign’. When set up properly, packages minimize summer drop-outs, making your schedule and your income more predictable.

3. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse! Offer an irresistibly good deal on your Summer Vacation Package – a series of treatments focusing on a specific condition, problem or issue, with special summer pricing. Emphasize the benefits of staying on-track with regular health care over the summer. Example: Summer Skin Care Series, Athlete’s Advantage Package. 

Please share your client-attractive Summer Vacation Package in the Comments below!

4. Host a Class, Workshop or Event! You can make more money per hour with groups than with individual sessions, while clients save on the cost of private lessons. Teach basic techniques, for example “Simple Summer Self-Care” or “Fun Foods for Families.”

5. Market to Summer Visitors – If you live in a place with summer tourism, target this market. Also let clients know about your Summer Guest Special for their visiting family and friends. Sell a package of mini-massages that an entire family could share, for example, or a spa service could offer a Summer Skin Care Special. My Golfer’s Advantage is popular with tourists year-round at the luxury resorts near my home. Place an ad in a tourist publication or local newspaper. Contact hotels, inns, resorts, vacation rental managers and B&Bs; explain your services, give them business cards and referral vouchers; and ask for their referrals. Go public in a big way with your marketing.

6. Join Summer Fun and Games! Volunteer with summer sports teams – your kids’, your own or community teams! It’s a golden opportunity to market your practice to teammates, coaches and parents!

7. Start a Worksite Employee Health Program! Contact a local business about offering their employees a brief introductory consult or treatment at their work location. This strategy magnetically draws Ideal Clients into your office!

Which of these sizzling hot summer strategies appeals to you the most? Please share your inspirations in the Comments below!

Uh-oh! What if you get a late start with summer planning and your business drops off?

First of all, go to your calendar for next spring and schedule some consistent time for summer marketing, so you don’t get left behind again next year! Go on – do it now – schedule next year’s summer marketing! And then come back here for the last three of our 10 strategies for summer success!

Here’s how to use the extra time created by Summer Slowdown to your most profitable advantage!

8. Tackle a Big Project! Take advantage of reduced client time to do something that you’ve been putting off –a website, continuing education, order new products, write articles, teach a workshop. Be sure to mention your project in your ezine. (What – no ezine?! Start one during summer slowdown!)

9. Take a Vacation! Recharge yourself with some TLC for the upcoming busy Fall and Winter seasons. Go on a trip, or simply relax at home. Hang out with family and friends. Play tourist in your local area. Get some good self-care – bodywork, exercise, rest, fresh summer produce (peaches & cherries coming soon!).

10. Prepare Your Fall Launch! Spend 30-60 minutes each day during the summer to plan and promote Fall programs such as: Back-to-School Specials for teachers, staff, coaches, students, pediatricians and parents; Athlete’s Advantage for real and armchair athletes during football/soccer/cross-country season; healthy Trick-or-Treat Bags for clients and prospects; a Winter Holiday Party! Plan and prepare!

Preparation is the key to avoiding Summer Slowdown Syndrome! Clients – even ideal ones – can tend to disappear from your practice over the summer. Don’t let that cause a big drop in your income! Plan and prepare now, in the last few weeks before summer, with these 10 strategies to create sizzling hot summer success!

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