Pick Ripe Peaches to Get More Clients!

Pick Ripe Peaches to Get More Clients!

peach-picking

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? You’re really gonna love them 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! Compare these “Warm Prospects” to 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 services 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.

Image result for really love your peaches wanna shake your treeTiming 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 1-24 months? 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.

With your “Ripe Peaches” (potential new clients), 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.

Don’t be shy! Continue contacting your Ripe Peaches on a regular basis. 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!

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Mid-Summer Marketing Tune-Up!

Uh-oh – is your wellness practice dwindling over the summer? If you missed Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome,” don’t panic! There’s still time for sizzling hot summer success! Take your laptop to the beach, park  or pool and rev up your marketing!

Here are some strategies you can use with great results for the last half of 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. http://wp.me/P42qnM-l

Teach a class or workshop in self-care techniques.

Offer a pre-Fall program in your specialty, such as “Golfer’s Massage Advantage,”  “Get Psyched for School Success” or “Eat Right for Fall Sports Training.”

Market to tourists and summer visitors who need wellness 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. (Teens and college kids are a good target market for certain wellness modalities.)

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

Start a corporate wellness program for employees, offering info or mini-treatments or consultations as a way to invite them to your office for more comprehensive work.

The Prosperous Practice Guide to Wellness at Work Programs has everything you need to start a corporate wellness service! 

Tackle a big project you’ve been putting off, such as creating a workshop or starting a website.

Put Summer marketing on your calendar for next Spring, so your business doesn’t slow down this time next year. (Go on – DO IT NOW – schedule next summer’s marketing!) Then come right back for more summer success ideas!

More great ideas to heat up your summer business!

– Vacation or stay-cation? Whichever works for you, get out of your usual routine! Whatever you have the time & money for – DO IT! Even if only for a day, take a trip or do something fun close to home. If you’re budget-challenged, see how much fun you can have for free or cheap – such as a hike, picnic in park, museums. Or just walk around your town and see it with fresh eyes, as if you’re a tourist in your hometown! Good self-care – bodywork, exercise, rest, fresh summer produce – will recharge your energy to roll out your great Fall marketing campaigns!

DON’T MISS OUR FALL MARKETING IDEAS – COMING SOON!

It’s Not Too Late for Summer Success!

If you got a late start with summer planning and your business drops off, use the extra time to your most profitable advantage with these ideas! To make it even more fun, go to the beach or pool with your laptop!

 Tackle a Big Project! If your client schedule has dropped off, use 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 with a colleague. Be sure to mention your project in your weekly ezine.

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

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

– What could 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 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!

Remember – if you’re a victim of Summer Slowdown Syndrome – it’s not too late to rev up your practice for the end of summer, plus get a jump-start on your fall marketing!

Email us for a complimentary Discovery Session to discover exactly what you need to grow your practice to the next level of success: TheProsperousPractice@gmail.com

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, predictability is not there. And it becomes almost impossible…” – Bill Clinton.

Image result for LET FREEDOM RINGMemorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, Labor Day! As we honor America’s summer patriotic holidays dedicated to the concept of freedom, let’s explore ways to have more freedom in your healthcare business.

There’s so 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 of taking care of clients! No wonder so many practitioners stress out or burn out!

As a health service professional, your plate is indeed very full! But when you set up systems to handle the 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 personal and business goals. Create systems so your marketing is on auto-pilot year-round, with ease and convenience for you, throughout the lifetime of your business.

Systems are absolutely crucial if you want to multiply your business and move to the next level of success. Whether you are struggling, starting, sustaining or succeeding, systems will get you to the next level, and the next after that.

How do you currently get things done in your business? Most likely, as a solo entrepreneur, 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. 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 FAQ section in your website, so you don’t have to repeat the same conversation with every prospective client. Send intake paperwork to new clients before their first session, to fill out and bring to the appointment; or return to you so you have time to review it before seeing the 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 to other people, freeing up your time for more flexibility, freedom and fun in your life!

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 certain aspects of your business, as explained in detail in The Prosperous Practice Home Study System Module 2: Make Room for Marketing

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

Don’t wear all the hats in your biz – delegate! Most likely at this point you’re in business for yourself, with yourself and by yourself. In other words, it doesn’t get done if you don’t do it!

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 1-2 hours per week. 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 you holistic health 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

http://theprosperouspractice.com/programs-products/steps-to-success/ 

Wouldn’t you like to know in advance exactly what you need to do 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.

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

Image result for girl with megaphoneFortunately 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 become loyal clients who make referrals?

Not contacting your clients on a regular basis is one of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make as a wellness practitioner. And yet, according to a research poll, only 10% of holistic practitioners send a newsletter to their 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. The most valuable business asset you have is not your office, not your equipment, not your skills – it’s your clients.

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. Taking 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.

– Get personal! Build know-like-trust with little glimpses into your life,

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. Marketing 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 one of the strongest marketing strategies you can use. Keep in touch with the people on your list of current or 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 time and money, because it doesn’t have printing tasks and mailing costs. Either way – print or online – a newsletter helps you: Communicate regularly 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.

Image result for share the newsYour 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 “above the fold,” so that people can subscribe if they received your ezine via forwarded email 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 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 to coordinate with the look of your ezine, 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! Seeing you often keeps you fresh in your client’s mind. Inconsistency undermines your credibility.

If you’re short on time, start with every 2 weeks and implement one new 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!

Know Your Niche to Get More Clients!

Narrow Your Niche to Get More Clients!

“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.

What’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?! When I marketed to everyone I never had enough clients!

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 message in a way that your ideal client will ‘see’ herself in 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 who embodies all of the qualities you desire in an ideal client. You will 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 will 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 message reaches 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 who 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 ‘having a conversation’ about how your work benefits people. 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.

10 Ways to Soar in Your Wellness Biz!

10 Ways to Soar in Your Wellness Biz!

Last summer I moved back into a former home that I had rented out for a few years. The house needed many repairs, including re-covering the ventilation holes under the eaves. The screens that originally covered these openings had fallen off, allowing a family of birds to set up housekeeping in the attic.

Even though the exterminator humanely evicted the birds, I felt badly about disrupting their lives! For a few days, they bumped their little heads on the new screens as they tried to return to their usual routine. But they soon learned that it was easier to find a new way than to keep doing something that no longer worked for them.

Isn’t this true for us as well? Change can be painful – but sometimes life demands that we adjust and adopt new ways of doing things. What are you doing to survive and thrive in your wellness practice? Are you still doing things in the same old ways, but not getting the results you want?

Whether you are a fledgling practitioner flying solo for the first time, or established and ready to spread your wings, any of these suggestions can help your business fly. And all of them together will make it soar! Here are 10 Ways to Soar in Your Wellness Biz:

1. Support a Mindset of Success! Do your beliefs about money and success limit your business? Identify and eliminate limiting thoughts and habits, such as fear and procrastination that stand between you and a thriving practice.

2. It’s About Time! Do you feel like you should accomplish more in a day? You can get more done if you: devote at least 3 hours per day to marketing; use business hours for business activities only; and schedule clients, business and personal activities in blocks of time.

3. Shine Your Special Light! Clarify what makes you unique in your field. Identify what makes you different, focus on the results you provide, highlight your special gifts, offer things that other practitioners don’t – so you’ll have a unique answer when someone wonders: “Why should I choose you?”

4. Identify Your Niche! Do you market to anyone and everyone? Ironically, the smaller your target market, the more clients you will attract. Fill your practice more quickly by narrowing your niche, defining exactly who you serve.

5. Focus on Problems and Solutions! Match your solutions to the problems of your Ideal Clients. Clearly expressing your target market’s problems and your solutions makes you irresistible to your Ideal Clients!

6. Create Magnetic Marketing Materials! Is your marketing customized for your niche? Appeal to your Ideal Clients with a customized Magnetic Marketing Message that attracts Ideal Clients to your solutions, results and benefits.

7. Offer Packages! Are your services priced to sell with less effort and more income? Serve your niche better with client-attractive packages that offer solutions and results instead of individual sessions that trade time for money.

8. Step Out for Success! Do you hibernate in your office waiting for clients to call? Go public with speaking and writing to educate and attract your Ideal Clients.

9. Use the Gentle Sales System! Does selling your services make you feel like a pushy salesman? Stay in sales integrity with our script for a compassionate conversation to guide clients to enroll in your services!

10. Set Up Systems for Success! Do you know in advance what you’ll be doing every day, week and month to grow your business? A pre-planned marketing schedule simplifies your business, keeps your practice on track and your life in balance.

Hey, remember those birds I evicted? It took a few days, but they finally learned that it was easier to adapt new habits than to hold on to old ones. What about you – are you repeating the same things, hoping for different results? I encourage you to try a new approach to help you soar high in your very own… Prosperous Practice!

Rock Your June Income with Gift Coupons!

Rock Your June Income with Gift Coupons!

Image result for JUNE IS BUSTIN OUT

Dads and grads and brides and grooms! (Try saying that fast 10 times!) June is bustin’ out all over – with great opportunities for 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!

A new client who came in for her first massage walked out with 3 Father’s Day Gift Coupons – 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 some of these 13 ways 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 Mother’s 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 with 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, including in clear view of the toilet! Move them around from time to time, so they appear fresh and get noticed.

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. (People tend to spend more when they can charge it to their card!)

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 session of any modality could be upgraded to 60 minutes, or acupuncture could include moxa, or a yoga class could include a custom asana. 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 gift bags which include a Gift Coupon and a few small healthy 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 party, 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 – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Bridal, Graduation and Christmas. Include flowers and/or balloons as decor. Put out 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 grocery coupons with expire dates – can’t do that on a gift certificate!) Because we want the gift recipients to come in ASAP and not lose track of their gift, a Gift Coupon with a 10-30 day expiration will encourage them to redeem their coupon soon – before they lose it or forget! This also gives you a sooner opportunity to educate these new clients about the benefits of ongoing care and get them coming in on a repeat basis.

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 may also buy your services, Gift Coupons, retail products, as well as make referrals. Think of one Gift Coupon to one person as a small investment in your large future success!

Turn Prospects Into Loyal Long-Term Clients!

Turn Prospects Into Loyal Long-Term Clients!

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Exactly what do you offer your clients? How clear is your marketing message? What do you say when someone asks “What do you do?” Wellness entrepreneurs, when talking about their services, make the same mistake – talking about themselves in excruciatingly boring detail.

“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.”

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 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. Think about your prospects’ biggest problem, pain or challenge, as pertains to your work.

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

3. 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 or chiropractic, not any massage or counseling – but yours – your treatment, your services, your care.

When buying anything, most people want to know “What’s in it for me?” 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. It’s important to understand 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. In this case, airbags are the feature, safety is the 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 shows 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!

 

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome 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, 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. 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!

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!

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