What Business Are You Really In?
by Bernadette Doyle
I regularly run surveys asking my readers what their biggest challenges are. The same themes crop up over and over: How do I get new clients? How do I convert initial interest into paying business? How do I ensure consistency in my client base and cash-flow?
If you find the whole process of finding new clients and customers difficult and painful, there is a solution -- do a lot more business with the clients and customers you do get so you need less of them.
That may require you to think very differently about the business you are in and what your clients really want from you. For example, I recently spoke to a market researcher who wanted to expand her range of services, but could not see what else she could offer to her existing clients. As I delved deeper into her business, it quickly became apparent that the main reason people were hiring her was because they wanted to better understand their customers' needs, so they in turn could increase customer satisfaction and sell more!
I could instantly see a whole series of opportunities for this market researcher. First offering ongoing support and accountability as her clients implemented the findings of her research. Next, given that what her clients really wanted was to retain their existing customers and prevent lost business, what else could she offer to help them achieve that goal? Could she offer additional programs that helped her clients measure and improve customer retention?
The point is, as long as this woman was putting herself in the ‘market researcher' box -- she would remain blind to all the additional needs and problems facing her existing clients. But by expanding her definition of the business she was in -- not just a market researcher but a customer retention specialist, the opportunities would expand too. And because she already has an existing relationship with her clients - they trust her and have paid for her services already -- it will be a lot easier for her to sell additional services to them than it would be to go out and find a brand new client.
Bottom line? More income with a lot less work.
The biggest obstacle you face applying this idea to your business is your own imagination. If you have been defining yourself by your skill-sets e.g. sales trainer, coach, complementary therapist, then your first step must be breaking beyond the label you have put on yourself. Think about what your clients and customers really want and what else you can offer to help them achieve that.
You can reduce your need for new and more clients and customers by offering more and diverse products and services to fewer customers. This is what I've been describing in my ‘Launch Your Information Empire' Teleseminar Series. If you haven't registered yet, and you want to know more about how you can expand your business, make more money with fewer clients and even cut your working hours to boot, then you must register for these FREE calls. Get all the details and sign up now.
(c) Bernadette Doyle, 2008. Bernadette Doyle may be contacted at http://www.clientmagnets.com
Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at http://www.clientmagnets.com.