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Boo! Serve, Surprise, and Delight

Growing a practice or a business is way easier than most professionals and service entrepreneurs make it out to be.

Their problem is that they’ve been taught that they need to be frantically and furiously networking, buying and then contacting members off of “hot lists”, writing press releases and making public appearances, and bombarding social media outlets to get their brands “out there”.

All of these practices may have some value, but the most powerful and too often overlooked way to grow a professional practice or service business is to focus first on the clients you already have.  You do this by serving them with all of your ability and in every way you can, and by surprising and delighting them along the way.

If you make your interactions with your past and existing clients as powerful as they can be, they will want to tell stories of their interactions with you to other people.  Fiercely loyal working relationships begin with providing unparalleled service.

SERVE

Great service starts with making “good lemonade”.  In his now-out-of-print 1998 children’s book, Good Lemonade, author Frank Asch tells the story of a boy who starts out with a busy lemonade stand because he offers a better price (with lots of discounts) than his competitor, the boy up the street.

The boy up the street is charging more for the lemonade at his stand.  As the summer days roll on, however, the higher-priced competitor is becoming busier and busier, and fewer people are coming to the less expensive stand.

In the end, our little boy visits his competitor’s stand and learns that the lemonade there is simply much better than his.

How’s your lemonade?  Are you giving your current and past clients enough personal contact?  Are you serving them in every way you can?  Are you doing your best job for them?  These are the minimum standards for great service.

SURPRISE AND DELIGHT

Clients tell stories about you when you do special things to show you care, such as:

~Calling them on their birthdays
~Knowing when their anniversaries are and surprising them with timely gifts
~Sending them articles or books that you know they’ll find interesting or helpful
~Bringing their kids face-painting kits on Halloween or pies on Thanksgiving
~Remembering their favorite flavors of ice cream
~Bringing chew toys for their pets
~Stopping by or calling for no reason at all—just to see how they’re doing.

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In my past life as a lawyer, I would arrive at a real estate closing with a bottle of champagne for my clients and present it to them when all the papers were signed and the money had finally changed hands.  Not only did I delight my clients—who came back to me again for other reasons and who referred their friends and associates to me—but sometimes I also delighted the people on the other side of the transaction, who would hire me the next time around.  Was it just so they could get a bottle of champagne at their closing, or had they seen how well I worked with my clients all along?

I remember one realtor saying, I should have thought of that!”  (And she should have.)

If going out of your way like this seems too much to fathom, remember that there’s a huge difference between doing things so that your clients will think you’re “a nice person”, and doing things to acknowledge and value your clients as human beings—to thank them for their continued relationship with you.

Make an effort not only to serve, but to surprise and delight your best clients, and they will tell stories about you to their friends and associates.  Those listeners may just want to have good stories to tell about their service provider, as well—and they’ll know where to find one the next time around.

Learn to send chills with your spookily-good service, and keep REACHING…

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Register for My Webinar Today!

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Take advantage of my 17 years of experience working with financial and insurance advisors at all levels by attending my webinar: How to Triple Your Qualified Leads in 30 Days

If you want more clients with less stress and without spending a lot of money, you’ll want to tune in NOW!

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And don’t forget to join us for our PowerMinutes Coffee Break!

TODAY, November 1st
And every Tuesday at 10 AM Eastern.

Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more.

Just grab your brew and come to http://sandyschussel.com/conference

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sandy09

Want more info?  Email issues?  Please, contact me here!

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Relationship Question: Is It the Right Time…

We’ve heard all the theories on the “right timing” of getting referrals from your clients. But there’s an easy way to tell if it’s ok to ask! First, ask about the relationship…using the core questions in this week’s PowerMinute.

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Register for My Webinar Today!

3-leads

Take advantage of my 17 years of experience working with financial and insurance advisors at all levels by attending my webinar: How to Triple Your Qualified Leads in 30 Days

If you want more clients with less stress and without spending a lot of money, you’ll want to tune in NOW!

_____________________________________________________________________

And don’t forget to join us for our PowerMinutes Coffee Break!

TOMORROW, October 18th
And every Tuesday at 10 AM Eastern.

Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more.

Just grab your brew and come to http://sandyschussel.com/conference

_____________________________________________________________________

sandy09

Want more info?  Email issues?  Please, contact me here!

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Focus on Where You Want to Go–Not the Wall!

If you’re racing toward a curve and you focus on the wall you don’t want to hit–you’ll probably hit it.

Race car drivers like Scott Dixon and Jimmie Johnson know that whether it’s a wall or a wreck in front of you, your focus needs to be on where you want to go, not the obstacle.

This idea has been on my mind lately as the news focuses on America’s political circus. One thing people tend to forget about politics is that you can’t have a show without an audience. The discord becomes a spectacle because people are focused on the drama, rather than on facts and forward movement.

Informed citizens, on the other hand, take the view that they play a part in how the country will shape up, and they know that if they pay attention and contribute wisely, they’ll have a positive impact. They’re looking at where they want to go–not at the “wrecked” political system.

My purpose here, however, is not to give you political advice. It’s to show you that while external events beyond our control–like political crisis or accidents on the racetrack–do throw roadblocks in our way, the people who continue to have successes are the ones who focus on where they want to go and how they can get there, not on the mess right in front of them.

I hear struggling professionals focused on their walls every day:

“Voting this year will be a lose-lose.”

“Recruiting for new salespeople is impossible.”

“No one is buying [my kind of service] right now.”

When you focus on where you want to go instead of the wall, what you say sounds more like this:

“I’m doing all I can to decipher the facts and vote wisely.”

“I’m speaking to more and more people and strengthening my recruiting skills.”

“I’m finding ways to add value so that people buy [my kind of service].”

Don’t hit the wall or become part of whatever wreck is on the road in front of you. Focus on where you want to go, and you’ll have a lot better chance of getting there.

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So keep your steering sharp, and keep REACHING…

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Register for My Webinar Today!

3-leads

Take advantage of my 17 years of experience working with financial and insurance advisors at all levels by attending my webinar: How to Triple Your Qualified Leads in 30 Days

If you want more clients with less stress and without spending a lot of money, you’ll want to tune in NOW!

_____________________________________________________________________

And don’t forget to join us for our PowerMinutes Coffee Break!

TODAY, October 4th
And every Tuesday at 10 AM Eastern.

Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more.

Just grab your brew and come to http://sandyschussel.com/conference

_____________________________________________________________________

sandy09

Want more info?  Email issues?  Please, contact me here!

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We KNOW That Referrals Are Good for US, but…

You got into your business because you wanted to help people. But the people you help want to do the same! Change your mindset to give CLIENTS the opportunity to serve those they love by referring them…to you.

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Take advantage of my 17 years of experience working with financial and insurance advisors at all levels by attending my webinar:

If you want more clients with less stress and without spending a lot of money, you’ll want to tune in NOW!

_____________________________________________________________________

coffee

And don’t forget to join us for our PowerMinutes Coffee Break!

TOMORROW, September 13th
And every Tuesday at 10 AM Eastern.

Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more.

Just grab your brew and come to http://sandyschussel.com/conference

or join us by Phone: (646) 558-8656 or (408) 638-0968, Meeting ID: 712-034-6888

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sandy09

Want more info?  Email issues?  Please, contact me here!

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Success Is about Action…

How is your world occurring to you? Play a game where you do and say what the “best” in your profession would, rather than what you would usually do and say. Sandy explains how being that successful person (by acting as though you are) will open the door to your own personal best.

Give ‘Em a Pickle!

In 1973, at the age of 46, Bob Farrell sold his 55-store ice cream business, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlors, and became a motivational speaker. Some time before that date, he had received a letter from a customer who was very disappointed.  She had asked for an extra pickle with her meal at one of his stores, and had been charged for it.

Farrell promptly sent the woman an apology and began teaching his staff to “Give ‘em the pickle!” Bob died last year at the age of 87–but to the very last, the former ice cream king was talking about this principle.

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Farrell defined “pickles” as those extra-special things you can do to make customers happy. In one business, it may be walking a customer over to an item she’s looking for rather than just pointing. In another, it may be a handwritten “thank you” note in every order shipped. The trick in any practice or service business is figuring out what the particular pickle is for your particular clients, and then to make sure they each get one as often as possible.

Farrell’s Pickle Principle contains four main concepts:

  • Service: Farrell said serving others must be your number one priority. You work in a noble profession–whatever profession it is–so be proud of what you do and where you work.
  • Attitude: Every day you get to choose your attitude. How you think about your clients is how you will treat them. “In a way, you’re in show business,” Farrell told his audience, “so play the part!”
  • Consistency: Clients return because they like what happened the last time. Set high service standards and live them every day. Tea on a silver platter twice–but not the third time–can rattle a client.
  • Teamwork: If you’re working with a team, commit to providing service through together. Look for ways to make each other look good while you’re serving your clients.

Always give your clients or customers a pickle, and keep REACHING…

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To Close the Sale…

If clients like and trust you, they’ll want to do business with you. But when you’re trying to close a sale, you can’t be focused on pleasing people. You have to be focused on serving them.

THE POWER OF “1”

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Back next Tuesday, June 21st—
PowerMinutes Coffee Break is up and running!

Every Tuesday morning at 10 AM Eastern
I’m hosting live, 15-minute *cups of coaching*…

Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more. Nothing is off limits!
No registration required!

Just grab your brew and come to https://zoom.us/j/7120346888

or join us by Phone: (646) 558-8656 or (408) 638-0968, Meeting ID: 712-034-6888
or by iPhone One-Tap: 16465588656,7120346888# or 14086380968,7120346888#
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Power of 1

One of my coaching colleagues, James G. Butler, shared a story a short time ago about how much fear can cost you:

At the Seattle airport, James was in the security checkpoint lineup, where the wait was likely to be over 2 hours long. James had showed up with plenty of time.

Another man, however, was booked on an international flight to Germany and had showed up with only 45 minutes to get to the gate.

After a failed attempt to sweet-talk the security guard in the first class line, that man found himself behind James on the regular people’s line. As James saw it, the man’s only option was to ask everyone in the normal line if he could to go in front of them.

But he wasn’t doing it.

Even though over $1000—the cost of having to rebook—was on the line, the man told James that he would not ask 300 people if he could advance ahead. It was clear that he was afraid to ask so many people for their help; afraid of putting himself in the vulnerable place of possible rejection, over and over and over. In that moment, he was paralyzed by his fear.

James suggested that he did not have to ask 300 people for anything. He just needed to ask one person at a time. He was letting the enormity of the entire journey cripple him from starting with just one step.

James asked him if he was willing to just ask one person at a time, and the man acknowledged that doing it that way sounded much easier. He asked the person in front of James if he could move ahead, so that he could make his plane. And then he asked the next person, and the next…

James watched the man as he made it to the front of the line in 10 minutes flat, now certain to make the flight.

The lesson here is simple: REMEMBER THE POWER OF “1”. When you’re overwhelmed, or fearful about the enormity of a goal or project, focus on one tiny part of it. Do one thing. And then do one more.

Instead of compiling a list of 50 people to reach out to, think of one person and reach out to him or her. Then another. Then another. Before you know it, you’ll have contacted 50 people.

Use The Power of “1” to change your view of the tasks that overwhelm you, and little by little, keep REACHING…

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Don’t Let THIS Be What Holds You Back…

COMING SOON:  Sandy’s PowerMinutes Coffee Break!

Starting June 14th, join Sandy live for a 15-minute *cup of coaching* every Tuesday morning at 10 AM Eastern. Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more. Nothing is off limits! https://zoom.us/j/7120346888.

For more information email: sandywillhelp@gmail.com, or text: 609-578-7207. Throw Away the Old Call In Number and Join Us at https://zoom.us/j/7120346888

How you view your success is a matter of choosing your focus. Do you believe the thoughts of the jealous people in your life? Or, can you focus on your own thoughts of deserving success, so that you don’t sabotage it?

Your Need Is the Ugliest Thing

“I most certainly did not need a lecture!” Marie, an internet consultant, wrote me this week.

Last week, I had asked for proposals for help with an internet project I’m working on, and Marie had been the first to respond.  Her email had specifically addressed my request and was filled with enthusiasm, and she appeared to have experience in both of the areas in which I needed help.  Each of the other consultants who responded only had skills in one area or the other.

When I spoke to Marie a few days ago, we got a little more into the details of the project, and I told her that I still wanted to talk with the three other experts who responded, but that I would get back to her after my conversations and after reviewing her detailed proposal.

Marie then called me on Monday to make sure I had received the proposal, and to find out if I had reviewed it.

Yesterday, just one week after our initial contact and two days after her follow-up call, she wrote:

I’ve yet to hear back from you, so I guess it’s safe to assume you’ve decided on hiring someone else.

Regardless of your intention, a note like this conveys a neediness and negativity that can make a prospective buyer of your services run for cover.  There were several good reasons why Marie didn’t hear back from me this week.  What basis did she have to assume I had gone elsewhere?  Was her intention to “guilt” me into reassuring her that I hadn’t made a decision yet, or to decide to use her?

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Upon receipt of Marie’s note, I could have: (a) decided that the negative, needy tone was a turnoff and simply made Marie’s message a self-fulfilling prophecy, or (b) ignored the negative and needy tone.  But because my work is helping professionals get more clients (something about me Marie needed to know), I chose option (c), to tell her how her letter might appear to a prospective client:

…It’s a giant and negative leap to assume that because a week has gone by, I’ve decided to work with someone else.  A better approach might be to ask if there’s any way you can help a client decide.

I haven’t made my decision yet–let’s talk again next week!

Marie’s response is above.  She also said,

Perhaps we would not be a good fit after all.

When you’re trying to attract clients, your need for their business is the ugliest thing you can show them.  Perhaps I shouldn’t give my advice where it hasn’t been requested–a good lesson for me!  But perhaps the reason “we’re not a good fit after all” is that I was right about my sense that Marie had shown me that her need to have another client was more important than my need as a prospective client.

By the way, had Marie understood why I was giving her advice on dealing with prospective clients, it would have shown me she completely understands the work I do, and she would have surely had the job.  She could have disagreed with my interpretation of her email, or on my tone, and we might have discussed it–but none of that can happen now.

Marie wanted more clients…but she didn’t want help.  If you do want to attract clients to your practice or service business, welcome help, be gentle, assume the best, and keep REACHING…

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