Posts Tagged ‘professionals’

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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In September of every year, many of us feel an urge to go “back to school.” Even when we haven’t attended a class in years, it’s habitual for the end of summer to suggest we should be paying less attention to family and fun and more to making a living. As you turn your focus to business this fall, consider how you might incorporate into your back-to-business agenda the back-to-basics curriculum of the Three R’s of professional services marketing: relationship, referral, and reach.

#1: Relationship

The cornerstone of every independent professional’s marketing strategy should be relationship-building. If a marketing tactic you’re considering contributes to stronger relationships between you and your prospects, it’s worthy of your attention. If it doesn’t, think twice before using it, and certainly don’t rely on it.

Marketing that leads to better relationships includes activities like lunch and coffee dates, giving educational talks, and personal exchanges via phone, email, or social networking.

Marketing that rarely leads to better relationships — and can sometimes damage them — includes phone calls, letters, and emails with over-the-top hype for your services, anonymous online ads, and besieging your social networking contacts with promotional announcements.

Don’t be misled by advice pushing the flavor of the week in marketing. If a new tactic suggested to you isn’t relationship-oriented, it probably isn’t worth your time.

#2: Referral

Prospects who come to you by way of a referral are more likely to become clients than those who you connect with in almost any other way. They have often already decided to work with you when you hear from them, and are less likely to question your rates or your expertise.

Generating more referrals, then, should be an essential component of your marketing. Instead of expending all your effort on filling the pipeline with unknown prospects and making cold approaches, spend more time cultivating relationships with likely referral sources.

Many professionals mistakenly believe that if they simply provide good service to their clients, the referrals that naturally result will be enough. But this is rarely the case. The best referrals often come from people who have never been your clients — members of your trade association or networking group, other professionals who serve your market, and centers of influence in your community. Time spent getting to know these folks better can be much more productive than approaching strangers.

#3: Reach

Clients don’t appear just because you are there waiting for them.

You have to reach out. In marketing, reach takes many different forms — for example, you reaching out to people you already know to build better relationships, you reaching out to new potential referral sources, and you reaching outside your comfort zone to have personal interactions with prospects.

The point is that you do have to reach out rather than simply wait and react, even though outreach is often more uncomfortable.

It’s tempting to rely on build-it-and-they-will-come marketing like websites consisting solely of sales letters, or online “networking” platforms populated by people you don’t even know, or classified ads, or directory listings. And there are plenty of vendors doing their own outreach to sell you on these approaches so you don’t even have to go looking for them.

But if it was really that easy to get clients — just launch a website, say, or buy an ad, and you’ll have all the clients you need — why haven’t all the folks selling you these strategies retired to tropical islands by now?

As far as marketing tactics go, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So get back to basics with your marketing this fall. Build relationships, cultivate referrals, and reach out proactively to prospects and referral sources rather than waiting for them to find you. With the Three R’s as your guide, you’ll have everything you need to go to the head of the class.

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. Get a free copy of “Five Secrets to Finding All the Clients You’ll Ever Need” at www.getclientsnow.com

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