Or how to find and connect with your ideal customer.
A blog carnival post hosted by
Tea Silvestre, The Word Chef.
Let me tell you a brief story.
Once upon a time there were two people who were in a services business together. They worked hard every day for twenty years. They believed that because they worked so hard, they would be successful. For a while they were, but toward the end, they found it hard to find more customers and harder to retain them. Why was this, they asked each other? Was it the economic climate, the change in technology, GenerationY employees? In the end, they gave away their business and went off to do something else.
Last Monday evening, I was privileged to listen to Lisa McInnes-Smith, a motivational speaker and member of the International Speaker Hall of Fame, present at an intimate function.
It is as much about how Lisa says what she says, that so affects those listening to her.
She moves with a radiating energy that sways her audience like seaweed in a strong swell. We leaned one way into what she said, instantly moving the other as a reaction to her request or a response to her verbal embrace.
“Your mouth is the most important part of your body. Everything that comes out of your mouth will boomerang back,” she said. Respect, encouragement, compliments, smiles.
Making the connection – the boomerang effect
When you meet a potential customer, are you only thinking about whether their dollars will soon be in your bank?
Are you so anxious to let them know that your solution will sort out their problem, you can hardly bare to listen to them before railroading them with your offer?
When you communicate, do you talk at them using jargon and obfuscation?
In your internal dialogue, do you really think they’re idiots. That they don’t appreciate what you do and should be paying you a bucket-load more given how hard you work for them?
We forget our clients are people at our peril. Do we believe they won’t intuitively know that’s how we feel?
Keeping the connection – 100 little things
“You can’t fake caring for people, because caring is not a feeling, it’s an action. Little things you do on a regular basis,” Lisa says on one of her videos.
Wow. Think about that for a while.
How do you ‘care’ for, or about, your potential and existing customers? What if you’ve been faking it?
Care about the outcome of what you do
Does it serve your client’s very best interest? When you answer the phone, do you wear a smile? Are you respectful in your communications?
Do you make it your business to know them well enough to ask after their ailing dog, son’s progress at school, unwell employee?
Do you think about the added extras you can do, at little cost to yourself or them, that would increase the benefit of your service?
Do you really listen? Do you hear the moment when you can praise what they do or who they are?
Lisa spread her arms wide and said: “Praise always empowers people and every time you empower people, YOU become more powerful and influential.”
Now, there is a way to ensure that your relationship with your clients is not about servant and master, but balanced and healthy.
Finding an ideal client and retaining them today requires a lot more than providing expertise.
So put yourself in a place where you meet people to whom you can genuinely listen. Then, be honest. Does what you offer really match what they need. If it doesn’t, put forward those you know who might provide a better solution or a strategic alliance, or offer to research a solution for them. Most often, this is by far a better road for everyone.
In the end, like a boomerang, what goes round comes round and you will be rewarded elsewhere.
What about our couple who were in business together. Well, they started their business in a era when work was plentiful and based on a need for their expertise. Clients were clients. You serviced their requirements and sent them the invoice. They commanded, you obeyed. Usually, if you had done a good job they came back. But if they didn’t, there were other clients. That’s how it was. Not anymore.
PS. If you don’t care a fig for your clients, then like our couple in the story, give away your business and find something else to do.
And learn why you must blog!