Small Business Success Tip- Give Your Clients What they Want

by Bria Leave a comment

It’s easy to assume that we know what our clients want. We make assumptions based on what we think they want or what we believe they need. The truth is, only they know what they really want. And, in order to run a successful, effective, growing business, you MUST figure out what your ideal clients want.

Read on for 3 tips to help you assist you-

customer satisfaction1) If you aren’t 100% positive what your ideal clients want- survey them. If you are a service-based business, ask them questions about topics or areas with which they want more help and about how much they value the different components of your business.  If you run a product-based business, ask them questions focused on what they value in your products and what might be missing that they’d like to have.

To create your own survey, check out

2) Offer an incentive for completing your survey. The incentive may be a discount for a service, a 20-minute strategy session with you or just a promise to incorporate their needs into your business design. If you have a large following, be careful not to give away too much of your precious time. However, if you are new to business, offering some of your time and attention may be an excellent opportunity to grow your business.

3) Implement the results while maintaining integrity with your business model. Resist the temptation to blindly give too much. Just because your clients may want more time with you, for example, doesn’t mean you add a ridiculous amount of extra time (which would exhaust you). If you ask savvy questions about what they want help with- then you have the information you need to make smart decisions. Meeting their needs can be offered in many forms.

Want More Ideal Clients?

by Bria Leave a comment

Client-MagnetWant more ideal clients in 2014? If you do, you’ll need to get clear on who is ideal and who is NOT. And then be willing to say no to non-ideal clients to make space for the ideal ones. That is not an easy process. It took me years in my own business to make this shift! And… it is SO worth it. When you are in the flow of working with good-fit people, as I am when I work with smart, established business owners who want their lives back and want to run a better business at the same time, there is NOTHING more rewarding. Honestly.

I want that for you in 2014. So in this article, I am focusing on one piece of making that happen- the initial conversation you have with potential clients.

Whether you consider it a “sales conversation” or “enrollment conversation” or just an “initial chat”, that first conversation with new potential clients needs to be strategic. You want to have a general template that you follow. Here are the key features that I, and hundreds of my clients, have found helpful:

1) Start the conversation building rapport. Nobody wants to be sold to right away. Ever. Build rapport with genuine interest in the other person.

2) Ask a few questions to determine if they are “ideal”. Think about what differentiates ideal from non-ideal for your business. When you identify a non-ideal client, kindly refer them to someone else. For instance, for one of my designer clients, who is highly successful in her field, non-ideal is someone who wants to control the whole process of how she works. If they aren’t willing to give up that control and trust her, she refers to younger, less established designers who are more willing to share the control of the process. This one shift has made an enormous difference in both the profitability of her business and how happy she is in her business (and that latter shift is what I get most excited about!)

3) Ask a series of questions that pull out their struggles/challenges. What are their pain points? Use your experience and expertise to ASK about what is challenging for them in your their field.

For example, my entrepreneurial client who is a builder might ask, “Do you know the vision of what you want your house to look like?” And depending on the answer, he will go deeper into how clear or unclear that vision is, setting up the space to let the client know how he can help with that vision. My client who is a doctor for menopausal women may ask a series of questions to draw out their areas of frustration (mood swings? sleeplessness? weight gain?) And my stylist client asks “Do you have the time to shop for everything you need?” “Do you know your own signature style and know where to find pieces to reflect that?”

The point here is to ask more questions about their pain/challenges than they would even know to mention themselves. And you can do this because you are an expert in your field. You know more about the scope of their challenges than they do themselves so you are asking about that scope- allowing them to see the full level of their struggles.

4) Demonstrate how you can help them overcome their challenges. Walk them through how you can help them ease their pain or frustrations. The process of how you work is, ideally, linked to giving your ideal clients what they really want and need.

5) Prepare yourself with how you will overcome their resistance to your services. You know the core objections of your ideal clients. How can you overcome those in your conversation? For example, money is hot one. If they say “I don’t know if I can afford that”- remind them of the unique results they will get when they work with you, as well as what is likely to happen if they don’t work with you (more of the same, etc)

This is not a difficult process but it is a strategic one. Tweak these steps to fit you and your business and enjoy how you start filling your business with clients you truly love working with.

It’s All About the Testimonials for Your Business

by Bria Leave a comment

Word of mouth is one of the best (and free!) ways you can market your business. And what better way to share word of mouth than through customer testimonials?

Testimonials can be one of the most effective ways to market your business. So how do you go about getting them from your customers?

feedbackOne way is to send an email to your current customer list asking them for feedback. Be upfront about how their feedback will be used, and mention that you’d like to include their name, company name and a website link (if you’re feeling generous). A lot of businesses are more inclined to share feedback when they know they’ll be highlighted, with a link on your website.

Another thing you can do is provide a survey link in your emails to customers. For example, when you send a “Thank You for Your Order” email or the final product to a client (if you’re a designer), include a link to a survey and ask them if they’d take a few moments to share their comments. If you can, offer a chance to win 10% off their next order or some other incentive – you’ll see a sharp increase in respondents.

Some customers will offer feedback without request – via email, social media or another means. Respond to their feedback thanking them and ask if it can be used on your website. Most will happily agree.

Once you’ve compiled a nice list of testimonials, post them on your website. And be sure they are given prominence – preferably in the main navigation of your site. If you don’t want to use the word “Testimonial,” you can use “Clients” as I do on my website.

Don’t underestimate the power your customer testimonials can have on a prospective customer. Often times it is their words – and not yours – that sways them to become a paying customer.

Business Operations Manual in Action

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om and heather for newsletterOne of the things I love most about working with the amazing designer, Heather Garrett, is our shared vision for her (and one that I hold for all of my clients)- to build an awesome business that serves customers well, runs efficiently, and allows the owner the freedom to live the life they want.

Heather embodies all of this now. She recently told me “I take many Fridays off and vacation more than I ever have. I am enjoying my business so much more and I am helping clients in a bigger way, but my business doesn’t run my life anymore” and, along with her newly discovered freedom, her business is more profitable.

She has been a rock star client because she quickly implements what we work on together. She has reached most of her 3-year vision for her life and business in only 11 months– a more efficient, profitable business, more freedom, and a complete Operations Manual so everyone on her team knows and follows the systems that make her company so successful.

If you missed it yesterday, go check out my blog post: “Why you MUST Create an Operations Manual to Get to the Next Level” to understand its real value to you.

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