By Mark Creedon
Sometimes not asking for the business is exactly how you can secure it!
I understand that you might be a little sceptical of this advice but let me assure you that this concept has worked for my clients time and time again.
Let me give you an example.
A few years ago I was referred to a business owner who was looking to expand his business in his field, even at that initial stage; he made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t interested in retaining my coaching services.
During the conversation he mentioned that his young son had told him that all he wanted for Christmas was for his father to play baseball with him.
Now this struck the man as strange because his son had never played baseball, they had never watched baseball together and baseball was certainly not a sport discussed at home.
Somewhere along the line however, this young six year old had seen a baseball game and had decided that it would be great thing for a father and son to do.
The following day after our conversation, I was walking past a sports store and I noticed that they had baseball bats and balls for sale outside the front of the store.
I immediately stopped, went in and bought a practise bat, ball and mitt and I wrapped it up and took it back to this man and gave it to him.
It was a simple gift, it was a gift given with complete altruism and I expected nothing in return for it but I knew that it was a gift that would have meaning to him.
It also showed that I had listened to what he had said.
And more importantly, it showed that I had listened even though there was a high likelihood that he would not in fact become a client.
Over the next two years, that businessman became a lucrative client retaining my services as a coach, trainer and keynote speaker.
Now, some five years later, we continue to work together.
This is a very simple example of how listening rather than focussing on a ‘close’ can garner huge results for your business.
How about your existing clients?
How can you use this simple concept to keep them happy and how does that help your bottom line?
Well, like I always say, you don’t just want clients, what you really want are raving fans.
A raving fan is completely loyal to your company, they are also happy to purchase your products or services time and time again and more importantly they let everyone else know about it! Here are a few little things that you can do to convert your clients to fans and get them “working” for you.
- Keep in contact with your clients regularly
- Under promise and over deliver
- Give your clients a gift or card on special occasions
- Implement a rewards program or loyalty card
- Offer referral incentives
- Give your clients a reason to come back, simply ask them to ( i.e. Thank you, please come back again).
Above all else, LISTEN to your clients.
If you can practise and learn the very artful skill of listening and understand the emotion behind what your clients are saying, then you will find that keeping your clients happy and attracting new business is a much easier task than you would have ever thought possible.
Another little thing we do is buy cakes* for clients and prospective clients not only to sweeten them up but also because they’re packed full of sugar to make sure we’re full of energy and completely focussed on their business needs.
I know sugar is a big no no these days but trust me….a little still goes a long way!
* Does not exclude biscuits, cookies, buns, pastries or muffins.
Mark Creedon is the founder of Business Accelerator mastermind by Metropole and business coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs – helping them build a true business, not a job.
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