Cold Feet? How to Warm Up a Hesitant Client!

Cold Feet? How to Warm Up a Hesitant Client!

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 enrolled, 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 pricey year-long 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? It was a miracle! But 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 series 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 cost.

What might stop them from getting the help they need?

  • Is it money? Offer payment options.
  • Is it time? Have some evening/weekend hours.
  • Is it fear? Familiarize them with what to expect from you.
  • Is it value? Focus on results. Share testimonials.

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?”
  • “If time wasn’t an issue, would you want to take care of [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.

“Well, that’s fine for some people, but I’m different.” If someone expresses doubt that your services will actually work for them, here’s a script to help clarify their thinking:

“Based on how many clients I have helped with the same problem 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, such as: “How much work and income do you lose because of [problem]?”

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 unruly child or whatever their issue may be.

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. I’ve told you everything about it. 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 0-10, 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

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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, alwaysremember 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!

Spring Treats to Keep Your Wellness Clients Coming Back! Part 1/2

Spring Treats to Keep Your Wellness Clients Coming Back! Part 1/2

Image result for happy springSpring is the perfect time to pamper your wellness clients with a special gift to show your appreciation for their business. I make little spring goodie bags, filled with healthy snacks and wellness treats. But there’s much more you can do every day – not just for Spring – to treat your wellness clients to special customer service! Let’s look at simple ways to boost client loyalty with extra-special, yet low-budget, services – before, during and after each appointment.

Before the Appointment. Change your friendly voicemail greeting at least twice a month, and always offer a special promotion! Send intake paperwork via postal mail or email, for new clients to fill out and bring to their first appointment. Give all clients a reminder the day before their appointment.

Reception Area. Be there – or have a receptionist – to greet clients when they enter your office. Eliminate ‘waiting room’ from your vocabulary and from your office – arrange your schedule so that you never keep anyone waiting! Have drinking water available.

Before the Treatment. Go over intake paperwork item by item with new clients, to make sure they understand your policies and procedures. This eliminates the awkwardness of a surprise later – such as paying for a no-show. With first-time clients, give a tour of your office. Offer a drink of water and use of the restroom.

Treatment Room. First and foremost, make sure your treatment area is impeccably clean! Comfort and attractiveness rate a close second. Maintain a comfy temperature with a heater, fan or open window. Pre-warm the treatment table. Get rid of clutter; let your work – not your artwork – be the main attraction. Let your décor reflect your personality, while still looking uncluttered and professional.

During the Session. Play serene ambient music. With bodywork, careful draping helps the client feel safe and comfortable, further establishing trust. Remind the client to let you know if anything is uncomfortable. Check in occasionally for feedback.

After the Session. Use hot washcloths to clean off oily residue from bodywork. Have a cup of water or tea ready when the client comes out of the treatment room. Schedule or confirm their next appointment. Always give a new client a welcome gift. In fact, give something to everyone every time – a handout with home care tips, a product sample, an apple, a tea bag – a tangible reminder of you and your practice!

Helping clients feel better with great technical skills is the bare minimum you should give. Spoil them with amenities every chance you get! Amenities – a key factor in keeping loyal ideal clients and getting their referrals!

Next Week: Keep ‘em Coming Back – Part 2/2!

6 Warning Signs of Bad Clients

6 Warning Signs of Bad Clients

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It’s an age-old question: Can one rotten apple spoil the whole barrel? Maybe. Can one bad client ruin your entire practice? Probably not.

But dealing with a difficult client can certainly affect your day, in terms of your mood, your productivity and your finances.

And if you have several challenging people to deal with, it can limit your success over the long run, to work with clients who drain your energy, violate your boundaries, disrespect your policies, or in some other way do not fit comfortably with you and your wellness biz.

How do you handle negative client challenges? Do you have policies and procedures to handle – or even better, prevent – sticky situations? As you can see in the “About” section of my website, I am very selective about my clients. I state exactly whom I work with and whom I don’t.

But it was not always so! In the beginning of my massage career – probably like you – I took on anyone and everyone who wanted to work with me, despite sometimes sensing that I might regret it. And guess what – every single time I’ve taken on a non-ideal client, it was a disappointment or a downright disaster! Either their attitude was negative or they missed appointments or their credit card declined or they didn’t follow my suggestions. And sometimes they blamed me when their condition didn’t improve!

Even if you’re hungry for new clients, it’s usually not worth the hassle to take on non-ideal ones. Not only can such a customer disrupt your day, their presence in your practice closes off better opportunities.

If you don’t get a positive feeling from a prospect, listen to your intuition. In assessing a new prospect or reassessing an existing non-ideal client, here’s how to weed out the “bad apples,” with 6 reasons to NOT work with someone – no matter how much you need clients! Avoid working with people who make trouble!

Make sure all your policies are clearly explained in your intake paperwork and that the client reads and agrees to abide by them. Prepare in advance by writing and rehearsing scripts for difficult client issues!

For the most success and satisfaction in your practice, there are certain “bad apple” clients you shouldn’t work with, no matter how much you need the money! Avoid working with people who:

1. Don’t show up for the initial appointment. This could be an indication that the person is not prompt and punctual, or that they test boundaries. It’s up to you whether to give them a second chance. But unless you’re convinced that their reason is legit, do yourself a favor and pass on this person to clear the space for an Ideal Client who respects your time.

2. Don’t follow instructions, such as filling out pre-session paperwork. I send intake forms to new clients prior to their first session. This serves 2 purposes: it saves time at the first appointment and it gives a peek at this person’s MO. If they don’t comply with requests or instructions, they’re sending a clear message that this is how they operate. If they don’t follow instructions from the get-go, it’s unlikely they will change once they start working with you. You don’t need people like this in your practice. Tell them they don’t qualify to work with you and move on.

3. Are rude to you or your staff. There’s absolutely no excuse for someone to be rude or disrespectful to you or anyone who works in your business. Let this person know that they are not a good fit for your way of doing business. When you overlook or tolerate someone’s rudeness, you send a signal that their behavior is acceptable and they may repeat it.

More warning signs of difficult clients – they…

4. Whine, complain, resist, make excuses, tell lies.

5. Ask if you have a money-back guarantee. (Yes, you should have this policy, but be wary of people who ask about it upfront.)

6. Try to negotiate on price, ask for a discount or criticize your fees.

To reach the point in your business where your schedule is always full, you need to set high standards for how you want to work. If you’re just starting out, get it right from the start. If you’ve been in business for a while, but you don’t work exclusively with ideal clients, it’s time to set and keep higher standards! The Prosperous Practice Home Study System gives you a step-by-step guide to marketing your practice with fun, creativity and effectiveness! Weed out the bad apples!

3 FAST Ways to Get Great Clients!

3 FAST Ways to Get Great Clients!

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Do you run and hide at the mere mention of marketing your wellness practice? Well, you’re not alone!

Marketing seems overwhelming to many practitioners! But we’re about to change that – right here, right now! This market-phobia is simple because they haven’t yet learned simple and effective ways to make it easy and fun!

Marketing is simply a matter of sharing your solution in a compelling way with people who are already looking for it! It’s easier to do this when you know exactly who you are marketing to – who your Ideal Client is.

Here are 3 easy steps that you can use right now to attract and keep more of the people you’d love to work with!

  1. Position Yourself to Spark Interest

Do you limit yourself with a labels. Being a “chiropractor” or “nutritionist” may not spark much interest for the majority of people. Bo-or-ring!

Which of these two statements would most make you want to work with me:

  1. “I’m a marketing expert.”
  2. “I help struggling wellness entrepreneurs attract great clients and make more money in less time.”

I know, right?!

You can fire up your client-attraction factor by focusing on the benefits and results that you create for your clients. For example:

 “I help overweight women lose weight and keep it off.”

–  “I help injury patients have less pain and heal faster.”

This phrasing serves 3 purposes:

  1. It identifies your target market (overweight women/injury patients).
  2. It describes what you do, what problem you solve (lose weight/less pain).
  3. It attracts their attention (mentions their problem).

Suddenly you’re someone who solves problems instead of just another one of many practitioners whose cookie-cutter ads all look the same!

  1. Go Where They Gather

Once you have positioned yourself to draw interest, you need to network with your ideal clients where they meet or gather, instead of waiting for them to call or walk through your office door. Social media can make this a lot easier. Find groups, forums and networking events – virtual and live – that are popular with your ideal clients, such as:

– Groups where people in your niche gather. For example, if you work with athletes, think about where they go as a group, such as a gym or running group, and go there.

– Local support groups for health conditions you specialize in. Become part of that community and become their go-to resource for helpful information related to your service. For instance, I attend a support group for fibromyalgia patients, and let them know that my work can help relieve their pain.

– Host a monthly Lunch & Learn! Provide a simple, healthy lunch and invite healthcare professionals who treat the same conditions as you. For example, invite OB docs, midwives & childbirth educators to your Lunch & Learn on prenatal massage. Position yourself as an advocate to help their patients have a healthy, comfortable pregnancy. What’s your Lunch & Learn topic?

When you research your ideal clients and show up as a friendly, helpful resource, you’ll be the first person that they think of when they – or their patients – need what you offer!

3. Reactivate Former Clients

Have you thought of reaching out to former clients? Some practitioners shy away from previous customers, not wanting to risk rejection from that person again. But people can fall off our radar for many reasons. Clients often disappear without an explanation, but don’t take it personally. If it was a long-time or repeat client, their mysterious disappearance is usually because of a change in their life and not because of anything you did.

Studies have proved it’s easier to sell to an existing client than a new one. Be sure to use this to your advantage. Here’s how to welcome them back into wellness practice!

Make a friendly “just checking in” call and ask about the following:

  1. What’s new in their life and, especially, their health?
  2. How are they doing with the health challenge they originally came to you for? Remind them how they felt before they worked with you and the results they got. Example: “I remember your back pain was so bad you couldn’t work and our treatments helped you get back to work in 2 weeks. How are you feeling since you started back to work?”
  3. What are their health needs/goals now? Maybe their old problem has kicked up again, or maybe something else is bothering them. “Sounds like you need a tune-up! I’d like to invite you to come in for a special program called…”
  4. Make a time-limited offer, such as a special service or extra treatment time. Example: “For the next 2 weeks, we’re offering a complimentary hot stone massage with each Back-in-Action massage series.”

Reactivating former clients should become a regular marketing activity in your wellness practice – monthly, annually, quarterly, whatever works best for you.

Learn step-by-step exactly how to boost your income with former clients in our affordable mini-course – Welcome Back: The Prosperous Practice Client Reactivation Campaign.

Get ready – here they come! New clients will be magnetically drawn into your health practice when you follow these 3 simple tips:

1. Go where they gather!

2. Position yourself strategically!

3. Reactivate former clients!

We’d love to hear how these strategies work for you Please share in the Comments below!

Stop Chasing After Clients!

Stop Chasing After Clients!

Image result for chasing businessMy wellness practitioner marketing students learn that marketing is about creating value and trust over the long term. It’s about establishing yourself as a solver of your clients’ problems. It’s about providing the results they want, rather than a particular technique or treatment

It’s about developing a relationship so that clients want you, you and only YOU! And when they feel ready – not when you think they should need you.

There’s a fine line between the need to market and appearing needy.

That fine line is really about chasing after clients. If someone seems too eager about something, we question their motives: “If you’re so good, why are you so available? Why do you need to chase down clients?”

First of all, you should… Never. Chase. Business. It seems cheap and annoying, and it doesn’t make people want to work with you. You know the icky feeling you get in a store when the salesperson follows you around and keeps offering you things? It’s like that! If you appear to need them more than they need you, then you’re chasing away business!

Remember – chasing clients = chasing away clients! Here’s the formula for successful marketing:

Value + Trust + Time = All the Clients You Need

Now that you’re getting away from the idea of chasing business, of appearing too needy or pushy, how would you answer the question: “Why do you need to market when you always have plenty of clients?”

Here are some answers I use:

“I always have clients because I’m always marketing.”

“A couple of clients recently finished their treatments and I want to fill those openings.”

“I want more clients because it means I’m helping more people.”

What’s your answer?

Hopefully by now it’s clear that you have to market! But do you know where to begin or what to do first… and second… and third? You can quickly attract more ideal clients and make more money with The Prosperous Practice Marketing System, a step-by-step guide that provides all the strategies, tools and techniques you need to market and promote your wellness practice, so you can share your talents with the many people who need your unique services!

Attract More Clients with Testimonials!

Attract More Clients with Testimonials!

Are you ready to introduce a new marketing strategy into your wellness business?

Get a little help from your friends – people who know, like and trust you, and ask them for… testimonials!

Testimonials are statements from people about how you helped them with their problem, pain or challenge. Do you have any testimonials from satisfied clients? If you do, it’s time to refresh with some new ones. If not, it’s time to get crackin’!

As an important marketing tool, testimonials show prospective clients how other people with similar problems have benefited from your services or products.

Getting testimonials can feel uncomfortable at first. We worry about appearing pushy, needy or braggy. Get over it and ask anyway! It’s not for yourself – to brag or pump up your ego! It’s so you can offer your expertise to others who need it.

What if someone absolutely raves to you about your work in person, but when you ask them to write it down, it isn’t as compelling? If you have a system to collect testimonials, you won’t miss golden opportunities for your satisfied clients to help you attract future clients!

Here are a few tips to get great testimonials:

1. Write the testimonial yourself.  Don’t worry – I’m not suggesting that you make up testimonials! But if someone has complimented your work or the results they got with you, write up what you think they said, and ask for their approval or changes: ‘This is what I recall that you said to me. Can you approve this, or change it if it’s not quite accurate?’ Usually people will approve because it’s easier and also they may not remember their exact  words. When you pre-write the testimonial for the client, you get the wording that you want, and usually get a quicker response.

2. For clients who want to write their own testimonial, provide a fill-in-the-blanks template with prompts and guidelines to help them provide the most effective information for your needs.  It shouldn’t be about what a great person you are or the techniques you use or how nice your office is. Testimonials should focus on the benefits and results the client got from your work.

3. If you’re with someone in person, record an audio or video testimonial. It’s quick and easy with a smart phone, and then you can either use the recording on your website or transcribe it into a written testimonial.

Practitioners or clients who have an ethical or privacy issue about the medical confidentiality of testimonials may be more comfortable if their name and/or photo is not used. While attaching a name may give the testimonial more credibility, it is better to use only the client’s initials than to have no testimonial at all. You may offer this option in your letter or on the template.

If you’d like to offer a gift in exchange for the client’s testimonial, make sure it’s something simple that gives value to the client and supports your business but adds little to your cost or time. Do not inform them of the gift prior to getting the testimonial because it can look like a bribe and raise ethical questions. Simply present them with a simple thank-you gift after you have collected the testimonial. Or skip the gift and simply thank them for supporting your business.

Once you acquire a client’s testimonial, you can use it in your marketing materials, such as a brochure or website. Feature one or two testimonials at a time. As you collect the testimonials, rotate them regularly, so that prospective clients will see that you help many people, not just one or two. If you’re just starting out and have few or no clients, ask family and friends. Include people you worked with in school or training, such as fellow students, teachers and clients in student clinics.

Share in the Comments below, or on our Facebook page, your commitment to ask one person who loves your work to write a testimonial for you today! Then go and do it! Which client will you ask first? Testimonials help you get more clients!

Upgrade Your Income with the Update Letter

Upgrade Your Income with the Update Letter!

Related imageMeet your new BMFF – Best Marketing Friend Forever! The Update Letter is commonly known in marketing circles as a Warm Letter of Introduction – meaning warm and friendly, as opposed to formal and businesslike.

From now on, in promoting your practice, you will use this marketing tool frequently in 3 basic ways:

  1. An introductory letter for new clients, supporters and referral sources. This is in addition to your Welcome Letter for new clients, or the thank you note you send to a referral source.

 2. A keep-in-touch strategy to maintain regular, consistent contact with your referral sources. The Update Letter should not replace your newsletter or ezine.

3. An income boost when you need a quick cash infusion. The Update Letter will usually generate a few appointments for quick cash. Then try to enroll these clients into a series for repeat business.

What better time to start this marketing strategy in your practice! Get started now with  your mailing list and composing your letter, so it’s ready to go out in March – to kick off your spring marketing campaign!

Send your Update Letter to everyone you know – yes really, everyone – family, friends, clients! If this seems overwhelming, just keep at it with a schedule, such as one per day or 5-10 letters a week, until you’ve contacted everyone on your list. When done right, the Update Letter Campaign can become one of your most effective client attraction strategies for a very affordable cost!

Remember that this is a temporary, short-term tactic and should not be relied upon for long-term growth and success in your business. The idea is to catch people’s attention, remind them of your business and leverage some quick income into more marketing for faster business growth. Any appointments you book from this campaign should be leveraged into sales of your packages and programs for sustained business growth.

You will be amazed at how quickly you get referrals and new clients using this simple strategy. It takes some work, but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts – all the way to the bank!

4 Tips to Stretch Your Start-up Budget!

4 Ways to Stretch Your Start-up Budget!

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Many wellness entrepreneurs start out their private practice with a handicap – the belief that they need costly investments to be successful – an upscale office, a bells-and-whistles website, state-of-the-art equipment and so forth.

As wonderful as these things are, they are not the reason people will choose to work with you.  It’s our ability to let them know, like and trust us, based on the service and value we provide.

Hey, don’t get me wrong – I love a nice office. But it’s not worth going into debt for fancy furniture, before you’ve established a solid clientele and consistent income.

Here are 4 simple tips to stretch your start-up dollars and attract high-quality clients, without breaking the budget.

Tip #1. Mind Your Mindset

90% of business success is based on mindset, while only 10% can be attributed to marketing!

This is especially true for wellness practitioners. As a group, we seem to have more mindset issues than entrepreneurs in other fields, around charging money for our work. We may doubt our potential for big success. Some practitioners feel guilty about profiting from people’s pain. So it makes sense that overcoming these limiting beliefs and habits will help you grow your practice more quickly and easily.

Working on mindset will help you avoid the stress of overwork, overwhelm and underpay that many practitioners commonly experience. Fear and doubt can cost you more than financial investment in growing a prosperous practice.

Did you know…? When you order The Prosperous Practice Home Study System, you also get a FREE BONUS: The Prosperous Practice Guide to a Mindset of Success!

Tip #2. Hold Off on High Rent!

Clients generally do not work with you because they like your office. Most people decide to try your work before they ever see your location. The result they get from their first session determines whether they will return – not the appearance or location of your workplace.

Consider sharing an office while building up your biz, until you are more established. Renting full-time space is a waste of money if you’re seeing only a few clients per week. Let friends, clients and colleagues know that you would like to share an office. Or share your own space, for more control over your environment than if you move into someone else’s office.

If your heart is set on an upscale location, ask building managers or receptionists which businesses might be open to sharing. If there’s no on-site person to ask, go door-to-door and ask tenants if they might be interested in sharing. Write a letter or create a professional-looking flyer explaining your service and your need. Maybe there’s a building bulletin board where you can post a request for shared office space.  Many businesses have unused space that is expensive to maintain, so they may welcome an opportunity to reduce their costs by sharing.

Many hotels and business centers have special rooms or suites that they rent out for meetings. There is a growing trend for office space rental by the hour or day, called co-working space. If your practice involves only meeting with clients, such as consulting or counseling, and you don’t do exams, treatments or need special equipment, check out local hotels and business centers.

Do some research to determine the average fee in your area, prepare a proposal for a lesser amount and present it to hotel management. Keep the upper hand in negotiating the fee – be prepared to walk away if they won’t accept your terms. Often they would rather accept a lower fee than not rent the space at all. Make sure the fee includes restroom usage and use of the hotel business area for internet and printer, if needed.

A hotel meeting room is also a great option if you’re presenting a talk, class or workshop, but be prepared to pay a higher fee if you want catering services, such as food and beverages.

Also consider a home office, if this is something that could work for your situation. This could be an interim arrangement until you have enough income for a separate office. I have done this at times in my career and built a solid client base in the home setting.

Tip #3. Get Clients Before an Expensive Website!

While a website is eventually necessary for growth, you can skip this expense when you’re first starting out. Or start with a free do-it-yourself site. Focus your limited start-up resources on getting your first few clients, then use your increased cash flow for a more sophisticated website.

Meanwhile, use networking, social media, community service and word-of-mouth to meet potential new clients. Visit different networking groups to get a feel for the ones that best suit your purpose. Invite people to a free or low-fee Discovery Session. Offer information at community events. Prospects appreciate the high value they get from meeting in person or by referral from someone they trust. You don’t need a website for this client-attraction strategy.

Tip #4. Make Every Cost an Investment!

Every business expenditure should give you a good return on investment (ROI). A networking group, coaching program, training course, marketing system, supplies and equipment – everything you spend time or money for should help monetize your business. Many health entrepreneurs are not clear what return they expect or they don’t get their money’s worth by implementing what they’re learning.

When I enrolled in high-cost coaching to help me develop and market The Prosperous Practice, I promised myself that I would implement everything I learned. I continually looked for ways to maximize my return in every program and product I invested in. Sometimes my ROI was tangible, such as a website and a tech assistant. And sometimes it was abstract, such as more confidence, which helped me, energetically and emotionally, move to the next level of success. By investing at higher and higher levels – even when finding the money was a challenge – I was able to steadily move forward and create a flourishing business.

Don’t Let Budget Limit Your Success

A limited budget does not automatically mean limited success. With a new practice, don’t spend money that you can’t comfortably afford right now. Take a closer look at what you really need and what you can do without for a while, and apply these tips. See how many other ways you can be creative in stretching your budget until you can truly afford the bells and whistles. Remember, this is your business! You can provide quality service and outstanding results for your clients without going broke. So don’t let anything – especially a low budget – limit your success and satisfaction!

6 Ways to Listen Your Clients

6 Ways to Listen Your Clients

Image result for listening device cartoon

The primary purpose of any business is to make money. In fact, the definition of business is “exchanging goods or services for money.” In most cases, revenue depends on customers or clients. The foundation for your successful enduring business is a long-term two-way relationship with your clients. To foster this crucial relationship, you need to identify your Ideal Client’s problem and offer a Solution. Respond to their need and help them do, be, get or keep whatever it is they need.

Whether you attune to your Ideal Clients’ needs live or virtually, one-to-one or group, there are 6 simple guidelines to help you listen in the right way for the right things:

1.Listen Selectively. Many health entrepreneurs listen to the wrong people and let bad advice lead them astray. People whose business opinions matter fall into one of three categories: Prospective clients; people with knowledge or experience of your niche; people you pay for advice, such as coaches or mentors.

Be cautious about listening to anyone outside these groups. Or listen, but do not feel compelled to follow their advice simply because you know them! Don’t allow anyone’s negativity to throw you off-track. Don’t be influenced by opinions that are irrelevant to your business.

2. Listen for Repeating Patterns. Look for patterns or trends in the words, phrases, ideas or suggestions from your target audience. Then integrate those words or ideas into your marketing message, so that it speaks to people with those needs.

 3. Listen for Specific Goals & Challenges. Every business is about solving some kind of problem that people are willing to pay for the solution! What solution do you offer that people are willing to pay for? If you want more Ideal Clients in your holistic health practice, listen for these 4 specific things: what’s working, what outcome do they want; what’s getting in the way of achieving their goal or outcome; how do they describe their situation? If you “read between the lines,” they will tell you exactly where they are, where they want to go and what’s stopping them!

4. Listen for Buying Triggers. You have probably heard that we base our buying decisions on emotion. Stirring up emotions may make people want what you offer. But most people are smart enough to not make a purely emotional decision, especially when it comes to their health or their money! So you also need to appeal to their need and their logic. Make sure your marketing message will trigger an emotional response – a desire, a want – which then activates a need. Then complete your message with a logical, compelling reason to accept your offer.

5. Listen for Power Words and Client-Specific Vocabulary. “Power language” means words or phrases with a high emotional charge. Consider the difference between saying “overweight” and “fat.” Or “show” and “reveal.” Or “cost” and “investment.”As you develop your awareness of marketing, emotional buying and client language, you will start hearing and seeing words in a different way. Pay attention to words from your niche, as well as from your own and affiliate professions. If your client base belongs to a certain generation, profession or sub-culture, use words, phrases or slang that speaks to them in their own language.

As a health professional, you would seed your marketing with words about the needs of your clients and the problems you solve, along with words about benefits and results – how your work helps people! For health entrepreneurs, this includes words relating to pain, pain relief, greater comfort, more energy or better sleep, for example.

6. Listen with an Open Mind. Many practitioners ask questions with a particular answer in mind. They have an agenda and simply use questions as a way to tell people what to do, rather than really listening to the client and responding appropriately.

Don’t assume you already know what your clients want. Don’t use your client consult session to get agreement or confirmation on your opinions. Really sit back and listen with an open mind to their needs. You will truly serve them when they feel heard!

Truly listening – and hearing! – establishes rapport and credibility. Trust and communication open up when you speak the same language as your audience! Once you tune in to your clients’ needs and craft a marketing message that addresses it, you’ll always have enough clients and enough money coming in. And you’ll gain confidence knowing that your work is making a difference in people’s health and their lives!

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