Let Freedom Ring in Your Wellness Biz – with Systems!

Let Freedom Ring in Your Wellness Biz – with Systems! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Be a Money Magnet!

How to Be a Money Magnet!

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #1 – Eliminate Money Drama!

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

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

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

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

Tip #2: Let Your Light Shine!

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

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

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

Tip #3. Stop Believing That Sacrifice Serves Others!

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

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

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

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

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

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Offer special promotions.

– Keep clients informed about your business news.

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

– Keep your business on their mind.

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

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

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

– Remind them that you’re here to help.

– Communicate with your clients and colleagues.

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

– Establish recognition of your brand.

– Promote your service.

– Encourage referrals from clients, doctors and other practitioners.

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

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

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

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

Narrow Your Niche to Make More Money!

Narrow Your Niche to Make More Money!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3: Sharing, Not Selling

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

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

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

Rock Your June Income with Gift Coupons!

Rock Your June Income with Gift Coupons!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enroll New Clients with the Comfortable Sales Conversation!

Enroll New Clients with the Comfortable Sales Conversation!

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

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

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

– Familiarize people with your work.

– Offer them ongoing care and support.

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

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

1. What is your main health challenge or goal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. How committed are you to resolving this problem?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Strategies to Survive Summer Slowdown in Your Wellness Biz!

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome in Your Wellness Biz!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 45 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.

Most marketing “experts” and many wellness entrepreneurs are opposed to the strategy of offering free sessions. Their “reasons” include:

– It lessens credibility.

– It’s unprofessional.

– It cheapens the value of the work.

– We 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 and attracts those who are.

When these potential clients receive your Free Report, they see that it also has a Free Offer, such as a Discovery Session, in addition to the high-value information they just received. Again, those who request the offer are strongly interested! 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 of 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 will 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!

It’s a give-to-get strategy. Give free treatments and get great clients! 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!

The Ripple Effect of Referrals

The Ripple Effect of Referrals

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

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

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

  1. Whyto refer (the best clients come from trusted sources)
  2. Whoto refer (your target market, your Ideal Clients)
  3. Howto refer (with a system or process)

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

  1. Personal Contacts
  2. Professional Contacts
  3. Prominent Contacts
  4. Power Contacts

4 Sources of Great Referrals

  1. Personal Contacts: Family and Friends. These are people who know, like and trust you the most -family and friends you see frequently and casually. Sure, most of them know basically what you do for a living. But do theyreally know exactly what you do? Do your parents know? Do they know what services you offer? How about your siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins? Do they know who’s in your niche and what their challenges are? What about your best friends? Do they know the benefits, results and solutions you provide? Have they experienced your work? Could they accurately describe your work to a potential referral? Have you educated your Personal Contacts on how to identify Ideal Clients and refer them? Start with those you know best. Inform them, educate them and ask them for referrals! Go ahead – don’t be shy! They love you and want the best for you. They will take pride in helping you be successful!
  2. Professional Contacts: Clients, Customers, Colleagues, Business Associates. This group is made up of people you meet in your business environment –clients, colleagues and business associates.

Clients are a goldmine of referrals because they currently work with you, and the benefits are fresh in their mind! People are more likely to act on a recommendation from a happy client than from your doting dad!

– Colleagues are other health professionals with whom you have a lot in common because of your similar work. You may already know them through structured or informal networking, through other business endeavors, by reputation in your community or from a social setting. Some of them might be your friends, or your competitors, while others may serve the same niche but with a different service from yours. For instance, a chiropractor and a massage therapist would be great referral sources for each other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get Movin’ with Mothers’ Day Marketing!

Get Movin’ with Mothers’ Day Marketing!

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Better get ready – because Mothers’ Day is coming up next month and you don’t want to miss one of the top three holidays for selling Gift Coupons in your wellness practice! Whether you do massage, chiropractic, counseling, yoga, nutrition – any health or wellness modality – the gift of health is always appropriate for any occasion, any age or any size! And it is especially needed and appreciated by… mothers!

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

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

  1. Offer affordable massage for Mothers’ Day gifts
  2. Allow more people to experience my work
  3. Attract new clients into my business
  4. Give my income a boost

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

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

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

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

  1. Save money, allowing them to buy more.
  2. Appropriate for any age, any size, any gender or any occasion.
  3. Easy to mail.
  4. Gifts on hand without going shopping.

When a Gift Coupon recipient calls for their appointment, offer them an upgrade to a longer session or more service for an additional fee. Because they didn’t pay for the gift in the first place, they see it as getting more for less – such a deal! For example, if their GC is for a 30-minute massage, offer to upgrade them to 60 minutes for $50, letting them know that your regular 60-minute fee is $100, for example.

This format is perfectly suited for massage therapy or other practice where you work within a specific time frame. With non-timed modalities, there are many ways to upgrade a session with more value for the client. For example, a nutritionist could offer a cooking lesson; an acupuncturist could upgrade with moxibustion; a chiropractor could add cold laser treatments. What affordable packages and upgrades are appropriate for your Mothers’ Day Money-Saver?

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

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

To promote my Mothers’ Day Gift Coupon sales, I display Gift Coupon signs in every room of my clinic, including the restroom – in clear view of the toilet! I decorate my year-round Gift Coupon Desk with a Mothers’ Day theme – a pretty sign, bouquet, balloon, Gift Coupons, envelopes, pens and floral postage stamps.

To kick off the Mothers’ Day campaign, I send clients an email announcement a few weeks before the holiday (that would be now – for you too!) I remind them to start thinking about their Mothers’ Day gift list. Every few days, send another reminder. When you call to confirm their next appointment, remind them again.

Continue with emails throughout the month, 2-3 per week from early April until Mothers’ Day. I remove clients’ names as they buy, so as not to pester them after they buy.

When they purchase a package of Gift Coupons, they can either take them home or sit right down and address the envelopes – which I offer to mail for them. People love this and look forward to it every Spring! BTW, I don’t charge for postage; the extra income is worth the extra expense!

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

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

 

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