Quantum Coaching Blog

Working with small business owners to increase business income, reduce business costs, improve customer service and to enhance how their business runs on a daily basis.

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    Lisa Branigan


    The Business Woman's Coach!


    Working with small business owners to increase business income, reduce business costs, improve customer service and to enhance how their business runs on a daily basis

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How to Get More Clients Without Spending a Cent!

Posted by coachbranigan on July 4, 2010

How to Get More Clients Without Spending a Cent!
……………In 4 easy steps

After 25 years in business I have discovered four easy (but essential) steps that all businesses must implement to have a regular, steady stream of clients. This has come about from many years of coaching business women who needed to increase their profits by growing their client base.

What I found, through coaching these wonderful women, was that I was repeating the same business building pattern with each business owner.

From this I came to realise that this pattern was the building block for a steady stream of clients and also constant referrals.

We all know that the only way to get clients is by marketing but almost everyone hates marketing. It’s seen as such a difficult thing to do.

Marketing yourself and your business seems to fit in somewhere up there with being a car salesman or a politician!

Since we don’t want to be viewed as a pushy person or a tall poppy sprouting our own “wonderfulness” we tend to do other types of marketing…the softer things such as advertising, mail-outs, newsletters etc but the steady stream of clients continue to allude us.

Well not anymore!

I want to share with you what I have found to be the 4 essential steps to a steady stream of regular clients and constant referrals….and yes it can be done in only 4 easy steps! YAY!

Step one:

Know who are your clients are!
I know you think your clients are “everyone” and that may be true but let me tell you that trying to market to “everyone” will, not only wear you out, it will also blow the marketing budget!!

Step two:

Know what pains or problems you solve for your clients!

Your main marketing message should ‘speak’ to your potential clients by appealing to their sensitivities (pain) that trigger an emotional reaction. By identifying your client’s pain and suffering, it tells them that you understand and empathize with them.

Step three:

Know the most effective marketing techniques and use them:

• Direct contact
• Follow-up
• Business alliances
• Referral building
• Networking

Step four:

Know how to network correctly as it is the key to continual referrals!
Build relationships and remember;

“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” Bob Burg.

———-
Lisa Branigan
Business Coach
http://www.quantumcoaching.com.

Working with small business owners to increase business income, reduce business costs, improve customer service and to enhance how their business runs on a daily basis.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO IT ALONE!

Let our 25 years of business experience help you!

 

 

Posted in Business Profit, Marketing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Marketing is like fishing except you can’t eat your clients!

Posted by coachbranigan on June 24, 2010

Not only do I work with women on work/life balance, I also work with ladies who are starting (or growing) a business (as this is my background)…basically we work on getting more clients!

Recently while working on this topic with a client, I was thinking how similar trying to find clients is to fishing (except you can’t eat your clients!).

When a person goes fishing they have a particular fish they are targeting, or wanting to catch. Knowing in advance the particular fish they wish to catch helps the fisherman (or woman) know what bait or lure to buy and where to go to find that type of fish. For example sand whiting gather on white sand while herring live on rocky ground.

To go fishing without this knowledge would mean your fishing attempt would be “pot luck” and the success of catching a fish is limited. The world is not your oyster!

It’s that same with your marketing. You must define your target market…or the fish you want to catch.

When you define your target market, you know who your clients are, what needs they have and where to find them. You know exactly where to put all you marketing effort and budget to catch a client.

Who are your fish?

If you don’t know, get help to define your target market. If you don’t, you will get exhausted and waste time and money trying to market to everyone and anyone!

To help try answering these questions:

• What is the age bracket of my ideal client? E.g. child, teen, 30-40’s?
• What is the gender of my ideal client?
• What is the education level of my ideal client? E.g. high school, college,
TAFE, university
• What is the occupation of my ideal client? E.g. teacher, plumber, CEO.
• What is the income range of my ideal client? E.g. $20-30 000, $50-80 000,
over $100 000
• What is the ethnic and/or religious background of my ideal client?
• What are the hobbies or interests of my ideal client?
• What is the family life situation of my ideal client? E.g. short/long term
relationship, single, divorced, children.

What else do you feel you might like to know about your ideal client?

You could always conduct some market research to answer the above questions and find out other useful information to help with your marketing strategy.

Hope this helps 🙂

Lisa Branigan

Business Coach

http://www.quantumcoaching.com.au

Posted in Business Profit, Marketing, Networking | Leave a Comment »

Free Publicity for Your Business!

Posted by coachbranigan on June 12, 2010

Have you tried advertising and found you don’t get good return on your investment. For most serviced based businesses (including business coaching) adverts don’t work that well.

What else could you try?

Interestingly, our local paper has decided to run a monthly business news section. This is a place were you can have a small write up of any news in regards to your business. I decided I would have the following, genuine offer, in the next issue:

—————————————–

FREE Business Coaching: Business Coach, Lisa Branigan of Quantum Coaching is offering local business women a FREE 60-minute coaching session valued at $120.

Lisa will work with you to increase your client base, raise profits, lower costs, effectively manage your time and enjoy work/life balance.

Contact Lisa on 9757 3750 or lisa@quantumcoaching.com.au

——————————————

In the past an advert may have resulted in one client. This is a terrible return on the $400 the advert cost. So I wasn’t expecting much from my “business news” but as it was free it was also no loss.

I am surprised at the results so far.

In four days, since the paper came out, I have had one phone call enquiry, an invitation from a bank to business women’s networking meeting, two email inquires and three people I saw while shopping mentioned they saw the paper and questioned me further about what I do.

One was my local librarian who said though she didn’t need my services she knows who to use as a referral point if she knows anyone that does. These are just the people who have contacted me so far and who have mentioned they saw my news.

I have since asked the paper to continue my offer until further notice as it is great for publicity and interesting that people warm up to the offer more than if it was in an advert.

So what can you do?

Is there a business news section in your local paper? What about your local school or community group, do they allow free “news” in their newsletters. How else can you get free publicity for your business?

Other ideas that I have found useful:

Website link swapping

Writing articles (place them on free internet article databases)

Press release of an achievement or special offer

Speak at groups and get a write up before and after the event

Become a columnist or have articles featured in print

Speak on radio

Have your own free newsletter that people can sign up for.

Write for others who have your same target market

Free samples in conference bags

Networking events (but there are secrets to effectively networking!)

Other ideas from Google:

Teach an adult education class

Use free advertising websites

Start a discussion group, seminar series, book club, wine tasting club or other type of group that can meet to talk about your products or services.

Make deals with other small business owners to display one another’s products, advertise on one another’s Web sites, and so on.

Create an award and present it to someone who is notable to your demographic group and has some connection with your industry.

Free samples or free service demonstrations.

 Lisa Branigan Business Coach http://www.quantumcoaching.com.au

Posted in Business Profit, Marketing, Networking | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

How to get more clients and keep the ones you’ve got!

Posted by coachbranigan on May 14, 2010

How to get more clients and keep the ones you’ve got!

1. Know who your clients are! How can you market if you dont know your market?

2. Know what problems your clients have and what solutions you offer.

3. Position yourself wherever your clients “hang out” networking groups, social networking sites, mags, websites, events etc!

4. Ask every happy client for a referal!

5. Show your appreciation to your clients: thank you letters, gifts, cards etc

6. Be the only person your client thinks about when needing what you offer….go the extra mile with a smile!

7. Keep in touch…send out business note pads, e-zines, cards, letters, newsletters etc.

8. Be G.R.E.A.T.  at what you do!

Lisa Branigan

Business Coach

http://www.quantumcoaching.com.au

Posted in Business Profit, Marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saying THANK YOU can make you profits soar!

Posted by coachbranigan on May 3, 2010

Did you know that it costs far more to acquire a new client than it costs to generate business from an existing client?

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is investing most of their marketing efforts in try to find new clients and forgetting about their past clients. Your current and past clients are the foundation of your business because without them, your business would not exist.

So how do you effectively market to your past clients?

According to the article “12 Ways to Thank Your Customers: Client Appreciation Strategies You Can Use Year-Round” by Stephanie Chandler; “Showing appreciation for your clients can set you apart from your competitors, increase loyalty, improve retention, inspire sales and even build relationships that last a lifetime. Reaching out to your clients is also an opportunity to remind them about your company. Effective marketing relies on repeat exposure and showing appreciation is an ideal way to keep your marketing wheels in motion.”

When was the last time you showed appreciation to a client for their business or a referral?

How can you show appreciation to past clients and remind them of your business at the same time?

Stephanie Chandler suggests 12 ways to say “thank you” to your clients:

1. Greeting Cards: The Guinness Book of World Records lists Joe Girard, a car salesman from Detroit, as the world’s best salesman. Girard earned the honor by selling 18 cars in a single day. One of his secrets to success is sending 12 cards per year to every single customer and prospect. There are dozens of major and minor holidays throughout the year and each provides a great reason to send a card.

2. Personal Notes: Thoughtful and unexpected thank you notes can be sent after client appointments, following a purchase or whenever a client has done anything deserving some appreciation. While sending an e-mail may be quick and easy, you will make a better impression by sending a note in the mail.

3. Invitations: Though it is important to recognize all of your clients, it is just as important to pay extra attention to your top clients. Spending time together outside of the office gives you a chance to cultivate the relationship by getting to know each other better (in the sales world, this is called “face time”). Consider inviting your top contacts to lunch, dinner, sporting events, charity functions or other events where you can spend time together.

4. Small Gifts: Flowers, books, a mug full of candy and other token items can make thoughtful gifts for clients. These can be sent on special occasions such as birthdays, holidays or anniversaries, or can be sent for no reason other than to show your gratitude.

5. Food: Everyone loves food. Consider sending cupcakes from your local bakery, providing a catered lunch at your client’s office or dropping off a tray of cookies.

6. Gift Cards: Sending gift cards for items or places your clients will enjoy can have an added benefit: they will think of you when it comes time to redeem the gift! Options include coffee shops, restaurants, movies, bookstores, office supplies or anything else your clients would appreciate. For even more mileage, consider partnering with another business and send each other’s gift cards.

7. Referral Rewards: The highest compliment you can receive is a referral to your business. This gesture deserves recognition in the form of a thank you note, discount on services or small gift card. Always acknowledge when a customer sends business your way.

8. Reverse Referrals: If your clients are business owners, look for ways to refer business to them. This is an unexpected gesture that is sure to set you apart.

9. Customer Appreciation Days: Designate one or more days each year to celebrate your clients. You could offer a customer-only secret promotional sale, give away lunch if you have a physical location or provide a special bonus to those on your mailing list.

10. The Gift of Information: E-books, reports, workbooks, videos and other types of information products can make great gifts. For example, compile a list of useful tips that your customers will appreciate and either deliver it via e-mail in a PDF document or publish it in booklet format to mail or hand out.

11. Host Events: Host a party or an open house at your office or a restaurant. If your clients are geographically dispersed, you can hold a virtual event by inviting them to participate in complimentary online seminars.

12. Life Events: If you know that your client is getting married, having a baby, being promoted or enjoying another major life event, send an acknowledgement—even if it is a simple card. Your gesture will not be forgotten. These very simple ideas, that cost very little, can help you generate profits from past clients and grow your business to be earning a healthy income!

Lisa Branigan

Life Coach

http://www.quantumcoaching.com.au

About Stephanie Chandler is the author of several business and marketing books including FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE MONEY WITH BOOKS, E-BOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS. Discover hundreds of resources for entrepreneurs at http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com . Read more of her article here: http://www.powerhomebiz.com/News/112008/client-appreciation.htm

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One unhappy customer can cost you 3 million clients!

Posted by coachbranigan on April 15, 2010

Recently my husband was abused while asking for a quote for some work he needed done on some equipment. Mind you, this was the third time he approached this person about the quote for this small job.

Instead of an apology for being so slow with a quote, the so call “professional” had the cheek to abuse my husband for wasting his time.

This person is new to our area and is trying to build a new business where the client counts…well so he says!

Ok I so the job was very small (maybe not even worth $100) but unbeknown to this “new” business owner, my husband was testing the waters before he asks for a quote on a $40 000 project!

He just lost himself and his business $40 000 plus a possible 3 million potential clients!

Yes 3 million.

With the invent of the internet and various social media the one unhappy customer who used to tell ten of his friends can now send out a negative message about you and your business to literally millions of people instantly.

Think of that the next time you want to be right!

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!

 

Lisa Branigan

Life Coach

http://www.quantumcoaching.com.au

 

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PLAN TO SUCCEED!

Posted by coachbranigan on March 29, 2010

PLAN TO SUCCEED!

To get what we want in life we need to have a plan.  Goals are an important part of making plans and being successful. If we want to lose weight, we need to set goals and have a plan.  If we want to be successful in business, we need to set goals and have a plan. If we want to have less stress, we need to set goals and have a plan.

You’ve heard that saying?  “She that fails to plan plans to fail.”

So how can you plan to succeed?  You need to start by setting goals following the S.M.A.R.T. formula.

 Most people say things like, “I want to be thinner” or “I want to get rich” or “I want to be healthier, happier, less stressed etc.”  These are not goals you can plan to achieve. They are wishes or desires.  S.M.A.R.T goals are:

     S   =   Specific

     M  =   Measurable

     A   =   Action Based

     R  =   Realistic

     T   =   Time Bound

Be specific about what rich, thinner, fitter, healthier or less stressed means to you.  Make your goal something you can measure.  Being thinner means losing how much weight or being fitter means running how many kilometres?  What does less stress involve for you? How much money would you like to be earning a year?

Make sure you will get into action about your goal by basing it on a true desire.  If you are not excited about your goal, find ways to make it more fun.  If you’re trying to lose weight then save all the money you usually spend on chocolate and put it towards the reward of a holiday or new clothes. 

Be realistic about your goal.  Losing two or three kilos a week may be difficult and unhealthy, so plan to aim to lose a half a kilo or one kilo a week instead.  Being rich in twelve months may be too  much of a stretch for you so you will give up. If you make the goal realistic you will stick to it. 

Lastly make your goal time bound by giving it an end date.  This gives your goal a sense of urgency and makes you get into action about it. Keep this date realistic.

This week look at your goals and make them S.M.A.R.T.  “I will lose 20 kilos by January 28th 2006” “I will be able to run 5 kilometres in 15 minutes by February 16th 2006″  “My business will be earning $X by March 30th 2012”   

Above all don’t fail to plan.  Plan to succeed!

By Lisa Branigan, Life Coach

http://www.quantumcoaching.com.au

Posted in Business Profit, Happiness, Life Balance, Time management, Weight Loss & Exercise | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Business Building Part 2…..Getting Clients via “Accidential Meetings”

Posted by coachbranigan on March 18, 2010

Last post I mentioned the top ways to get clients is through direct contact and following up. 

This means making direct, “personal” contact with prospective clients. When contact is personal it involves making all communication personalized by addressing it to a particular person and raising an issue personal to them. 

So how do you do this…what methods can you use to reach more prospects by direct contact? 

One way is to try an “accidential meeting”…no don’t run into someone with your car 🙂 but do try and accidentially “meet” a prospect who you know would be interested in your services if you could just give them some information in person. 

So how do you (or where can you) “accidentally” meet someone? 

## RULE: ….Please don’t stalk as nothing will turn a client off faster…be discreet! 

You could try to: 

1. Be out the front of their workplace (around lunchtime) where you may catch them going off to lunch…start with a big smile and a friendly hello….say something like “Oh hi ______ are you off to lunch? I was just hoping to book an appointment with your secretary…oh could I buy you lunch instead.” 

2. Find out where they network and join that group 

3. Get introducted by someone who knows them already and take both people for coffee. 

…..think outside the square and see what other ways you can have an “accidential meeting” with a prospective client! 

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The Secrets of Business Building-Getting Clients!

Posted by coachbranigan on March 10, 2010

The first steps in growing a profitable business and getting more clients are:

1. Defining your target market….who are you selling too??

2. Develop a benefit statement..not a 100% perfect one but you need to know who you work with and what you “fix” for them!

You need to have the above 2 steps sorted first and then it is time to get more clients!

How do we get clients?

By marketing!!! It’s not a case of “build it and they will come” as how will they know who you are, what you do and how to find you?

You need to get out there and let people know you exist and what it is you offer.

This is marketing!

Most people don’t realize that part of having your own business involves marketing. At first; a lot of marketing!

There are many ways to market a product or business such as:

1. Direct contact and follow-up.
2. Networking and referral building.
3. Public speaking…also builds credibility
4. Writing articles…. also builds credibility
5. Promotional Events
6. Advertising

Which of the above are the most effective ways to get clients?

Stay tuned for more blog posts and the WiB series of “Business Building” tele-workshops!
(WiB) Women in Business Connect:

From the book…Get Clients Now! by CJ Hayden….

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Stress In The Workplace

Posted by coachbranigan on February 26, 2010

According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ (A.C.T.U.) 1997 survey, fifty per cent of workers had suffered some form of stress at work in a 12-month period. The statistics in care professions were even higher, with the Department of Education and Training in Western Australia reporting in its 2002 Attitudes To Teaching Survey that seventy per cent of teachers identified workplace stress as a cause for concern in their teaching positions.

Stress in the workplace is becoming a major concern for employers, managers and government agencies, owing to the Occupational Health and Safety legislations requiring employers to practice ‘duty of care’ by providing employees with safe working environments which also cover the psychological wellbeing of their staff.

One of the costs, for employers, of work place stress is absenteeism, with the A.C.T.U. reporting that owing to stress, nearly fifty per cent of employees surveyed had taken time off work. Other negative effects were reductions in productivity, reduced profits, accidents, high rates of sickness, increased workers’ compensation claims and high staff turnover, requiring recruiting and training of replacement staff.

While a certain amount of stress is needed to motivate individuals into action, prolonged stress can have a huge impact on overall health. More than two-thirds of visits to doctors’ surgeries are for stress-related illnesses. Stress has been linked to headaches, backaches, insomnia, anger, cramps, elevated blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and lowered resistance to infection. For women, stress is a key factor in hormonal imbalances resulting in menstrual irregularities, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and fertility problems. Stress can also be a factor in the development of almost all disease states including cancer and heart disease.

Each profession has its own unique factors that may cause stress; below are some causes of stress that cross many professions:

• Increased workload
• Organizational changes
• Lack of recognition
• High demands
• Lack of support
• Personal and family issues
• Poor work organization
• Lack of training
• Long or difficult hours
• Inadequate staff numbers and resources
• Poor management communication
• Lack of control or input

So what can be done to effectively manage workplace stress?

Organizations can:

• Educate their employees to recognise the signs of stress.
• Where possible, give their employees the chance to be involved in decisions and actions that affect their jobs.
• Improve employer-employee communications.
• Provide employees with opportunities to socialise together.
• Be understanding of employees’ personal and family responsibilities.
• Ensure employee workloads suit their capabilities and resources (provide more training and resources if not).
• Provide support (internally or externally) for employees who have complex stress issues.

Employees can reduce their overall stress by:

• Regularly exercising, as this releases ‘happy hormones’.
• Eating a healthy diet, as stress depletes vital nutrients.
• Getting adequate rest.
• Using tea and lunch breaks to read, listen to a relaxation CD or have a five-minute power-nap.
• If appropriate, playing relaxing music at work and burning aromatherapy oils.
• Being more organized. Get up earlier to have more time.
• Delegating responsibility where possible. Say no!
• Taking time out to laugh by telling someone a joke. Start a laughter group: by standing in a circle and all forcing a big laugh, it will soon become real!
• Avoiding caffeine and sugar. Although this may provide an instant lift it later depletes the body of energy and nutrients.
• Taking time to do things that bring enjoyment and pleasure.
• Making the work environment pleasurable. Have relaxing sounds in the form of music or a water fountain. Have enjoyable smells by burning candles or aromatherapy oils. Hang beautiful pictures or posters on the walls; have photos or flowers on the desk.
• Taking care of their overall health and wellbeing by practising good self-care.
• Keep a journal that monitors dates and times of stress to detect re-occurring patterns and to help you discover changes you may need to make.

Sometimes trying to implement change (even for the better) can itself cause stress and prevent a person remaining motivated. In this case it’s important to get support for your stress from a counsellor, doctor, naturopath, friend, peer or life coach who specializes in stress issues.

The benefits of a systematic and joint approach to reducing work stress are:

• Increased productivity
• Decrease in absenteeism
• Improved morale
• Decrease in workers’ compensation claims
• Reduction in workplace accidents

The most important benefit in reducing workplace stress is that it will promote a pleasant work environment for all.

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