Archives for February 2011

Improve Client Retention: Role Model with your Clients

Client RetentionIn part 1 of this series, Improve Client Retention, I outlined a different approach to the old school way of thinking in coaching. Typically, the old school way is to put the entire onus on the client to get their results. This is about expecting more of myself as a Coach and increasing the results that I get by stepping it up to help clients reach their dreams and goals, and then even surpass them! I am right alongside them, providing the resources they require and being their biggest advocate.

Here are some leadership tips to get you started as a Coach to improve your client retention.

1. Clear Communication

Clear communication is the most important aspect of leading. Coincidentally, open communication about leadership, and the subject of communication will serve as the maintenance necessary to offer continuous growth to a skill set. There are way too many coaches out there, who leave it up to the client to lead in the coaching relationship, and then suffer with an unhappy client, and an empty practice.

2. Approach New Behaviours Carefully

Have you ever gone to a leadership seminar, or heard an awesome speaker propose new tactics or leadership behaviours, only to find that they sounded better than they worked? It happens to everyone. Don’t consider leadership innovation to be an extreme. Use small steps at a time to work your way into leadership, so it fits like a glove. There is a fine balance found in team chemistry, and while certain small changes may present extremely positive results, sometimes seemingly harmless changes result in chemistry lost. Consider all the variables before implementing changes to your present ideas or to your client’s ideas.

3. Coach your Clients to Their Strengths

Most coaches have struggled at one point or another with a client who is simply not producing to their capability. All great leaders experience the same scenario. The response of great leaders is to mould the scheme/work of art toward their client’s strengths. Helping people get pointed in the right direction and creating an ideal environment for their growth and function will increase productivity and allow for some of the best examples of initiative and ingenuity from your clients.

4. Be Upfront

Tell it like it is, while painting it in a positive light and you’ll establish an atmosphere where anything is possible in your business and in your client’s business. This is the easiest way to become an admired leader and the easiest way to be impeccable with your word. Even unfortunate truths can be positive tools for growth and development, and as long as they are spoken of as such, all clients will in the end appreciate being in the know.

5. Always Walk Tall

Confidence and courage as a Coach and leader is a must. That being said, many so-so leaders try to pass off arrogance as confidence. While the two qualities may be related, they don’t work well together under pressure. A quiet, gracious confidence is undeniable from the perspective of a “follower.” Everyone looking to your leadership will undoubtedly model your commendable qualities and leadership traits. There’s no stronger way to build strong client retention than to empower the client who works with you.

I recommend this so strongly that I encourage you to leave comments here so that I can see how you have improved your client’s outcomes, as well as your client retention. After all, you can see how well this works for me, and I can proudly say that I have clients going into their 7th year of mentoring and coaching with me.

Improve Client Retention: Be More of a Leader

Improve Client RetentionOne of the rarest things I’ve seen in my Client Attraction and Client Fascination coaching practice in the last 11 years is that clients are seeing considerably improved results than at the beginning, when I first started out in the business. I can hear you now, and know what you’re thinking, “That’s fairly typical; I know way more now than I did a few years ago and I’m improving what and how I do things.” After all, wouldn’t that make sense?

Over the last few years, I’ve also been doing something significantly distinct in the industry: I’ve stepped up my leadership skills, while being more of a role model with my clients. Now, you may have heard me say my clients on average stay with me on anywhere between 3-6 years, and I never work with anyone who lacks 100% commitment to do doing what it takes to get plenty of ideal clients and grow their business. That is one of the reasons that I have such excellent results with clients (and one of the reasons why they stay with me so long).

What I’m discussing today is a different approach than the old school way of thinking in coaching. Typically, the old school way is to put the entire onus on the client to get their results. This is about expecting more of myself as a Coach and increasing the results that I get by stepping it up to help clients reach their dreams and goals, and then even surpass them! I am right alongside them, providing the resources they require and being their biggest advocate. I see things in my clients before they see them in themselves. Do I expect more of my clients in this process as well? YES!

A client of mine wrote a letter from her heart and said “I love Beverly. She is personally invested in my success just as much as I am. And that is rare in the industry. I know I had coaches before. She does ask a lot of you, and she’ll also give you everything you will ever need to grow a profitable business that you love. She is right there in the trenches with me. I wish that I had found her years ago.” At first glance, when I read her letter, I thought “Wonderful, this client really gets it!” Not only do I ask a lot of my clients, I also ask a lot of myself. I would never ask my client to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.

From laser focus to dedication and commitment, I will do whatever it takes to get ideal clients, swiftly and consistently, create a business that I love, and to get incredible results (see my client success stories, and why I am so rare in the coaching world, with such loyal and high client retention). So when I coach my clients on how to have long term client retention, I’ve been teaching them to ask more of themselves, and then ask more of their clients. When you expect more you will get more, now and in the future.

It’s time for you to start asking more of yourself, and to become more of a leader and role model for your clients, and then to expect more of your clients. Expecting more of yourself, taking a leadership role, and being a business role model will have your clients take you, and what you have to offer much more seriously, and then they’ll take themselves more seriously too. They’ll invest in you and themselves more and they’ll do whatever it takes to get even better results than they could have ever imagined. That creates not only great client retention, but also a huge cheerleader who talks about you to anyone and everyone. You don’t want to just ask your clients for more. You want to step it up as their Coach and take more of a leadership role, being a role model and the type of person they would happily follow and work with.

It’s about caring for them enough to want more for them than they want for themselves. And when you are a great leader and role model, you’ll get more referrals and more ideal clients, and have great client retention. Most importantly, your clients will know in every bone of their body that you are invested in their success as much as you are in yours, and you should be because your success and reputation does depend on your client’s successes.

Next in this 2-part series:

Role Model with Your Clients, learn specific steps you can take to improve your client retention by being a better leader and role modeling with your clients.

How Well Are You Using Facebook For Your Ideal Client Attraction?

There is a big distinction between saying, “I want to be successful using Facebook for my ideal client attraction marketing” and declaring with absolute 100% conviction, “I will do whatever it takes to become successful on Facebook for part of my ideal client attraction marketing!”

Success in finding the way through the popular relationship building and business networking site, Facebook, and using it to meet building and engaging relationships, and monetizing your time and energy works under the same idea. The path to becoming an ideal client attraction magnet on Facebook is paved with ongoing learning, engagement, relationship building, continuous observation, practice and consistent use.

For the last several years, I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs and salespeople to help create ideal client attraction and fascination strategies for their Facebook profiles, designing customized Facebook sales and marketing strategies, and rendering their efforts on the site into positive ideal client attraction results. My utmost joy is taking someone new to Facebook and helping them grows and develops into a self-assured, confident communicator and social networker – in other words, an ideal client attraction and fascination magnet.

Who is the Facebook ideal client attraction magnet in my way of thinking? What do they do that is different from the casual user? I know for sure that the Facebook client attraction magnet doesn’t visit the site every now and then. They have a specific action plan.

I identify the Facebook ideal client attraction magnet as one who attaches high value to the time and energy spent on Facebook, presents very well on the site, respects best engagement and business practices in using it, and fully believes this work to be an essential part of daily ideal client attraction for the long term.

In my opinion, people who are on Facebook but maintain they don’t have time to work on it, have not made the decision to discover its possibilities fully. It could be that there’s something else holding them back such as a lack of faith or understanding of what can do for your business, or a fear of technology. The Facebook ideal client attraction magnet has triumphed over these psychological barriers to success sees the enormous possibilities and is empowered by big thinking and a positive mindset.

To the Facebook ideal client attraction magnet, everything done while being on the site is strategic. All the responsibilities become easy breezy. They are flexible, open to ideas and keen to incorporate new thinking and behaviours. Facebook is a growing platform that rolls out changes and enhancements without any notice. This ideal client attraction magnet is aware of those changes and proactively incorporates the new tools into their strategic action plan. I never view any aspect of Facebook work as chore, nor should you. It is BIG opportunity calling.

Lastly, and most essentially, the Facebook ideal client attraction magnet is ready for success on Facebook. They have their profile, and content filled with compelling content, one that clearly has a unique value proposition and permits for deeper, more meaningful relationships and engagements. There are inbound and outbound links to all relevant Web sites and blogs that are easily located, a professional (current) head shot, and clarity as to the nature of their business offering, services and programs.

The Facebook ideal client attraction magnet profile goes well beyond good marketing; it is, in essence, a means through which personal brand builds and credibility, and visibility is lifted by referrals from clients, colleagues, and centers of influence.

The Facebook ideal client attraction magnet is always connecting, collaborating, communicating, and contributing. It simply just means that on a social networking site dedicated to engagement, relationships and business, these people are generating business.

Do you have what it takes to be a Facebook ideal client attraction magnet? Take a look at what I am doing to fan page and see how well it is working for my business.

Changing Negative Thoughts That Are Costing You Business (And What to Do About Them)

Negativity in BusinessWhen you’re weighed down like a Louis Vuitton bag, with fearful thoughts that weaken your confidence in yourself, you are inclined to see things in your business as more negative than they really are. Before the actual event occurs, you may make negative predictions about how other people will act in response to you, how you will perform, and how events will turn out in your business. After the event, you may make negative assessments of how you handled it. Specific patterns of fearful thinking are linked with social fears. Being conscious of these patterns can help you identify them and save you from losing more business.

1. Perfectionism:

The majority of us like to do things well in our businesses, but some entrepreneurs are so focused on doing things perfectly that it causes an enormous amount of misery. If you are a perfectionist, you may spend much more time on an activity than is necessary, taking time away from more worthwhile activities. Perfectionism can be really trying if someone is watching you. You may be so concerned about making a mistake that you can’t perform very well.

The best way to steer clear of mistakes is not to do anything; lots of perfectionists become a specialist at being procrastinators who achieve very little. Is there anywhere in your business that you are doing this right now, that is costing you sales and clients? Creative entrepreneurs permit themselves to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes as they go along in their businesses. I encourage my students to triple their mistakes in order to double their success in business.

2. All-or-nothing thinking:

This is closely related to the dilemma of perfectionism. When you have an all or nothing style of thinking, when you have a sales conversation with a potential client and it does not go the way you expected, you see yourself as a total failure. Then your thoughts start to run away on you and the next thing you know you are wondering what you are even doing in business. A much more productive and effective approach is to see where you have succeeded in your business and think about where you can do even better in the future.

For instance, let’s say that you create a new connection with a colleague. You have a great connection, a matching work ethic, target market, principles and values. You want to step up the relationship so you could offer to interview them and introduce them to your target audience, as a way to deepen the connection. You could also add them and promote them in your eZine (you get the idea).

3. The world is coming to an end thinking:

This requires taking a discouraging experience and making it into a disaster with your thinking. If you do not get the client, fill your program, or sell your services, you will never in a million years have another chance! In fact, most entrepreneurs speak to several people over the course of a day, week or year, who may not work with them right now, and may come back later, or were just never a match.

4. Miscalculating the risk in a situation:

Most of us know entrepreneurs who were very anxious to the point of excess about getting a lot more of their ideal clients, in spite of their business history of getting plenty of ideal clients and business in the past. Similarly, a really worried entrepreneur can expect sales calls to turn out poorly, even though they frequently turn out very well.

5. Underestimating your capability to manage complicated situations:

You may really add to your anxiety by telling yourself that you will not be able to handle the upcoming sales conversation, work project, or client problem. In actuality you are self-defeating yourself by materializing that outcome that you never wanted in the first place, with your negative thinking.

For many, the word “change” is something to be feared and therefore avoided at all costs in their business. Repeatedly viewing change as if it is a negative event causes us to be narrow-focused. Change can be enjoyable; it does not have to be frightening. Change – much like business – is not black and white. It is easy for us to think in those basic terms, though business is essentially mostly “in the gray.” Think of a few instances when changes occurred in your business which brought you joy – a new opportunity, the birth of new program or service, a new website and blog, a new office.

Imagine now if those things would not have happened in your business. Those are typically viewed as changes that bring us happiness and joy, but if we look for the positive in all change, we can take the lessons we learn and grow from them substantially.

Our views of business have a lot to do with how we respond to or handle things that come up in our business, rather than what happens to us. In what ways can you look at your business more from a viewpoint of gratitude? Where can you see opportunities in your business where you might have otherwise seen regret, frustration, distrust, pain?

Viewing your business this way will help you feel better about yourself and your business now and in the future. Whatever it is that is on your mind, follow your dreams. It is only too late if you tell yourself it is too late and do not do it. Embrace each day and each perceived difficulty as an opportunity and you will be amazed at the doors that will open in your business!

Client Attraction and Retention: Let Your Clients Make the Rules?

Client Attraction RetentionAnn was a complicated situation; stressed, a seasoned realtor who was reluctant to change, she would quickly suggest things would not work in her industry or that can’t happen in my business, and had worked with several other coaches before coming to work with me. All that changed when she joined my Big Thinkers Business Breakthroughs program.

Chucking all the typical rules, this ground breaking program allowed this business veteran to work, sleep and have time off whenever she wanted to – even several days at a time. She was also allowed to work anytime that she wanted, including an unlimited amount of time off – and – I asked her to only do three things a day that generated new business daily. Why do I share this with you?

I share this because Ann’s story is a client care story – and here at Beverly Boston International, I love out-of-the-box stories about client care service management because I speak from experience. How often do “the rules” set by a business interfere with your satisfaction as a client? Rules around cookie cutter coaching programs; ridiculous limits set on discount offers; rules around returns of the things we buy that don’t work. Is the list of rules is longer than the program you are providing?

I take chances in my business. My competition feels threatened to cite me for having long term relationships with my clients who are on average 3-6 years or more, saying “it’s not normal in the industry.” But in my world, I counter that “It is because of my out of the box strategies which are more effective than any cookie cutter programs out there.” I freely admit that some of my clients and members in my programs are allowed to make the rules, which I also describe as a “personalized service.” (I do whatever it takes, because I am personally invested in their success as you will see in most of my success stories!). And by the way, I love it.

Taking risks in caring for my clients are a reward in itself (don’t you feel amazing when you’ve gone out of your way to take care of an ideal client?) But the rewards go beyond feeling good – because client satisfaction is also (obviously) great for business. As the coaching/mentoring industry grows, business coaching is sprouting like dandelions, and competition is strong. So, where will the big thinkers in business who want specialized service go? To an ordinary cookie cutter business coaching program with all the usual rules – or to a program like this one? My bet’s on this program!

I dare you to do a customer service “treasure hunt” in your business – asking clients to look through your rules and policies – looking for opportunities to break or throw out rules, and improve service and most importantly your client retention. Here’s an example. When doing my strategy sessions with new potential clients I used to be reluctant to give too much away and held back information.

But when I changed my small thinking and looked at the bigger long term picture that instantly solved that problem, while making it easier for potential to develop, and for clients to walk away with things that they could use right away. I started to convert 9 out 10 people in every session to long term clients!  Which could then lead to loyal repeat and referral business? Anyone for breaking the rules?