Posts Tagged ‘customers’

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-

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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Are you looking for referrals? Does your appointment book have too many empty hours? Do you find yourself sitting in your office waiting for your phone to ring?   Does this sound familiar?

You know you’re a great therapist. You’ve studied hard, keep your skills sharp with continuing education, and offer a great service at a fair price. You’re even getting calls from potential clients. Yet, your appointment book still has too many empty spaces in it.  Somehow, you can’t seem to get callers to that first appointment and convert them into paying clients. speedy

Here are some tips from marketing experts and therapists with thriving practices.

The Power of the First “Yes.”

From a purely marketing perspective, the first thing you must do in that initial communication as you explain your services to a client is to help the caller recognize, “Wow, he/she is really talking about me.”  Great marketers know the secret to doing this. . . asking a pointed question to which the customer says, “Yes.”

One of our most successful therapists uses this question, “Is the lack of communication with your spouse creating conflict in your relationship?”

Now, most therapists would ask the question this way, “how is the lack of communication causing conflict in your relationship?” But, great marketers know phrasing it that way won’t get the “first Yes” they are looking for in that initial call.

Educating your caller through phrasing your question helps them understand that therapy will be helpful in solving their major problem.

The Next Critical Step

You’ve convinced the caller that therapy can be helpful. Now, communicating the benefits of therapy is the next crucial step in transforming callers to clients. An “elevator speech” is among the most effective ways to do this. What’s an elevator speech?  Who gives a speech in an elevator anyway?

An elevator speech is a short (15-30 second, 150 word) sound bite that succinctly and memorably introduces you. It spotlights your uniqueness. It focuses on the benefits you provide. And it is delivered effortlessly.

Elevator speeches are intended to prepare you for very brief, chance encounters in an elevator. But elevator speeches are not just for elevators! You should use it whenever you want to introduce yourself to a new contact. That could be in the supermarket, waiting in line at an ATM or when you get your morning latte. They are also perfect for educating the caller on the phone!

Here’s an example: “I help individuals find success and personal enrichment in relationships and work with corporations to maximize the potential of valuable employees.”

Your elevator speech must roll off your tongue with ease. Practice your speech in front of the mirror and with friends. Record it on your answering machine, and listen to it. Do you sound confident? Sincere? Is it engaging? Tweak if necessary. Then, try it out! Tweak again until you get the results you want.

The Conversion

The last step is moving the caller from the phone to your office and can be amazingly easy.  Great marketers know that what counts are results. As a therapist, information calls are great, referrals from other therapists are always welcome, but paying clients that you generate from your contacts with potential clients are the most valuable. This is the way YOU keep your practice thriving.

“Closing the sale” and converting the caller to a client is as simple as saying, “I have appointments available on Monday and Wednesday. Which is better for you?”

Include a free initial session in your question if you offer one.  Marketing expert Anthony O. Putnam states that for every free session you offer, you get about 19 paying customers, a great return on your investment.

Offering referrals if you are not a good fit for the client, is another great way to generate referrals.  By creating mutual referral services with a few of your colleagues with different areas of expertise from yours, you can refer out when necessary, and get their referrals in return.

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Studies show that 89 percent of everything you see and hear is forgotten after 72 hours — almost EVERYTHING!

To prove the point, how many ads can you remember that you heard this morning? Saw today? Probably not many… and you consider your advertising campaign a waste of money!checklist

So, you want to design your own marketing campaign? Place your own ads? Not a bad way to save money, because you know your business better than anyone else. You are responsible for presenting a professional image of your company (at all times), and consistent coverage with various forms of media can certainly help you reinforce those positive thoughts.

Remember what advertising can do for you:

  • build an image/credibility
  • expose you or the marketplace
  • get you potential customers via leads/responses/inquiries

Conversely, realize what advertising can’t do for you:

  • give benefits where there aren’t any
  • force people to contact you
  • sell your product by itself
  • it won’t guarantee your business — but it can get you noticed!

Advertising provides information about your company or service using different forms of media (such as print ads, radio spots, video or TV commercials, electronic postings, billboards, or other specific “types” of ads).

Marketing is the act of selling to specific, targeted groups via targeted advertising. Direct mail campaigns contain advertising material, but are known as a form of marketing.

Public relations involves building an image campaign and getting known in your field of work and your local community. True textbook definitions say that public relations cannot be controlled; if this is true, why are there so many “Public Relations Counselors” in the Yellow Pages?

Time and Money: The Two Biggies

“How much time should I spend on advertising/marketing?” There are no hard and fast rules, but you need to constantly look for new business while maintaining the old clients at the same time. Between 20 and 40 percent of your time is not uncommon, and it is recommended that a minimum of 10 percent of your total work hours be spent prospecting for clients. Budget for time invested as well as dollars; don’t forget to determine how much your time is worth, and include it in your overall cost of marketing and advertising.

“How much money should I spend?” This one varies, too, according to the type of business, the market, and the amount of sales. A range from 3 to 12 percent of gross receipts is a good figure for starters; you will know after a year or so if you need to increase or decrease your marketing budget.

Marketing is an investment strategy, similar to the poser of compounding. Your logo, which appears on your letterhead, business cards, and direct mail, coupled with your telemarketing and networking efforts, is one way to build your overall company image. You must plan and budget for your specific industry.

List your practice on Find-a-Therapist.com

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