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High-End Clients Marketing - Part III

If a client hires you as a coach, consultant or trainer and the client doesn't get the results they expected, who's to blame?

You are!

After all, they hired you to produce results. But all the time, I hear excuses like the following.

- "Well, they were responsible for doing the actual work - and they didn't follow through." 

- "It's hard to measure something like this - there are so many variables."  

- "Given the scope of the job, it wasn't realistic that they'd get the kind of results they expected." 

- "Well, my clients just don't have the budget to pay for the more in-depth programs I'd like to offer." 

All of this absolves you of responsibility. And in my humble opinion this is no more than professional negligence and ignorance of how business actually works. 

Let me answer each of these and explain the role of "high-end programs and services" in all of this. 

1. "Well, they were responsible for doing the actual work - and  they didn't follow through."

Yes, they were responsible for doing the actual work but you didn't set things up to make sure the work actually happened. You didn't provide the support and follow-up necessary to get the results they wanted and needed. 

Look, clients will resist change. That's a given. So you need to package your services to take that into account. 

One client I worked with wouldn't do any assignments I gave him. Instead of blaming him, I talked to him three times a week and outlined very specific actions he could take. Ultimately he got his work done.

2. "It's hard to measure something like this - there are so many  variables."

It's hard to measure because you didn't try or require it from the client. Are you in business to help clients improve their situation or are you in business to go through a process?

If clients are paying you to perform a process to check off a box, they're idiots. Don't work for them. Find clients who are committed to producing results - and charge them a premium. 

Great clients are open to measurement and accountability. Make this a keystone of your all services and programs. And then take the initiative to make things happen and measure success. 

3. "Given the scope of the job, it wasn't realistic that they'd get  the kind of results they expected."

Then why did you agree to the scope if it couldn't produce results? Can you imagine that a doctor would say to you, "Well, OK, I know this operation is not in your budget, so we'll just do half an operation. You can sew yourself up and save quite a bit."

Insanity, right? But that's exactly what we do when we agree to do a project or service that simply won't produce the results you want. "You want three days of training to transform your leadership. Err… ok we can do that!"

NO, YOU CAN'T!!!!!!!

4. "Well, my clients just don't have the budget to pay for the more in-depth programs I'd like to offer." 

Sounds reasonable, right? The thing is, you forget that you are not selling coaching, consulting or training. Those are just processes, remember. No, you are selling results. 

So in your sales process you need to spend a lot of time exploring with the prospect what they REALLY want. Nobody goes into enough depth here. It's all superficial. "We want to increase sales." OK, next question. 

Why do they want to increase sales? What will it mean to them if they do? What will it mean to them if they don't? And why are they having such a hard time increasing sales? What's underneath that? Do they want to change that as well?

When you have listened and understood the deepest yearnings of a potential client and demonstrated that you can help them fulfill those lodgings, you have a prospect that will pay you to help them produce those results. 

What you need to do. 

Now I'm not saying you won't bump into idiot prospects who want miracles from you without doing their part or suggesting a project that has virtually no chances of success.

But you don't have to work for them! 

If you want to grow your business, you need successes that are measurable, that make a real difference to your clients. If you don't, what foundation are you building your business on? 

This is why I feel it's so important to focus ALL your marketing efforts on attracting high-end clients. 

A high-end client is a great client that understands what it takes to produce a result and is willing to invest in that result. They are also willing to take the time necessary to produce a result. They know big change doesn't come instantly. Finally, they are willing to pay fees considerably higher than ordinary clients. 

If you attract clients like this, you'll not only produce results you're proud of, you'll get more word-of-mouth business, attracting the attention of even more high-end clients. And one high-end client is usually worth 4 or 5 ordinary clients. 

Oh, yeah and your income will increase pretty dramatically as well. Would that be OK with you? I hope so!

So how do you attract more high-end clients? 

I'd like to invite you to attend my 2-month, 4-session Coaching Call Series on "Attracting High-End Clients." This program is priced at $197 but you can actually attend for free if you're willing to do the work and participate fully. 

See the details here: http://actionplan.com/highend-biz

The More Clients Bottom Line: You don't produce the results you could in your business because you are not working on projects that have the remotest possibility of producing those results. So you blame the clients. Instead, take responsibility for attracting high-end clients who will gladly pay you to work with them to produce results at a whole new level. 

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Vrinda Normand lives just down the road from me in Felton California. I met her at a workshop with another marketing friend, Bill Baren and wqas impressed by her business. Last year I interviewed her for my Marketing Club and I invited her to write a guest column for More Clients this week and to lead a complimentary teleseminar next week.

This article will demonstrate how personal stories work to attract more clients to your business  

By Guest Author Vrinda Normand, The Irresistible Writing Mentor

Sharing your personal story is the strongest way to build connection and trust with potential clients. I am often surprised how much people are impacted and inspired by my life experiences. Even people I've never met tell me how they can relate to me and how they're encouraged to take action because they've seen me do it.

Telling my story isn't all about the successes and positive results I've created. It's also about being vulnerable and real about the not-so-great stuff that happens.

Before I started my business, I was seriously burned out in my job. Working as an investigative journalist started out exciting but became stressful and draining. I know how frustrating it is to feel undervalued and overworked when you KNOW there's a bigger, more meaningful life purpose out there for you.

Starting my business took a lot of courage. I invested $10,000 in my first business training program, and that was a HUGE leap of faith because I didn't have savings and I wasn't even getting a paycheck. I was on unpaid medical leave, struggling with a serious liver illness, and living with my parents.

I did the payment plan with the help of credit cards knowing the resources would show up if I stayed committed to my vision. I often tell this story to potential clients who want to make the investment in our marketing training programs.

Sharing the transformations I've been through helps my potential clients see what's possible for them – and how they can leap despite fear and inconvenient circumstances. 

"I totally know what you're going through – I've done it. There is HOPE."

And then there's the uplifting part of my story – I built a 6-figure business within my first 2 years and then went on to double and triple my revenues. I'm now at the half million-dollar level and I'm working LESS than when I was at my job. 

I've grown my business with balance so I don't get burned out again. I love working from home in my recliner just about 30 hours a week. I've got a full view of the forest and creek just outside my window. Life is awesome! I get to serve clients all over the world with our virtual training programs, and I'm making a profound and valuable impact in other people's lives.

Sharing the positive part of your story helps increase desire about the outcome your potential clients crave. They want results even MORE when they hear real-life stories from your life and the lives of your successful clients. Remember to be specific and give all the juicy details about how great things are!

If your story isn't the same kind of transformation your clients go through, I recommend focusing on why you're passionate about serving them. Then of course, tell the stories of clients you've helped get results.

To recap, here are my Top 3 Tips for storytelling that moves your potential clients into action:

1. Be vulnerable and transparent about challenges you've struggled with, especially those similar to the problems your potential clients have.

2. Share stories about how you invested in yourself to get solutions and results – this is a huge part of encouraging others to take the leap and invest in themselves through your offerings.

3. Share the real-life results you've created for yourself so your potential clients see what's possible for them too.

I'll be sharing the #1 way to attract your ideal clients online in my upcoming teleseminar "Irresistible Headlines That Sell." 

Make your reservation at this link:

www.irresistibleheadlinesthatsell.com/

About the Author

Vrinda Normand started her writing career as an investigative journalist. She published 100's of articles and front-page cover stories for over 200,000 readers across the United States before transforming her word-savvy skills to help heart-based entrepreneurs attract more clients and sales online. 

Vrinda grew her Irresistible Writing Training Company from 0 to multiple 6-figures in just 3 years. She serves over 1,000 clients in more than 10 countries. Her clients have grown 6-figure online businesses thanks to the strategies she teaches.

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Deciding on overall marketing strategies are vital, of course. 

 
Do you offer individual coaching or offer packaged programs? Do you emphasize social media over teleclasses? And do you go after individual clients over companies? But when it comes to day-to-day marketing decisions, tactics are what count. 
 
Let's imagine a marketing scenario where you're the hero. 
 
You chose the strategy of speaking to professional groups. One of your associates also decides on the same strategy and you go about it in similar ways. You both contact organizations, send materials, follow up, get booked for talks and give a number of talks over a few months. 
 
But you've studied the finer points of the tactics of marketing with speeches and your associate hasn't. Your speaking strategy emerges with twenty ideal new clients while your friend gets only three or four, ultimately deciding that speaking is not a profitable marketing strategy. 
 
But you know differently, as you implement several tactics that your associate didn't even consider. Here are just a few of them: 
 
1. You contact organizations by phone to make sure you send your materials to the right person and pre-determine if they even use speakers at their events. Your associate sends blind emails to organizations. You got requests for more information from qualified groups, they got very few.
 
2. You asked if they'd like information on your talk by email or by snail mail and sent what they requested. Your associate didn't even ask. If there was a nibble, they immediately sent their information out by email. 
 
3. You promoted one talk in your materials and included a detailed write-up about your topic and a complete bio that they could use in their promotion. Your associate sent a list of several talks to choose from with few details. They included other information but not much that could be used in promotion. 
 
4. When you followed up you used the phone and didn't try to sell. You just asked questions, found out more about the organization and focused on developing a relationship. Your associate sent email follow-ups several times talking only about how great his talks were. 
 
5. When you prepared the talk, you put together very focused slides with more graphics to highlight key points and not too many words. Your associate put together about four times the slides, mostly with bullet-pointed lists. 
 
6. When you gave the talk, at the end, you offered more information in the form of an article. You held up a copy of the article and asked for a show of hands from those who wanted a copy. Then you collected business cards from about 80% of the audience. Your associate mentioned an article as an afterthought and simply asked people to email him if they'd like a copy. He didn't collect cards and got less than 10% of the audience requesting his article. 
 
7. Finally, at the end of the talk, you offered a complimentary Strategy Session to those who were ready to produce results at a higher level and got about 25% of the audience to request a session. His associate never even considered offering a strategy session. 
 
8. After the talk you emailed your article and invited them to join your e-list. You followed up with those who requested strategy sessions and sent a pre-session questionnaire to prepare them for the meeting. Your associate waited for the phone to ring.
 
9. You earned $250,000 from your speaking strategy. Your friend generated about $30,000. 
 
So, yes, strategy is important, but tactics rule!
 
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High-End Clients Marketing - Part II
 
Last week I outlined all the things you have to do to attract more high-end clients. (See the link to my old blog here.)
 
But I left out the most important part of all - and that's the mindset you must have to attract high-end clients. I'm not talking about abundance thinking or having a prosperity attitude about making more money. Sorry, but in my experience those don't work. If they did, all you'd have to do is think positive, abundant thoughts about attracting high-end clients.
 
And presto-changeo, you'd have more high-end clients before you knew it. Wow, wouldn't that be great! Think all the abundance thoughts you want, affirming that more clients will flow effortlessly into your life. But underneath all those prosperity thoughts would be the thoughts you *really* believed. 
 
Perhaps some of these are familiar to you:
 
     - I'm not ready to attract high-end clients yet
     - I don't have the experience and services to offer
     - I'm not the kind of person who makes a lot of money
     - If I made a lot of money bad things would happen to me
     - Money is the root of all evil (and I want to be good!)
     - Good people aren't focused on making money
     - Only greedy, dishonest people are rich
     - It takes too much work to make lots of money
     - Making more money will turn me into a shallow person
 
And if these underlying thoughts are stronger than your abundance thoughts, you simply won't take the actions necessary to attract those high-end clients. 
 
Let me tell you about two participants in my Marketing Mastery Program from 2010. They were a couple from England who did high-impact business coaching. Their coaching to top executives made a significant impact to the bottom line of their clients. Their clients loved working with them and valued their work highly.
 
And they were charging about half the going rate. 
 
I explored this with them and an interesting set of beliefs emerged. They went something like this: "We consider ourselves, good, honest professionals. If we were to charge more and make more money we'd be bad, dishonest people."
 
Sounds crazy, I know!
 
They both believed this to their core, so I explored that belief with them. "Where do you think that belief might have come from?" I asked. They told me they were brought up in relatively poor households where their parents kept telling them how bad and dishonest rich people were. I remarked that this was a great message to justify being poor!
 
And with a little more conversation they clearly saw how they had taken on this belief, with little real evidence to back it up. So we explored this belief in more depth and they realized a few things:
 
1. This belief was simply not true. No solid proof at all. 
 
2. When they believed it, it became almost impossible for them to ask for higher fees from their clients. It was just unthinkable. It actually made them feel like bad people.
 
3. They noticed when they did the thought exercise: "How would you set your fees if you could no longer attach to that belief?" they told me immediately, "We'd double our rates!"
 
And with a little more exploration into their poverty-related beliefs and creating an action plan for increasing their rates, they took the plunge and did it. And they didn't need "abundance/prosperity thinking." Instead, they started to think realistically:
 
"People who make more money are not necessarily bad, dishonest people, and if we raise our rates there's no reason to think we'll change as people." And, "We really are under-charging for our services in this marketplace, which makes us look less valuable than we really are. Time to raise our rates!"
 
So they doubled their rates, didn't feel bad or dishonest about it and got virtually no push-back from their clients. Happy end to story!
 
My guess is that you have a similar story, but not necessarily with a happy ending yet. Perhaps you're not charging enough, haven't packaged your services on the high end, or your services are not designed to produce measurable results, etc.
 
The More Clients Bottom Line: I want to assure you that this is something you can do. With a transformation of your mindset, and a few changes in the way your present, market and sell your services, it's not only possible, but predictable that you wil start attracting higher-end clients who will love working with you. 
 
If you'd like to know all about my approach to attracting more high-end clients, please join me for a teleclass this week where I'll share all the details of what to do to make it happen for you. It's on Thursday, September 1 at 12 noon Pacific. Details here:
 
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On Monday, September 29, the Dow slumped nearly 778 points, in the biggest single-day point loss ever, after the House rejected the government's $700 billion bank bailout plan.

The whole week before as I watched the news reports on CNN and MSNBC the message I kept hearing was: "If the House doesn't pass the bank bailout plan soon, the stock market will probably crash." I heard this numerous times over the week of September 21.   

So instead of standing around with my hands in my pockets, on September 26 I converted all my retirement money that was in stock mutual funds into Treasury bills.  

When the market crashed on the 29th I looked like a genius. But all I was doing was heeding the warning that the train was about to go over a cliff. And our retirement funds were secure.   

Over the next few years we re-invested our retirement money in real estate rentals and other investments, but I did reivenst some in the stock market.   

Right now if you are listening to the news about the debt ceiling, you are hearing how if it isn't passed by August 2 (2 weeks away), the stock market will tumble again.   

We can't know that for sure, and the President and Congress may just come to an agreement in 2 weeks. But why would I bet on that? On Monday I'm converting all my remaining stocks to cash.   

Look, I'm not recommending this. I'm not a financial advisor, but this is what I personally am going to do. And how could this possibly hurt me? If the debt ceiling issue gets handled and the stock market keeps perking along as if nothing had happened, then I'll just reinvest my money a few weeks later. This isn't a risky speculation.   

But if the debt ceiling issue is not resolved and stocks do take another tumble, I'll have saved several thousand dollars. Seems like a no-brainer to me.   

Something to think about.   

Cheers, Robert 

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This formula for marketing success may be more important than any marketing strategy and technique you ever learn or implement. 

Plan
Planning means figuring out what you want and coming up with a strategy to get yourself there. Very few people plan their marketing – they do it randomly and inconsistently. You wouldn’t build a house randomly – you’d hire an architect. So too with marketing. Get someone to help you build a marketing plan that will bring you all the ideal clients you want.

Prepare
Preparing means studying the principles and practices of marketing. You need to put things in place and create a solid foundation for your marketing. Prepare a quality web site, a business identity, your marketing messages, your various marketing strategies. Prepare your marketing as you’d prepare a delicious meal for a loved one.

Practice
Much of marketing is speaking to others about your business either one-on-one or in groups. If you have a meeting, a teleclass, a keynote or a webinar you need to go beyond preparation, you need to practice out loud - and several times - before you are ready to go on the marketing stage. If you had a part in a Shakespearean play, you wouldn’t improvise it. No, you’d practice for a long time until you were completely confident you could wow the audience.

Perform
When you are on the marketing stage, communicating about your business through any media – whether though face-to-face meetings, teleclasses, a workshop, or even social media - what you say and how you say it counts. And when you work with clients, your performance is the yardstick they measure you by. We may judge ourselves by our intentions, however our prospects and clients judge us only by our performance.

Persist
Perfection is impossible, but doing your very best is always within your reach. And doing your best takes persistence. You don’t always feel like going the extra mile; it’s easy to think up excuses, why you can’t do something well. But if you are ever to reach the high goals you've set for yourself, persistence is the key. It’s wonderful if you’re talented, even better if you have connections, and great if you’ve been given opportunities. But I will always bet on the person who has persistence, above everything else, because in the process they will also master planning, preparation, practice and performance. 

Print this out and read it daily until you embody the Marketing Power Formula. You are free to forward this as long as you include a link back to actionplan.com.
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One of the old bromides of marketing is, "You've got to have a marketing mix, or a balanced mix of marketing activities." And many Independent Professionals do that by networking, speaking, blogging, doing social media, ezines, etc. And yet they are still frustrated that all this marketing activity is not producing a constant stream of ideal clients. 

It's not the marketing mix that produces great marketing results, it's the concept, design and execution of the marketing activities you're already doing that produces great results. 

And if you look at most of your marketing activities, the adjective that describes most of them is "random." You are caught in an activity trap: lots of movement, but little direction towards a definite aim.

Let's take a marketing activity that's very popular right now: social media. The activity trap is to post a lot of stuff on Facebook and Twitter and then hope somebody calls you some day. People put up quotes from other people, links to other sites, random comments, or sometimes direct promotion for a teleclass or webinar. All of this feels very random. And it's based on hope, not a real plan.

I believe a good social media plan needs to revolve around your own content, your own ideas. Here's a social medial plan that has a chance of working:

1. Write a frequent blog post (3 to 5 times a week.) It doesn't have to be long, but should have pithy, actionable information addressed to your ideal clients.  

2. Post a blurb and links to this post on Facebook and Twitter. In my experience, this leads to immediate web traffic, to your site, not somebody elses. It depends on the number of Friends and Followers you have, but for me this results in 100 or more visitors for every blog post.

3. Have a link at the bottom of your blog post to the services you offer on your website. Then some of those visitors will visit that page and actually contact you (immediately or eventually) or order something you have online.

Now you have a step-by-step process for a specific marketing activity that can be done consistently and methodically to produce results. From there you can add other marketing activities, but always make sure they have a direction and process that leads to prospects learning about how you can help them and a way to contact you.

Click here to become a better marketer of your services

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If you can zero in on the three biggest problems, challenges or issues your clients face and communicate those far and wide, you'll get more attention than almost any other marketing method.

Yes, results, outcomes and benefits are important as well. But those are easier to hear once you've gotten someone's attention with the stuff that's really bugging them. It's as if you're a psychic or a fly on the wall who's been listening in to their conversations.

You see, we're thinking about our problems, what's not working, more than we're thinking about what's working.

For several years we've had a spare bedroom in our house that was more or less our junk room. It drove me crazy. Every time I looked into the room, I shuddered with a kind of dismayed revulsion. I was always thinking about how terrible that room was.

Now if you were an interior decorator, your messages might be about how wonderful and beautiful and relaxing your newly designed spare bedroom could be.

But that wouldn't get my attention. Because that's not what I've been thinking about. But if, instead, your message focused on the problem, you'd have my immediate attention:

Do you have a spare bedroom that's turned into a junk room?
Do you shudder with dismay and revulsion every time you look inside?
Are you frustrated by how awful this room is and wish it could be different?

Well, that kind of language would have me picking up the phone immediately. Because this interior designer was speaking the words and creating the images that were already in my own mind.

Your job as a marketer of your professional services is to speak the language of your clients, and that language is about the problems, issues and challenges they are thinking about all the time.

Then you can talk about all the wonderful things they will get and how beautiful that room will look.

And yes, we remodeled the room and it's beautiful indeed!

       

Click here to become a better marketer of your professional services.

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 Every once in awhile I work with a client who is really stuck. Usually they are sabotaging their success in one way or the other. And no matter how much you encourage them, it doesn't work. However, underneath that stuckness is typically a core belief that stands in the way of success. Here are a few I've seen: 

A woman who kept finding ways to fail despite her brilliance and talent. 

A couple who couldn't raise the prices in their business even though they were way under market. 

A man who always procrastinated about putting his great ideas into action. 

In each case I helped them explore their underlying beliefs, and in all cases they were doozies. 

The woman's belief was, "If I succeed I'll go blind." So any time she got near success she found a way to sabotage herself.

The couple's belief was, "If we charge more money we'll turn into con artists." Just the thought of raising their prices made them feel like low-lifes. 

And the man's belief was, "If I take action that isn't perfect, I'll be punished." So he avoided punishment by avoiding action. 

When they all saw their underlying beliefs and realized how they had been formed many years ago to protect themselves from some kind of harm (which was no longer valid), the grip that belief had on them simply disappeared. They could move forward without fear and produce results that were impossible for them before. 

Do you have an underlying core belief that is holding you back? Not everyone necessarily has beliefs of these kind, but many do and they are debilitating. This kind of belief tends to follow this formula: "If I do X (X being something desirable they want in their lives) then Y (Y being something very negative) will happen. 

Searching for, uncovering and realizing the consequence of these beliefs can change your life. 

Become a better marketer of your professional services

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This blog post is courtesy of Lawrence J. Peter from his book, "The Peter Pyramid."

"We are a strange people. We spend our lives doing things we detest, to make money for things we don't need, to impress people we don't like. We never want to be doing what we're doing. When we eat, we read; when we watch TV, we eat; when we drive, we listen to music; when we listen to music, we work around the house. When we want to be with friends, we go to a noisy restaurant; when we want to party, we spend the evening trying to converse."

This was written back in 1986 and since then, things have only gotten worse. When we're on the phone, we're checking our email; when we watch TV we surf the web; when we're on the web, we watch Youtube. And when we do practically anything else we're on our cell phones.

It's no wonder people are so stressed and overwhelmed. Do we even know what it means to do one thing at a time with full attention? But if we don't have attention, we are missing life. Attention is life.  

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Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has for 30 years, been helping Self-Employed Professionals attract more of their ideal clients.  He offers the online membership site, The More Clients Club, and individual coaching and consulting through his Marketing Action Coaching. If this is your first visit to the More Clients blog, make sure to get a copy of the Marketing Plan Workbook and join the Marketing Club Forum for free.