Over the summer I read a book by Rich Litvin called, “The Prosperous Coach” and it blew me away with its simple message. It reminded me of how central building relationships with your ideal clients is to developing a highly profitable business.
It was like being transported back to a time before the Internet and social media started to change the way people communicate with one another and increase our pace of life (and interactions). I re-remembered the pleasure I experience from taking time to meet potential clients in person and truly getting to know them.
My heart felt opened by the way Rich talked about focusing on being of service to potential clients without being attached to them becoming a customer of yours straight away. He talked about one client of his who he developed a relationship with over a period of two years before she became a client of his!
Right away I was able to see how the principles Rich described for building a highly profitable coaching business could be used to help build a successful therapy business (and any other small business for that matter!).
So in this article I would like to share with you how you can use relationship building as a cornerstone of your marketing strategy to attract new customers (and financially prosper).
The reality is that if you have a successful business you are most likely already forming strong relationships with potential and existing clients of yours. When you break down exactly what you are doing to form strong relationships with your customers, you might well find that you do some of the following:
Regularly getting on the phone and talking with your prospective and existing clients
Finding out about what your individual clients need
Thinking about what will help these clients with their issues
Giving your clients advice and solutions to their problems
Considering how you can better serve your clients by enhancing your products and services
The most important of all of the items listed above is getting on the phone (or meeting in person) with your ideal clients. The more you can ask your ideal clients about what their frustrations and challenges are in relation to your area of expertise, the more you will know how best to help them.
The common mistake I see so many therapists making is that they develop products and services that they want to sell without asking their ideal clients if these products and services are what they actually want and need. It is little surprise then when these products and services don’t sell.
When you make relationship forming the central strategy for building your customer base you automatically start to ask questions to your ideal clients and then listen to them about what they need and want.
It is a natural process to create, develop and enhance your products and services so they are tailored to the needs of your audience. This obviously gives you a significantly better chance of making sales and incredibly loyal customers.
So how can you start to begin to form and deepen your relationships with your existing and new customers?
Well the first step is to write down a list of at least 20 people who fit your ideal client profile. Make sure you can identify a product or service you have that you think is a good fit for each individual’s particular needs and requirements.
Then contact each of these people individually by phone. If you provide services, invite them to have a free consultation/ session with you, so you can give them support with the area that they need assistance with.
One of my coaching clients who did this exact exercise, ended up gaining several new clients, well you can imagine how thrilled she was!
For those of you who offer products, you can still take part in this approach. You might want to offer your ideal clients the opportunity to trial one of your products for free. The key to making this work is to make sure that the individual you approach genuinely wants to trial your product, if they are unsure, don’t pressure them. It’s very important to then follow up with them and ask for their feedback on how they experienced your products, and if they loved the product, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale!
Creating opportunities to be of service to your ideal clients through free consultations and product trials will bring your ideal clients into closer relationship with you, so even if they are not ready to buy from you now, when they do need your services or products, you will be the person they go to.
I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts and insights on this topic so please comment below and let me know what you think.
For those action takers amongst you after you give my suggestions a whirl, let me know how you got on 🙂