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Archive for November, 2010

The holidays are coming upon us already! It seems like just a few years ago, the shops waited until after thanksgiving to put out Christmas decorations, now this year the day after Halloween they were out….almost a whole month earlier. Talk about aggressive marketing! This is certainly not the way I recommend you do your marketing, but looking at all the decorations did start me thinking about retailers and what we can learn from them in the marketing we do as therapists.
 

Marketing Moves

One of the things I hear most from the therapists I talk with when I do marketing consults is that they start something; maybe they’ve read a book or heard a talk and were inspired to begin a new program, but “Now I’m stuck! I don’t know what to do next. It’s already been three weeks and nothing’s happening.”
 
So let’s talk about getting “unstuck” with your marketing. Here are my top five tips for getting moving again, getting result – clients – and getting unstuck!
 
1.       Stephen Covey’s first of the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” talks about being proactive and taking responsibility for your life. Look at who is in your Circle of Influence and focus on them because those people are the ones you can do something about. You may find you need to expand your circle of influence and this is why every business coach you’ll ever meet preaches networking.  Networking is nothing more than building that circle of influence.  When you’re feeling locked from moving forward, begin making a list of your circle of influence. Write down the names of everyone in it. Writing the names is important because it makes us commit at some level to these people and the next step, which is contacting them and doing some face to face networking. Tell them you have some openings in your practice, and if they hear of anyone who needs someone with your expertise (here’s where you do your “elevator speech”) give them your name and a card. Make sure you have 10 -15 cards to give them.
 
The new networking we’re all hearing about is personal networking. Actually it isn’t new; it’s always been the best way to network. The online social networking sites just make it easier to meet people and make connections to follow up in person. So work on your list. Take 15 solid, uninterrupted minutes a day for a week and add to your list. You’ll be surprised at the end of the week how many names you have. If you’re not surprised, it’s time to network some more!
 
2.       Step 2 is one of my personal favorites and maybe the most powerful. “Recreate your vision.” When you’re feeling stuck and can’t move forward, remember why you wanted to go there in the first place. What was your original vision of the business you are trying to build? What does it look like? Where is it located? Who will your work benefit? What fulfillment or satisfaction will it provide you? Write down your vision of a successful business, or if you’ve written it down before, pull it out and re-read it. Allow your own words to re-inspire you to do the necessary hard work.
 
Among my best memories is of a time I was standing on the balcony outside my office drinking a cup of coffee. I had a free hour and as I stood overlooking the garden in the center of the building, I was struck with the realization that at a professional growth retreat some years before I had done an exercise in which I had to draw a picture of my business in 10 years. At that point I had 3 clients and rented hourly space from a therapist friend…not much of a business at all. But, my realization was that my picture that I’d drawn, in great detail, looked almost like where I was standing at that moment. A definite goose bumps experience! But I learned that visualizing works! Picturing what you want, in great detail, works. For 10 years I had been moving toward that picture without remembering it most of the time, but I had it embedded it my mind, a seed that was slowly growing and taking shape. I still have that picture, and every day I have fresh flowers in my office just like I had in the picture.  This morning I picked 3 beautiful pink roses from that back yard for my desk. Recreate your vision!

During the exercise in the workshop, the instructor had us use the big fat crayons that kindergarteners use so our “inner child” was freer to “draw.” I still use the exercise to this day when I’m starting a new project. I visualize it and draw it with fat crayons! Try it and let me know what happens with your picture.
 
3.   Face your fear. One of the most common obstacles to being successful at marketing is fear. Marketing activities may evoke fears of rejection, disapproval, embarrassment, and a host of other catastrophes. Instead of pretending the fear isn’t there, or attempting to ignore it, you may find it more effective to confront the fear directly.

Try to identify exactly what you are afraid of. What do you fear will happen if you make that call or go to that meeting? If you can identify the specific fear that is blocking you, it may be possible to soothe it by providing reassuring information or positive experience. For example, fear of rejection can often be lessened by setting up practice selling sessions where a role-playing partner responds with “yes” to every suggestion you make.

4.  Quit; then start fresh. There may be days when you feel discouraged enough to just throw in the towel. Maybe you should do it. The act of quitting can be very cathartic. Proclaim: “I quit!” Perhaps even write yourself a resignation letter. Then take off the rest of the day, and don’t even think about work. It’s a good bet that after you have a chance to blow off some steam, you’ll be ready to come back the following day re-energized.

5.  Act as if. Whenever you feel incompetent about some area of marketing, you may be able to tackle those activities anyway if you simply try to act as if you were competent. Try playing the role of someone you admire. For example, what if you were Julia Roberts? How would she make a follow-up call? Or how about if you were Sean Penn? How would he introduce himself in front of a group? A short time pretending to be someone you think of as confident and capable can make those qualities rub off on you.

The next time your marketing feels stuck, try one of these methods to help you get back into action quickly.
 
Special Offer: See our new pricing on our Standard Listing – just $99! That’s about 27 cents a day.
 
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To view listing packages and options use this link:
http://www.find-a-therapist.com/PublicHome/RegNew_listPractice.aspx

For practice management tools use this link:
http://www.find-a-therapist.com/SimpleRegistration/NewReg_PracticeMgtTools.aspx

With the purchase of any listing, get one free additional website listing from this list: http://www.practice-solutions.com/additionalsites.htm

Offers expire 12-31-10
 
SPECIAL THANKS TO C.J. Hayden, author of “Get Clients Now,” for her inspiration and contributions to this piece.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Judy

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We’re starting something new today! Wednesday’s are a good day for new things; they’re right in the middle of the week which means there are only a few days left until the weekend and that’s a good thing. So we’ve decided, in our great wisdom, to call our mini newsletter, “Wednesday’s Wisdom.” Today’s newsletter will be text only – no pictures or anything to distract you from the wisdom we’ve gathered here. We hope by this point you can tell some of this will be written “tongue in cheek,” but with real tidbits of wisdom thrown in here and there.

We’ll be sending these every other week, and they’ll be short and sweet and chocked full of goodies. We’ll ALWAYS include a special offer – so watch for it – near the bottom of the letter.

So here we go – Wednesday’s Wisdom! Here are the five best ways for professionals to get clients:

1. Meeting prospects or referral sources in person, at events or by appointment

2. Talking to prospects or referral sources on the phone

3. Sending personal letters and emails to prospects who already know them

4. Following up personally with prospects over time

5. Speaking to groups likely to contain prospects at meetings and conferences

Now here’s the most important thing to remember. In this context, prospects are NOT clients. Prospects are those professionals who come into contact with your prospective clients; doctors, lawyers, teachers, pastors, insurance agents, dentists, nurses, hairdressers. . .those people who deal with your clients everyday in their profession.

These are the ones you invite for coffee or lunch. These are the people you get to know so they can get to know and refer to you when they see a potential client in their office.

So, there it is – Wednesday’s Wisdom for the week. Schedule a time on your calendar right now to make that call and invite your hairdresser or barber for coffee. Ask them about their work and what they do when they think a client of theirs needs someone to talk to – a trained clinician like yourself. And leave them with a stack of your business cards – and the next time you see them, ask if they need more!

Special Offer :  $40 OFF!

New subscribers will receive $40 off a premium or enhanced listing when they mention this promo. Learn more about our available listing packages at Find-a-Therapist.com. Call today to take advantage of this special! 1-866-450-3463. Expires November 30, 2010

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Very often, more now as we get more readers of this blog, people send me articles, quotes, bits of wisdom, but forget to tell me where they got it so I can give proper credit.  This is one of those instances. So if you know who wrote this, let ME know and I will add their name and credits to it so they get the credit they deserve.  Judy~

Training & Workshops

“I’ve written a great deal about the difference between marketing, which is letting people know what you can do, and making sales, which is about closing the deal. In general, I think most small businesses make more mistakes in marketing than they do in sales because they either don’t market enough, or they try such a wide variety of “strategies” that they and their potential customers end up confused and frustrated.

But, assuming you’ve done a good job of letting people know who you are and what you do, here’s a simple process for the closing sale:

1.  People buy solutions, not products or services. Your prospects want something that makes their lives easier, richer or more satisfying. In general, no one buys laundry detergent; we buy stuff to get our clothes clean.

2.  We buy from people (or companies) we know. Given a choice, I’ll generally do business with someone I know rather than with a stranger. A few goods and services are so price-sensitive that I’ll try an “off brand” at least once, but generally I’ll go with the familiar over the unfamiliar.
(This emphasizes the importance of marketing or “pre-
selling.”)

3.  We buy from people we like. Would you buy a car from someone you don’t like? Would you do business in an office that makes you uncomfortable? Neither will your customers.

4.  We buy from people we trust. This is THE key. In the end, I must believe that the product or service will perform as promised and I must trust that the seller will deliver, every time.

When it comes to selling, here’s the formula: Your customers buy Solutions from people they Know and Like and Trust. They will pay a substantial premium for the peace of mind that comes from doing business with confidence. Make it easy for your customers to feel good about doing business with you.”

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