Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

extraordinary service

9 Slam Dunk Ways To Attract New Clients to Your Business

Forget magic closing tricks, gimmicky marketing, or having to chase prospects and beg for business. It is easier than ever to attract new clients to your business without having to sully your good name or resort to sneaky tricks to get people to do business with you. Whoa, back up the bus a minute Nelly. Yes, I did just say that prospecting for new clients is getting easier (if you know what you’re doing, that is), and here’s why.

  • Because most businesses are terrible at marketing (and getting worse, not better)
  • Because most businesses drop their customers like a lead balloon once they’ve got your money (you never hear from them again, or their service is plain awful)
  • Because most clients are hugely frustrated/disappointed with the companies they do business with. They’re looking for that one little nudge, that one reason, to switch allegiances and buy from you.

Right? So how do you attract those clients jumping ship to you?

It’s simple. Here are 9 Easy Ways to Attract New Clients:

  • Quadruple check that your product/service solves some pressing problem, terrible pain, or difficult issue. If you don’t think it does, then you need to go back to the drawing board and reposition your service. Moving away from pain is a far more powerful motivator than moving towards pleasure.
  • Make being one of your customers mean something. Do they get a special gift? Some kind of recognition? A membership in a rewards programs that’s actually useful? If not, get your thinking cap on. This is huge.
  • Offer exceptional customer service. Everywhere you go, you can’t help running into companies who treat their customers like dirt. These businesses won’t last (no matter how big they are – mark my words). Show your customers how much you care about them and you’ll be amazed at how much more they’ll want to buy from you.
  • Show that you've helped people just like them (make liberal use of testimonials).
  • Be of service first. Create a powerful, free, opt-in magnet for people. It could be a free white paper, audio series or video. But don’t give free stuff without a plan. That’s just throwing your money away. Your opt-in magnet should help guide people along your sales funnel.
  • Write a great sales letter. Still the most powerful form of marketing on the planet.
  • Implement an referral program with incentives.
  • Follow up, follow up, follow up. Before the sale. During the sale. After the sale. Get a follow up system in place that gets triggered at each of these 3 points.
  • Give your website a “direct response marketing” makeover. No I’m not talking about having to use flash and fancy graphics. I mean rewriting and redesigning your website so that it accurately conveys the value you provide, your expert positioning in the marketplace and magnetically attracts the right kinds of prospects, while at the same time repelling the wrong kinds.

That’s it! Go get em’ tiger. Pretty soon you'll see you've attracted so many clients you'll have your own Client Stampede!

Prospect Follow Up Equals Great Customer Service

Do you have a list of prospects sitting on your desk who you need to follow up with… but keep putting it off? In my experience, it’s usually due to fear – you don’t want to be rejected or be told no, or get that sinking feeling when someone says they don’t want to work with you. Getting rejected is about as much fun as having a double root canal without anesthetic, and I completely understand why you’d feel this way.

But here’s what I want you think about to help you bust through this fear.

First of all, what’s the reason you do what you do? You’re a warrior – a successful entrepreneur who’s triumphed when others would have given up, time and time again. When the going got tough you could have easily thrown in the towel long ago and gone to work for someone else. There’s a reason that you’re doing what you’re doing for a living. What is that reason?

Chances are you love to help a certain type of person solve a specific problem.

Right?

And I’d bet that it’s your ability to help others that drives you to do the work you do. But, for some reason, in that moment where you decide whether to do your follow up calls with prospects or not – you’re FORGETTING the call is not actually about you. It’s not about being liked or being rejected.  Actually, the follow up call has nothing to do with you at all.

It has to do with helping people make the right decision for themselves.

Your prospects NEED your services.  You make their lives better and easier if they work with you.  You help them solve a problem they’ve been grappling with that has likely been causing them some level of misery.  If you look at your job in this light – then by NOT following up you’re actually hurting your prospects, because you’re depriving them the use of your services.  For example, if there's someone struggling with their marketing or suffering from the stress of wild swings in income – I'm there to help them, to explain how the kind of marketing I teach is so much easier to grab ahold of, more fun to implement and much more effective.  I can't bear the thought of someone suffering that gut wrenching fear and not knowing when the next paycheck will arrive.

Do you see how this is completely different?

Try visualizing some of those prospects who need follow up as lying awake night after night worrying at 1am about their problem and how you can help them solve it.

Remember, the reason you want to make those follow up calls is because they are another way for you to serve others.  It’s your job to help move your clients to the next level.  One of my favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything you want in life, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

Taking this approach to your follow up calls removes all the anxiety.  Now it’s about you providing great customer service, which will help you do your calls from a place of problem solving – instead of selling.

Andwhen you care so deeply about your prospects, you’ll also find that you love to be on the phone with them; whether they choose to work with you or not – that decision is all about them, not you.  It’s about the difference you make. Don’t go into the false notion that it’s about you and closing the sale. It has nothing to do with that. This is all about customer service and helping people get what they want.

The next time you notice yourself shrinking to make those follow up calls, remember that your job is all about being of service.  They need you.  You make their lives so much better.  You can help them get what they truly want. Then, pick up that phone and dial!

Now, if you’re looking, for a way to take the struggle out of your marketing, attract “stampedes” of new clients in a way that is authentic, fun and easy to implement, then the Client Stampede Ultimate Marketing Toolkit™ is just what you’ve been looking for.  It’s a total turn key marketing system that gives you the most important things to do to build your business; set up as simple, solid systems, so that you consistently fill your pipeline and continually get new clients. This is a step-by-step turn key marketing system, not a big jumble of things flung together. You do Step One of the system, and when you’re done with that, you move on to Step Two, and so on. Included are the tools, scripts, templates, and step-by-step examples - handed to you on a silver platter ready to implement.

5 Easy Steps to Turn a Bad Yelp Review into a Marketing Tool

Online Review sites like Yelp are great to help consumers make informed decisions about who they give their money to. And they’re also an amazing marketing tool, giving small local businesses a chance to gain word-of-mouth momentum no ad money can buy. But because this review service is a wide open platform for expression by anyone, it also also means any grumpy customer can slam your business, affecting your reputation and damaging your sales. The good news is you’re not powerless.  You can do something about getting a negative review... and, for reasons I'll reveal in a second, getting a negative review can actually be a big blessing in disguise – BOOSTING your sales – provided you handle it the right way. So, if you’ve had a cranky customer slam you on Yelp, here are 5 steps to get them back on your side and win over even more customers in the process…

1) Get Active About Regularly Reviewing Your Profile Don’t just wait for a friend to give you a heads up or stumble upon a nasty Yelp review. Schedule time regularly to look at not just your Yelp profile, but also those of your competitors, to get a general idea of what your customers’ experience is. Some disgruntled customers might give an unnecessarily bad review that is hurtful or unhelpful, and those can be addressed. But one oft-overlooked advantage of patrolling your profile is that you can use it as (mostly) unbiased and free market research. If you have consistent compliments or complaints about one aspect of your business, you can identify areas you need improvement in or get an idea of what it is that your customers are really enjoying. Plus, your presence will show that you are genuinely interested in your customers’ feedback, which helps strengthen your relationship.

2) Dig Underneath The Complaint When you come upon a negative review, take a moment to consider what is really prompting it — there is often a seed of truth in  complaints. Yelp is defintiely plagued by anonymous trolls venting about things out of your control, and you can look at the reviewer’s profile history to determine whether or not you should attempt to remedy their grievance, but do take the time to weigh each complaint equally and look for an opportunity to resolve the issue. No matter whether you think a negative review is justified or not, I recommend you post a response to it. If you don’t – it’s also sending a message to your future customers that perhaps you don’t take client care so seriously.

3) Send a Private Message If the complaint looks like it has legs (ie: there’s a genuine grievance here and not a Yelp troll just moaning about things outside your control), direct message the reviewer first. Apologize and acknowledge their complaint (don’t try to make excuses), let them know you value their feedback and business, and offer a specific way to make it up to them. Also provide a direct contact number and let them know you’d be happy to help them personally, now and in the future. This personal gesture creates accountability that they may have not felt earlier. Even if they don’t respond, you can know you put forth the effort.

4) Always Post a Public Response If the reviewer was unresponsive to your personal message, leave a public response — not a rebuttal — letting them know you appreciate their feedback, are sorry for their experience, and that you sent them a message with your contact details and would be glad to talk to them to resolve the issue. Even if the customer doesn’t change their mind, this lets everyone know you value their feedback. But don’t ever request a reviewer to change their review (in a public or private message). Happy customers who are active Yelpers will often amend their reviews for you.

5) Go Get More Reviews To Help “Bury” The Bad One The best way to up your rating (and combat those negative customers) is to get more reviews. Let all your customers know you encourage and welcome their feedback. You can advertise in-store and on your website that you offer special discounts or incentives for customers who can show proof of a review — though, again, do not request positive reviews. This shows you are actively interested in two-way communication with your customers — and that’s customer service gold.

How to Turn Mud Into Chocolate Mud Pies ...

"When written in Chinese the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity"  ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959 Nearly a month ago a small tornado ripped through the sleepy town of Dexter, MI.  As with most tornados, it arrived with little warning and plowed a path of destruction that stretched over 10 miles, upending trees, houses and the lives of the people who live and work there.

Dexter also happens to be the city just north west of where I live.

And its where I keep my horse.

By nothing short of a miracle, the tornado missed the barn by less than ¼ of a mile.  The night the tornado unleashed its fury I got a text from the barn manager to say that despite the 135 mph winds, all people, animals and property were safe.

I happen to believe in miracles, and that was certainly one of them!

The next morning I yanked on my boots, hopped in my car and headed out there to double check on my horse.

As I approached the little town, the first sight of damage I saw was that it looked like someone had emptied 100 dumpsters worth of trash onto the branches of trees.  The damage got worse as I drove on.  It looked like a war zone and I felt like as if I was part of some kind of horror movie set on a Hollywood backlot.

King Kong had stepped on a car wash building and squashed it flat as a pancake.

A restaurant had its whole top floor ripped off.

Cars were overturned or wedged into the side of buildings.  Homes destroyed beyond recognition.

A somber parade of more than 30 huge landscaping trucks shuddered past me to begin the mammoth clean up task.

As I sat in the traffic jam, I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the local business owners.  Dexter has a thriving small business community, but how many would have planned  for this kind of catastrophic event?  Very few was my guess.  Most would have woken up that day thinking it was just going to be a regular, old Thursday.   Now, in one foul swoop their incomes had been severed, their homes damaged, and they had no idea when they’d next receive another paycheck ….

Except for one little business, that is.….

Which just so happens to be my favorite little coffee hut out there.

As I approached the lot where the coffee hut was located,  I noticed that unlike the rest of Dexter (which understandably was in a total state of shock and mourning), the place was a hive of activity.  The vibe, very upbeat.   Everywhere I looked there were people – in cars, out of cars, directing traffic, talking to each other…there was laughter even - police officers, landscaping crews, rescue crews, locals, volunteers…

In fact, you could say the place was rocking.

I also noticed that everyone seemed to be drinking coffee!

Turns out the little hut had survived the tornado but had no power or water.

That would have been enough to keep most businesses shut.

Not this little business.

The owner had brought in a mobile truck complete with generator, a portable espresso machine and a cash register. And someone had been up baking carrot cake muffins that were being handed out left, right and center.  Extra staff had been called in to help, and they were taking, and making coffee orders like crazy.

Never mind that the parking lot was strewn with debris, or had huge potholes which a mini could get lost in.  The staff were running around, taking orders, bringing coffees, boosting morale.

Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

On one day I’m sure that little business made more money in a 24 hour period then it did the whole month prior.

That takes some “hootzpah, and some fierce bulldog determination to succeed no matter what.  I don’t know that owner, he isn’t part of any of my coaching groups at the Client Stampede, but I’m going to seek him out to hopefully interview him on how to thrive despite mountain sized obstacles

Reminds me of another favorite quote of mine…

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of equal or greater opportunity" - Napolean Hill

What to do with your customers who’ve gone MIA

Guess the top 4 reasons customers don’t return to a business (hint: price isn’t one of them). #4 Bad service #3 Bad product #2 They found someone else

And #1 They FORGOT!

That’s right, the number 1 reason people don’t return to your business is because you just weren’t top of mind when it was time for them to purchase again.  Are you shocked that price doesn’t even feature in the top 4 reasons?  Most of us automatically think that if customers don’t return it must have been because we were too expensive, when actually it’s just because we didn’t do a great job with our marketing by reminding them that we’re here.  The great news is that it can be easily fixed!

Here are 2 key questions for you:

In your business how often do you want customers to buy from you again?

When do you consider a customer to be lost?

If you’re a real estate agent, you might want repeat business every 5 years.  If you own a grocery store it might be once every 7 days.  Figure this out and then set up a lost customer sequence to trigger as soon as they don’t return. The most effective is a 3-step sequential direct mail campaign that’s highly personalized. A very distant second is the same via email campaign (but anything is better than nothing).

Here’s the secret to getting them back: unless you specifically invite your lost customers to return to you, most won’t because they’re too embarrassed!  You need to warmly invite them back.  Remember that a customer who’s already done business with you is at least 5 times easier for you to sell to than a new customer.  So make every customer count! Woo the lost sheep back with an irresistible offer and a deadline. Make them feel they’ve been greatly missed and welcome them back to the fold with open arms! If they don’t respond to the first campaign, schedule another in 3 months with a different offer!

It's Crowded Down There - Why You Should NEVER Be The Cheapest In Your Market

The internet is fantastic for many things, but what it's doing at a pace faster than the speed of light is turning all purchasing decisions into a commodity. The price wars are fierce and the competition ruthless. Whenever I buy something online (which nowadays happens far more frequently than me actually walking into a brick and mortar store), I always do a search to see if I can get it cheaper anywhere else. And then I do a second search looking for promo codes and discount coupons. Not only is the competition fierce for online e-tailers, but now brick and mortar retailers have been pulled into the game too. It's all thanks to the smart phone.

Need a new tv? Walk into Best Buy and do your market research - fiddle with the remote, check out the quality of the high def screen. But before you reach for your wallet and make the sales person's day, you probably do a quick search on your phone to see if there's anywhere else you can get your tv cheaper. Turns out it's available at Costco for $150 less, and at Amazon.com for $125 less. So you turn on your heel - sale lost for Best Buy, and now your biggest deicision is whether you can be bothered actually going through the hassle of driving to Costco and loading and unloading your new tv, or whether you'll just press the buy now button on Amazon and have it shipped straight to your door in 24 hours.

Yes retailers are in for a giant shake up - we've barely even scratched the surface.

So this is all very interesting but what does it mean for your business?

The lesson is this - unless you give a customer a real reason for product or service differentiation, then they will always base their purchase decision on price. Don't ever be the business that offers the cheapest services - your competitive advantage will be extinguished in the blink of the eye because you can always be beaten on price. Instead build your competitive advantage by offering extraordinary service and value added services - things that will enable you to command a higher price (and also attract a far better quality of customer also). This is where your thinking should be at...