Posted Saturday, February 12, 2005
Traditional marketing strategies encourage business owners to continually grow their businesses by adding new customers. In today's competitive world of business, it is more important than ever to aim for more transactions with existing customers by using the power of customer follow-up and attention to good service.
These second ten tips will help you in turning your existing customers into walking billboards for your business and loyal customers for a lifetime. While we aren't advocating that you do all ten, choosing your favorite five and making sure they become a part of your marketing efforts will pay off handsomely.
11. Conduct surveys one time per month in order to find out what your clients want and need. Your ability to deliver solutions to current problems will position you as a coach who is solution oriented and who is willing to be flexible to deliver what it is that the client most wants and needs. An online survey tool such as (http://www.zoomerang.com) is a fantastic tool for providing online surveys to your current customers and clients.
12. Support your clients by attending their events and by sending them referrals. Are your clients leading a workshop or a teleclass? Are they holding a special "grand opening" or announcing a new product or service? Will your client be playing the piano for a special event or helping with a charity auction? Find out what special events are in the future for your client and attend those events with enthusiasm. This one perk will let your clients know that you are committed to them through and through. In addition, become a walking billboard for your clients, telling others about their products or services, and send them referrals on a regular basis. The building of a strong relationship and strategic alliance begins with you, so let your support be known by "showing up" and "talking your client up to others." If you cannot attend the event, contact the client on the day of their big event, wishing them well and letting them know how much you wish you could attend.
13. Set aside a 3 hour block of time each week strictly for the purpose of being "on call" for your clients. During this 3-hour block of time, you will be providing "spot coaching" for clients who want to call in for questions, a quick dose of motivation, or to get support in the area of problem solving. Limit each call to 15 minutes so that everyone who wants to talk with you will have a chance to do so.
14. Host a "Client Only" Call one time per month. As you begin to coach more and more of your ideal clients, you will begin to notice "common problems" shared by your clients. Watch closely for these common problems, and use your knowledge to build a "Client Only" call one time per month. The Client Only call will provide your clients with information and value around a particular topic which is on their minds such as how to increase profits, how to get more customers, or how to deal with negative thought patterns which block success. The Client Only Call will also support your clients in extending his or her network, which is a wonderful value add.
15. Answer each and every question asked by your clients with a positive and helpful attitude. Quite often as a coach, you will find that your clients want one thing...your help! Each time a client sends you a question by e-mail or calls you by phone to ask a question, respond with compassion and with the A to Z details which will provide the support they are seeking. Studies show that approximately 68% of all people will choose to continue doing business with you based on your attitude, so treat your clients as if you are honored to answer their questions, and as always, answer their questions as quickly as possible (within 24 hours is recommended.)
16. Update your website every day, adding new content, a new quote of the day, a new article, or a cutting edge resource. Your customers will want to know that you are savvy enough to stay ahead, updating your website frequently and that you are alive and well and devoted to details. If you have a website which is outdated and "stale," your clients will move on to a coach who is both present and future focused. On the same note, if your website will be down for repair or down for a facelift, notify your clients in advance that your website will be down and keep them updated on the status of your site.
17. Develop a collaborative partnership with your clients, and team with them one time each year on a joint venture. Clients of today want a partnership that is collaborative in nature, and they want to feel that you are a part of their "team." Invite your clients to join you in hosting a fundraising event, to co-lead a workshop or teleclass, or to co-author an article or an e-course. The relationship with your client will shift during this process, and you will develop a bond that is strong and long lasting.
18. Add new products, services, and features to your coaching business every month. In order to keep clients coming back again and again, it will be important for you to continue adding interesting features to your business. Write a new e-course, offer a new assessment, post a new audio, list a new teleclass series, add a 1-800 number to your business, or do something fun like adding a kids page to your website. Each time you add a new feature, your clients' interest will be sparked, and they will feel a surge of enthusiasm around their decision to continue working with you as their coach.
19. Provide Instant Message Coaching two nights per week. By using AOL or MSN Instant Messaging services, you can provide an amazing amount of value for folks who work during the day. Set aside two hours two nights per week to provide IM coaching for individuals or for a group. This can be a great time to communicate with your clients through the power of the written word.
20. At the end of each month, send a card to each client thanking him or her for being your client. Make this note special to each person, and let them know how much you value the relationship and how much you enjoy working with them. Remember...your clients make your coaching business possible, so thank them graciously and often!
� Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith and Bea Fields
About the Author
Alicia Smith is a Coach and Trainer whose specialty is helping coaches to Make Money Now. This article is derived from just one of the 90 lessons contained in her e-course, 90-Day Marketing Marathon. To learn more about that course and her other products and services, please visit the following sites. (You also can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.) (http://www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com) (http://www.discninja.com) (http://www.InternetAssessments.com)