Monday’s terrifying financial news may have your clients running scared.
You may be finding that people are holding back. Contracts aren’t being renewed and new people just aren’t signing on. Even referrals are dwindling.
If you’ve already been confronted by the hysteria, or you’re worried that it’s about to happen, don’t succumb to the herd mentality. Accept that others are acting-or not acting-out of fear, but don’t let them scare you, too.
Times like these require you to act, not to run and hide. Fewer clients means more time spent on attracting new clients and an opportunity to shore up relationships with the ones you have. Here are some things to work on:
1. Plan your marketing. Too many professionals just “wing” it, calling a few old clients and asking a few of their current clients for referrals. Have an actual plan – a definite strategy to locate and attract new prospects and convert them into clients.
2. Increase your marketing efforts. The classic business mistake is to reduce marketing efforts and expenses when the economy is down. This is a time to sustain – even increase – these efforts. If you want to hold down some of your marketing expenses, fine, but then increase your “guerilla” marketing: go out there and network, speak, and socialize with existing clients.
3. “Package” your services. I teach clients that their clients prefer “programs” or “packages” over something vague like “consulting services.” A package has a list of included services (“deliverables”) and promises or guarantees at least a minimum outcome, usually for a fixed price.
4. Offer “tiers” of service. If your “dance card” isn’t full, you’re better off with more business at a reduced price than sticking to your fee structure. The best way to do this is by creating three tiers of service. If a prospective client can’t afford the Platinum Service, he or she might take the Gold or Silver Service.
5. Spend time with existing and past clients. Reconnect with clients who were happy with your services by checking to see how things are going for them. Reassure existing clients that you understand their fears and that you’re there for them.
6. Maximize your use of testimonials. Convince prospective clients of the value of your services by showing them case studies that highlight the results you produced for a current or former client. Help them see that hiring you is an investment, rather than an expense.
7. Get help to perfect your practice. If some of the concepts in this article are foreign to you or uncomfortable, get help with them. My clients aren’t in a state of panic. Find out how to join them by contacting me now.
In the meantime, keep REACHING…