Run Your Wellness Biz Like a Well-Oiled Machine!

Run Your Wellness Biz Like a Well-Oiled Machine!

Image result for well-oiled machine

Does your wellness business run like a well-oiled machine?

Compare your business marketing with car maintenance. You shouldn’t wait until things start breaking down to call the mechanic. It’s an ongoing process of scheduled maintenance, so your car is always ready to take you where you need to go.

The key to more clients, more income and more time off is having a business that runs like a well-oiled machine – like a consistently maintained car! The goal is to have every business activity in your holistic practice organized into a process that is easily repeatable – either by you or by someone else.

Systems give you reliable, repeatable results in your productivity and income. When a marketing activity works, document it and then do it again and again as needed. If the system is good, it will create the same repeatable results each time you use it.

It is so important to establish a schedule for regular, consistent marketing, for every day, week, month and year of your business. And then – the most important part – stick to your schedule!

Systems allow you to focus on your two primary business activities: working with clients and attracting clients. And systems also give you more freedom, time and energy to enjoy your life!

6 Steps to Create Systems in Your Wellness Practice

At this point, you may be saying, “Okay, I get it – I need systems! But exactly how do I create a system? Where do I start?”

It’s actually a very simple, step-by-step process – a system to create systems:

1. Notice what’s not working. Make a list of things that you let slide, what takes up a lot of time, what you keep repeating and what creates stress for you.

2. Decide which of those things can be systematized – clustered, grouped, blocked, automated or delegated. For instance: do a chunk of social media time twice a day instead of random minutes throughout the day; or better yet, delegate social media to an assistant who will bring important items to your attention, while handling routine posts and comments. What can you time-block or delegate?

3. Write out the exact steps for each procedure or protocol. This will take some work and time up front, but will give you much more time, energy and peace of mind in the long run. Once you have it all organized to work on its own, it can be handled easily and efficiently by you or your team.

4. Write an Operations Manual for every task in your business – from cleaning/laundry to client care – and add to it as needed. This applies to all of your duties, as well as those of your team members. Write out detailed descriptions of every task so they are easily repeatable by more than one person.

5. Create a system to monitor the work of your team, so you don’t totally abdicate responsibility. As the business owner, you are responsible for the results – the finished product or service. So make sure you have a system to check on the status of projects you have delegated to others. Schedule a block of time each week to review their progress.

6. Systematize all of your marketing, so that every strategy attracts clients with a system. Automate your client management, social media, calendar, email, ezine and blog with a specific day and time each day, week or month for every marketing activity.

Create your systems now – to prepare for big success! Get your biz running smoothly on autopilot and have the infrastructure ready for a full practice, even before it fills up. Don’t wait until your client schedule gets busy and then suddenly realize you need systems but don’t have the time to create them. Example: Prepare a few client files – if you build it they will come! Get it all set up now!

The best way to make sure you always have a full practice is to always include consistent marketing in your schedule, even when it seems like you don’t need it. Have a couple of activities you can do to fill time between client appointments, such as calling inactive clients, or sending  thank you notes or requests for referrals. When you have a break between client sessions, use it for marketing – not TV or a shopping trip! Marketing is just as important to your success as clients, perhaps even more so – because marketing is what attracts clients in the first place.

You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish, and how much more money you will make, when your wellness biz becomes a problem-free zone – because of your organization and systems. It ultimately gives you more time to enjoy your life with self-care, travel, hobbies and the people you care about. That’s really the purpose of being an entrepreneur – to live your life with freedom and fulfillment, whatever that means to you. And using systems in your business will allow you to do that!

June – Prime Time for Gift Coupons!

June – Prime Time for Gift Coupons!

Image result for gift card images

Dads and grads and brides and grooms! (Try saying that fast 10 times!) 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 to a longer massage and/or spa services 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 these13 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, Valentine’s Day and Mothers Day are the 3 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. 

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 of 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 – 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, and give 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 treatment could be upgraded to 60 minutes, or acupuncture could include moxa. 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 which include a Gift Coupon and a few small gifts. 

12. A big seller in my massage practice is packets of 4 or 8 multiple 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 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 get them on your regular schedule.

 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 regular client who will also buy Gift Coupons and refer others!

How to Give Prospects What They Need!

How to Give Prospects What They Need!

Image result for benefits  “I’ve been in business for 100 years and I got my XYZ degree from ABC School and I use blah-blah-blah techniques and yada-yada-yada.”

Most wellness entrepreneurs, when talking about their services, make the same mistake – talking about themselves in excruciatingly boring detail.

News flash – nobody cares! I cringe when I hear a practitioner talk to their prospects this way, because I know they’re losing potential clients every time someone hears or reads this kind of marketing message! These practitioners are talking about what they do to clients, not what they do for them – what real benefits they offer and what results clients can expect. They just tell people, “All about me!”

If you’ve been doing this, don’t kick yourself. You can easily turn it around – right here, right now! Learn how to refine your approach to client attraction by making it all about them! 

Here’s a simple 3-step process to clarify what’s in it for your prospects by spelling it out in your marketing materials – the benefits and results clients will get from your services:

1. First, think about your prospect’s biggest problem, pain or challenge, as pertains to your work.

2. Then ask yourself exactly what you do for clients – what results do you give them, how do you resolve their biggest challenges?

3. Finally, word it in a way that makes someone with that problem want to work with you. Make it about them, and make it clear that you hold the key to the solution they need – not just any acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, counseling – but your treatment, your services, your care.

Until you can tell someone what’s in it for them to work with you, they won’t pay much attention or take you seriously. As they say in the marketing industry: “Speak to their pain.” You get people’s attention when they read or hear about a solution that is personally relevant to them and their own experience. One way to do this is to focus on the benefits of your work – the results people can expect from working with you.

Effective client attraction is based on creating client-friendly marketing messages. One of the most important concepts to understand is the difference between a feature and a benefit:

Features are the characteristics of a product or service. Benefits are how those features help the customer. You don’t buy a car because it has airbags. You buy a car with airbags because it’s safer in a crash. You are buying safety and peace of mind. A feature of a product is its size, shape, purpose, capacity, etc. Airbags are a feature, safety is a benefit. Spinal manipulation is a feature of chiropractic care, greater mobility and less pain are the benefits to the client. A low-fat diet is a feature of nutritional counseling, weight loss and more energy are benefits.

In the healthcare professions, features of your practice are things like the modalities, techniques and equipment you use, such as a computerized nutritional analysis or a pregnancy massage table. Those things are about the practitioner or the practice, not the client. Make your marketing and your practice about the clients – what you do for them.

A benefit or result is what the product or service does for a client, the solution it presents. A contoured cervical pillow provides comfort; the shape is a feature, comfort is the benefit. See the difference? In health care, benefits could be: reduced pain, improved function, better sleep, less anxiety, weight loss, more energy, for example. This is what you should emphasize when describing how you help people.

Do you see how this benefit-focused marketing approach grabs the attention of prospects? Doesn’t it make sense that people are more likely to work with you if they clearly see how you can help them? Isn’t hearing about the benefits to them more client-attractive than a list of features about you and your business? A list of your techniques is of little interest to potential clients. Remember what they are interested in – themselves! What they are most preoccupied with is their issues, their problems.

Make sure your marketing clearly show the benefits your clients will get from working with you. The solutions you provide should specifically match the needs of your Ideal Client. Everyone wants to know WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me?” The more you clarify exactly how you help people, the easier you make it for them to see your work as the solution to their problem!

The Ripple Effect of Referrals

The Ripple Effect of Referrals

Image result for ripples in pond

Picture what happens when you throw a stone into a lake – the ripple effect! Compare this image to a new client being referred into your wellness practice. If one person refers someone, that’s great, but it’s just a tiny ripple that doesn’t go very far. If 20 people each refer someone, that’s 20 ripples that go farther and last longer. If those 20 each refer 20, that’s 400 ripples creating a tidal wave in your business! Do your referrals create a tiny ripple or a tidal wave?

Research shows that on average most people know about 300 people. The 300 people that you know each know 300 people, and they each know another 300, and so on.

Do your 300 people all know about your wellness business? Do they all know that you want to get referrals through word-of-mouth? Do they know how to refer people to you? They probably would be happy to send others your way, but you need to educate them on how to refer, using these 3 criteria:

1. Why to refer (the best clients come from trusted sources)

2. Who to refer (your target market, your Ideal Clients)

3. How to refer (with a system or process)

The ultimate goal of marketing is not just to attract clients; it is to develop a 100% referral-based practice consistently filled with Ideal Clients. So ideally, as you implement various marketing strategies, all of your clients eventually will come by word-of-mouth recommendations from people in one of four key contact groups:

 1. Personal Contacts

2. Professional Contacts

3. Prominent Contacts

4. Power Contacts

 Let’s explore each of these 4 referral sources in detail as they relate to your marketing:

 4 Referral Groups

1. Personal Contacts: Family and Friends. These are people who know, like and trust you the most. They are your unpaid support team – ambassadors of goodwill for your business! These are the people you market to in Everyday Marketing – family and friends you see frequently and casually as part of your normal, everyday life.

Sure, most of them know basically what you do for a living. But do they really know exactly what you do? Do your parents know? Do they know what services you offer? How about your siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins? Do they know who’s in your niche and what their challenges are? What about your best friends? Do they know the benefits, results and solutions you provide?

Have any of these people experienced your work? Could they accurately describe your work to a potential referral? Have you educated your Personal Contacts on how to identify Ideal Clients and refer them? Start with those you know best. Start informing them, educating them, and asking them for referrals! Go ahead – don’t be shy! They love you and want the best for you. They will take pride in helping you be successful!

2. Professional Contacts: Clients, Customers, Colleagues, Business Associates. This group is made up of people you meet in your business environment – clients, colleagues and business associates. Your clients are a goldmine of referrals! They could be your most reliable referrers – even more than friends and family - because they are currently working with you, making them genuinely enthusiastic, with your benefits fresh in their mind! Former clients are also a good source of referrals. People are more likely to act on a recommendation from a happy client than from your doting dad!

The second group of Professional Contacts is colleagues – other health professionals with whom you have a lot in common because of your similar work. You may already know them through structured or informal networking, through other business endeavors, by reputation in your community or from a social setting. Some of them might be your friends, or your competitors, while others may serve the same niche but with a different service from yours.

Business Associates are people other than colleaguesthose with whom you come in contact in the course of doing business – both retail and services – such as your landlord, mail carrier, office janitor, web designer, bank clerk, florist, plumber, pharmacist and so forth. They usually have at least a general awareness of your business or know you by reputation. Their work connections make them particularly suited to recommend you to others. Just let them know in a friendly chat that you welcome their referrals!

I have gotten clients from all of these Professional Contacts, and more! Think of everyone you do business with in one way or another. How many Professional Contacts can you add to your list?

3. Prominent Contacts: The Millionaire Matchmakers of the Business World! They are natural networkers who know many people, are popular and well-connected, and have a knack for matching up people who can help each other in some way. You may meet them in many places – work, family and social events, community work, church, school, café, sports or networking. They connect with a lot of people on a regular basis, they are skilled at making connections between people and enjoy making referrals.

You don’t interact with Prominent Contacts as often in your everyday life. It is a more formal business relationship, so you will need to make extra effort to connect with them. But it is well worth your time to do so, because they hold a key to much potential growth for your business.

You don’t need a lot of Prominent Contacts – because they know so many people that they will do a lot of promotion for you in the natural course of their life. But you do need to keep in touch consistently over time with your Prominent Contacts. Don’t drop them like a hot potato after you meet with them or after they refer someone. Keep them up-to-date on your progress. Once they refer someone to you, they will take a more personal interest in your expanding success because they have helped make it happen, so their reputation is on the line, as well as yours! They have invested in you by trusting you with someone they know. They will most likely continue to refer if you keep yourself and your biz fresh in their mind with regular contact through email and postal update letters, your weekly ezine and personal meetings.

4. Power Contacts: Major Source of Your Niche. Power Contacts connect with many people and have the potential for many referrals. Power Contacts are individuals, organizations, services, companies or stores that serve your target population. They may or may not be in a business similar to yours, and you may not know them as you do your family, friends and colleagues.

Their customers may be your Ideal Clients, even though people go to them for different reasons than they go to your business. For example, customers don’t shop at a natural foods store for acupuncture or a neck adjustment. But the store can be a rich source of clients for you as a practitioner – once you learn how to open this treasure chest of referrals! You may meet some of these key people or businesses through a networking group, through a mutual acquaintance, by their presence in your community or even cold-call them from the phone book.

Make lists of everyone you know in each of the four categories of contacts: Personal, Professional, Prominent and Power. Call or write them one-by-one, until you have reached everyone on every list! Invite them to meet with you to discuss your business. Make it easy for them to refer by giving them coupons or vouchers to give to their contacts. And of course, make sure all your referral sources have a stash of your business cards.

By tapping into these 4 profitable sources of referrals, you will grow your business and be able to share your gifts with a larger audience of Ideal Clients! The Ripple Effect – tiny splash or tidal wave – the choice is yours!

Make More Money by Working for Free!

Make More Money by Working for Free!

In my massage therapy business, I have made most of my money from giving away free treatments!

“Wha-at?” you say! “How do you make money by working for free?”

Do you offer free introductory sessions? I long ago lost count of the hundreds of repeat paying clients I have acquired from this marketing strategy! Even after 40 years as a remedial massage therapist, the Discovery Session continues to be my primary client attraction tool. It consists of a mini-massage treatment and a casual conversation about the client’s needs and how my work can help them.

Many wellness entrepreneurs are opposed to the strategy of offering free sessions. Their “reasons” include:

- It lessens my credibility.

- It’s unprofessional.

- It cheapens the value of my work.

- I can’t afford to work for free.

- People will take the freebie and run!

While I understand these objections, I take a different view. I know from experience that it’s possible to build a steady base of repeat clients by giving away services. But for it to work right, you need a system.

Letting prospects sample your services by giving free sessions is one of the most powerful client attraction strategies you can use to promote your practice and build your client base. This doesn’t mean you set up on a local street corner and offer freebies to every tire-kicker who comes along!

On the other hand, no-cost sessions are very effective when offered to a qualified prospect who has shown interest in working with you. For example, if your website offers a free report on how to choose a [your modality], the people who request the free report are qualified prospects.  You don’t have to sell them on anything because they are already interested in learning about what you do. People who are not interested will not request it. Your website offer automatically filters out those who aren’t a good fit for your business.

When these potential clients receive your Free Report, they see that it also has a Free Offer, in addition to your high-value information! Again, those who request the offer are strongly interested in what you offer. When they call for the free Discovery Session, you have a few options at this point. You can either:

1. Invite them for the free mini-session, giving you the opportunity to invest your time with people who are good candidates to continue as clients. Isn’t the potential to get a long-term loyal client worth this small investment of your time and energy?

2. Offer to upgrade their free mini-session to a full session for an additional fee. For instance, as a massage therapist I give a free 30-minute session, and offer to upgrade to 60 minutes for half of the regular massage fee. Most prospective clients see this as getting a full treatment for half price! A nutrition counselor could give a free nutrition assessment and offer a few tips on improving the diet. What could your upgrade offer be?

3. Offer a virtual mini-session with a phone or Skype consultation. You will follow the same system as an in-person session, having a conversation about their needs and your solutions, and giving them a little sample of what it would be like to work with you! You could also offer a take-away bonus, such as a hand-out, download or an exercise that they can take immediate action on. Think about the implications of this strategy for your wellness practice!

Offer them your solution to their problem, letting them know that you’re here to serve them, that help and relief are available!  With the free Discovery Session, you serve them in 2 ways:

1. By giving them a sample experience of your work. “This will give you a little/temporary/partial help while we figure out your next step.” This implies that you have the solution, that they will get some immediate relief, that you want to continue working with them and it gets them curious about what that “next step” could be.

2. By offering them a long-term solution to their problem. “If I could show you a way that you could improve/eliminate/deal with ____, would you be interested in hearing about that today?” Rarely does anyone say no; the majority of people answer “Yes!”

Please note that we’re calling your free sample a mini-session. It should NOT be a full session! It’s a short session in which you pack a lot of your value into a little of your time! Remember – you are investing your time, not spending it!  As with most investments, we expect a return of more than we put into it. If you consistently invest quality time with potential clients, you will see a big return on your investment!

Giving free treatments can serve as your primary client attraction strategy if done with a system designed to attract loyal, long-term clients! I continue to fill my massage practice using this approach, so I strongly encourage you to give it a try!

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome!

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome!

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 early 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 holistic healthcare 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! 

Clients often take a summer break from treatment, causing a serious setback in your income. Plan ahead to keep your holistic health practice thriving through the summer!

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 them a summer special. More summer target groups: Teachers and school personnel; children & teens; summer tourists; summer athletes; houseguests of your friends and clients!

2. Offer Packages and Programs! Enroll clients in prepaid, prescheduled 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.

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. Contact hotels, inns, resorts, vacation rental managers and B&Bs; explain your services 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.

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 season; healthy Trick-or-Treat Bags for clients and prospects; a Winter Holiday Party!

Preparation is the key to avoiding Summer Slowdown. Clients – even ideal ones – can tend to disappear from your practice over the summer, because many people – especially families – have different schedules and activities. 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 yourSizzling Hot Summer Success!

Enroll Wellness Clients with Confidence!

Enroll Wellness Clients with Confidence!

Image result for push rock uphillSelling 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. This system is based on giving free treatments or consultations to interested prospects, serving two purposes: to familiarize people with your work and to 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. You ask this because the answer will allow you to position your services in their health care regimen – to integrate your care with whatever else they are doing. You will be able to 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. 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. (Watch for next week’s article on how to overcome these 3 objections.)

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!

Once they choose a program, reaffirm their decision. “Congratulations – I agree that’s the best choice for you! Let’s get you enrolled and schedule your appointments so you can… (Name the specific benefit they will get, such as: start feeling better, relieve your pain, get back to work, have more energy, sleep better.)

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

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. Process her payment. Schedule her appointment series. And finally, congratulate her again on her smart decision and say goodbye… for now!

Marketing for Mothers Day!

Marketing for Mothers Day!

Image result for mother's day gift certificatesTime to get ready – because it’s coming up soon! Mothers’ Day is one of the top three holidays all year for selling Gift Coupons in your wellness practice! Whether you do massage, chiropractic, counseling, yoga, nutrition – any health or wellness modality – the gift of health is always appropriate for any occasion, any age or any size!

A few years ago, I started offering a new way for my clients to buy massage Gift Coupons for Mothers’ Day. It was an instant success and now, every Spring, they start looking forward to it! As one of my biggest annual income strategies, it got started when I realized that many families have lots of “Mothers” to buy gifts for – moms, wives, grandmothers, daughters, mothers-in-law, sisters, aunties, cousins, nieces, friends.

With so many gifts to buy at once, a 60-minute massage for every “Mom” on their list would really break the budget! So I started brainstorming ways to sell Gift Coupons that would accomplish 4 goals:

1. Offer affordable massage for Mothers’ Day gifts

2. Allow more people to experience my  work

3. Attract new clients into my business

4. Give my income a boost.

And here’s what I came up with – the Mothers’ Day Money-Saver!

The Mothers’ Day Money-Saver is an amazingly profitable Spring sales strategy for holistic health practitioners! It consists of Gift Coupons for 15-minute or 30-minute sessions, sold in packages of 4 or 8 – the more they buy, the more they save per session. People buy them up like crazy for one-stop Mothers’ Day shopping!

This short-session, lower-cost strategy works especially well for gift-giving occasions that have the large expense of giving gifts to many people such as Mothers’ Day. Of course, you may also offer Gift Coupons for longer sessions as well.

I recommend selling Gift Coupons as a package deal because of the advantages for clients:              

1. Save money, allowing them to buy more

2. Appropriate for any age, any size, any gender or any occasion

3. Easy to mail

4. Gifts on hand without going shopping.

When a Gift Coupon recipient calls to book their appointment, offer them an upgrade to a longer session for an additional fee. Because they didn’t pay for the gift in the first place, they see it as getting a full session for a small fee – such a deal! For example, if their GC is for a 30-minute massage, offer to upgrade them to 60 minutes for $45, letting them know that your regular 60-minute fee is $75, for example. Or upgrade a 60-minute Gift Coupon to a 90-minute session.

This format is perfectly suited for massage therapy or other practice where you work within a specific time frame. These times and fees are suggestions. What affordable package is appropriate for your prosperous practice as a Mothers’ Day Money-Saver?

Most of my GC recipients choose to upgrade – more massage for them and more income for me! As an added bonus, many of the recipients have become regular clients and now buy Gift Coupons for their friends!

Another idea for Mothers’ Day is to tuck a Gift Coupon into a Gift Basket containing 1 or more gifts. Offer 2-3 different-size Gift Baskets for different budgets. Gift options include any retail products you sell in your practice, such as support pillows, heat pads, music CDs, essential oils, aroma candles, lotions, books, nutritional supplements and much more. Sell pre-filled baskets or have an ala carte gift selection and let clients create a Gift Basket with the items of their choice.

You may notice that I refer to Gift Certificates as “Gift Coupons.” There’s a good reason for this, so let’s clarify the difference between a Gift Coupon and a Gift Certificate. Most US states have laws about the expiration date on Gift Certificates. Here in Hawaii, they are valid for 2 years after the date of purchase. But call it a coupon, and you can use any expiration date you want. If part of your strategy is to use the Gift Coupon as a practice-building tool, you want people to use it quickly and not have it get lost in the shuffle! So it is more advantageous to call it a coupon and give the recipient a short time to redeem it, such as one month, in order to welcome them into your practice and serve them sooner. Check the laws in your locale regarding use of the term “coupon” instead of “certificate” – if you want recipients to take quick action once they receive the gift.

To promote my Mothers’ Day Gift Coupon sales, I decorate my year-round Gift Coupon Desk with a Mothers’ Day theme – a bouquet of Spring flowers, mylar balloons, a stack of Gift Coupons, colored envelopes, pens and floral postage stamps.

To kick off the Mothers’ Day campaign, I send clients an email announcement a few weeks before the holiday (that would be now – for you too!) I remind them to bring their gift list to their next appointment. When they come in and purchase their package of Gift Coupons, they can either take them home or sit right down and address the envelopes – which I offer to mail for them. People love this and look forward to it every Spring! BTW, I don’t charge for postage; the extra income is worth the extra expense!

Continue with emails throughout the month, 2-3 per week from early April until Mothers’ Day. I remove clients’ names as they buy, so as not to pester them after they have made their purchase. I also display Gift Coupon signs in every room of my clinic, including the restroom – in clear view of the toilet!

Remember – Mothers’ Day is one of the top three holidays all year for selling Gift Coupons! Don’t let it slide by without offering your clients this one-stop shopping experience – The Mothers’ Day Money-Saver!

How to Warm Up a Prospect’s Cold Feet

How to Warm Up a Prospect’s Cold Feet

Image result for COLD FEETSeveral years ago I enrolled in a 3-day live workshop with a mentor I had been following online for a while­­­. Every year, when she announced this annual workshop, I read her email and cried, because I wanted so much to go and thought I couldn’t afford it! And every year the cost went up. By the time I finally went, the fee had tripled! On the last day of the workshop, my mentor persuasively pitched her very expensive mastermind program. Swept up in the enthusiasm of the moment, I signed up for this year-long pricey program.

A couple of hours later, when we returned to the workshop from our lunch break, I actually had a full-blown panic attack! I didn’t have the money for this costly training and didn’t know how I would get it. But I had signed a binding contract. A colleague saw that I was upset, coached me through my distress and I went on to successfully complete the year-long program. (How did I get the money? That’s another story for another day!)

I sometimes have prospective clients who go through a similar process. They come to me seeking help for their problem and get excited about the solutions I offer. Then when the time comes to pay, suddenly they get cold feet and say they can’t afford it.

I used to find this so perplexing and frustrating! Later on, after studying marketing, I learned the reasons behind this resistance, and what to do about it. If you sometimes have this happen with potential clients, keep reading!

When you’re on the verge of enrolling a prospect and then encounter resistance, this does not mean “end of story” with this person. They might actually be saying “Not this” or “Not now.” There’s a lot you can do to get them back on board. What should you do when a prospective client starts to get cold feet?

First of all, show understanding of their viewpoint. Suppose they say, “This sounds great, but I just can’t afford it.” Don’t negate their concern with: “Of course you can, it’s not that expensive.” This is likely to alienate them.

Stay in agreement with them. “Yes, I understand your concern about the cost. Paying up front for a package of 10 sessions is a big investment! May I offer you another perspective on that? What is it worth to you to not have [name their problem]?” This will remind them that it’s an investment, not an expense. Make it about the value, not about the money.

What might stop them from getting the help they need? If it’s money, you can offer payment options. If it’s time, you can flex your schedule to their needs. Is it fear of something new? Familiarize them with what to expect from you. Do they worry about getting their money’s worth? Have a money-back guarantee. Whatever their resistance is, be understanding, supportive and ready with solutions, so that their real and imagined obstacles can be overcome.

You need a Plan B when a prospect tries to back out. Here are more suggestions to help you handle this situation.

Ask if they would be willing to move forward with a treatment program if their obstacle did not exist. “If you felt you could afford it, would you want to start taking care of your problem?”

When people have resistance, it can mean they have not fully grasped the value of what you offer. They are actually asking for more clarification, asking to be convinced. They also want to know that they will not be wasting their money and time on something that doesn’t help them, so you need to emphasize value, benefits and results.

Here’s a script for a conversation to help a prospective client clarify their thinking if they express doubt or ask for assurance that your services will actually work for them:

“Based on all of the clients I have helped and what I know is possible, I can’t see why you would be the only person that my tried and true methods wouldn’t help. Is there a reason you think you would be the one exception?”

Point out the cost – the physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual cost – of staying stuck and not moving forward. You could still put a monetary amount on their situation. But even more important – paint the picture of what another year would look like if they are sick, in pain, exhausted, depressed, in a bad marriage, have an out-of-control child or whatever the issue may be for your niche.

How should you respond if someone asks for “more time” to decide? You could say: “There’s really nothing more you will know about this program next week that you don’t already know right now. Do you have any more questions?”

Alternately (or in addition), you can share: “Of course it’s up to you. If you truly need more time to decide, that’s fine. The program is well worth the regular investment. But remember – you will miss the Quick Decision savings if you wait.”

It is a positive step if someone voices an objection. If she says it is too expensive, it means she is interested, and she is asking you to help make it work for her. If she wasn’t interested, she wouldn’t have come to you in the first place. You can ask “On a scale of 1-10, how important is it to resolve this issue, that you get from [where you are now - be specific] to [where you want to go - be specific]?” Their answers will almost always be in the 7-10 range, indicating strong need for your solutions. Again, you can remind them of the value they will get for their investment.

Remember… they came to you because they wanted help. You offer something that the person will benefit from, something that they need, something they asked for. You are selling from the perspective of their needs. Help them see why this is a good decision for them. Show them the value and they will show you the money!

Spring Treats to Keep Your Wellness Clients Coming Back! Part 2/2

Spring Treats to Keep Your Wellness Clients Coming Back! Part 2/2

Image result for happy spring

Are most of your clients One-Time Wonders or do you have a full schedule of loyal repeat customers? There’s so much you can offer to impress your clients with superb customer service! With little cost, time or effort, you can provide impressive extras in every single interaction with clients – from their first phone call to beyond their last appointment! What amenities give extra value to your clients?

For starters, here’s something I don’t do that really makes people sit up and take notice – I don’t accept tips!

“Whoa – hold on!” you say. “Massage therapists expect tips and depend on this extra money to boost our income.”

While tipping may be the norm in a spa or salon setting, my view is that in a health care clinic, tipping is inappropriate. Just as people do not tip their doctor or dentist, they likewise should not be expected to tip their massage therapist, chiropractor or any other health care provider. If someone insists on giving a tip anyway, I clearly explain that it helps cover the expense of my pro bono community service work.

This policy will go a long way toward client retention. Keeping repeat clients over the long-term brings in more money and satisfaction than One-Session Wonders who leave a big tip and never return!

Whether or not to accept tips is a personal decision. But whatever your policy on this, there are many other ways to impress people with your dedication, commitment and professionalism.

Follow-up Call. Check in by phone the next day with new clients; or if an existing client came in with a new problem. If their next appointment is more than a week away, call again in a few days to see how they’re doing and remind them to follow their home-care routine. Ask if they have any questions or if there’s anything you can do for them. If they’re acute, offer to see them sooner than scheduled.

On-going Connection. You need a keep-in-touch marketing system to keep your practice in the clients’ awareness. This can include email or postal mail items, such as a weekly ezine, info or an article of interest to the client. A Referral Reward Program offers a special gift of your choice to clients who refer others. Birthday and holiday e-cards are pre-scheduled each year, with new clients added as they come in.

Exceed Their Expectations! Helping clients feel better with great technical skills is the bare minimum you should give. People expect an effective treatment – that’s why they called you in the first place. Exceed their expectations with amenities – nice little extra services or products that add little or no cost or time to you, but have a huge impact on the client’s experience. Use special amenities every day, not just with new clients, but with all clients. Not just for special occasions and not just occasionally, but in every single interaction – whether on the phone, by email or in person. Amenities are a key factor in keeping loyal ideal clients and getting their referrals.

Oh, one more thing – always, always, always - remember to say “Thank you so much for coming in! I appreciate your support.”

Amenities can have a huge impact on the client’s experience in your wellness practice. For Easter and the renewal of spring – and every opportunity you can – use low-cost amenities to show your clients how much you appreciate them.

How do your wow your clients with amenities? Please share below!

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.12