by Tom Buford
OK . . . I’ve been hearing a LOT of talk about the economy lately. Who am I kidding; I’ve felt its effects as well, but I made a few quick tweaks to my business and marketing and now I’m right back on track. I’m going to share three of those tweaks with you in just a minute.
There’s no getting around that some people out there are being directly hit by the slowing economy and others are petrified that they’re next.
Well, this doesn’t mean that you have to throw your arms up in the air and close shop. Remember, that now is the time that people need consulting, mentoring and coaching more than ever! This is the time that they need their business and life to flow more effortlessly.
People don’t typically seek solutions until they’re aware of the problem. This may seem obvious, but think about it. We SHOULD be putting solutions in place BEFORE the problem rears its ugly head. Unfortunately that’s not the typical behavior.
It’s akin to the way we here in America use our medical system. We go to a doctor when we get sick. But how many of us seek guidance to help us avoid getting sick?! As a former student of nutritional consulting I know the answer is alarmingly low. And this is our HEALTH we’re talking about.
This problem is even more rampant when it comes to business. Don’t worry; I’m not trying to claim innocence here Man, have I ever waited until the last minute to bail myself out of business frustrations.
But this “problem” actually presents an opportunity for you and your market. You offer something that other people need and want, don’t you?
I’m going to share with you 3 tips that will help your business prosper in a slowing economy. Even if business is great right now, make sure to read this article. Then print it out and keep it handy. You NEVER know when things might change.
1. Think and network GLOBALLY as well as locally. By “globally” I mean anywhere outside of where you’re currently networking. Things aren’t bad everywhere. I talk to people every day who are making more money now than ever before and they aren’t seeing any end in sight. If you’re networking locally and feeling the crunch then start spreading out. Begin creating client solutions that can be done over the phone, e-mail, etc.
One of the best ways to begin networking globally is using the power of social media sites. My personal favorite is Facebook. I find the business community to be receptive and responsive.
Other sites you might like: LinkedIn.com Twitter.com Ryze.com
You can find a pretty exhaustive list of more social and business networking sites here: http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=Ei91C&m=1cuGKjexvinbnf&b=crlGnNeQjABGugg0VJq4xQ
Scan through and find “general” or “business” sites and see if any of them connect with you.
2. Bring the focus to what it costs your prospects NOT to work with you. If you’re selling an ethical and beneficial service, it’s your obligation to share this perspective with your prospects.
When you shift FROM what it costs to work with you and focus on what is lost by NOT working with you, the idea of “price” becomes secondary. Your prospect’s budget isn’t the issue at hand. Now the conversation is about what they might lose by not moving forward with you and how valuable your services are to them.
3. Offer “next steps” for your current clients
One of the biggest problems people face in slowing economic times is losing faith in people and businesses. They feel that everyone’s out to get their money. And in many cases, they’re absolutely correct.
Hopefully, your current clients already know, like and trust you. They’re not worried that you’re trying to rip them off so they’re receptive to new solutions that you have for their problems.
Clients are much harder to obtain than they are to keep as long as you have a history of providing them with value. And many of your clients are sitting there waiting for you to offer them the next step. It’s not their job to ask, but it’s yours to offer.
Again, assuming you offer a service or product that is truly valuable to your market, this is an ethical step for you to put into place.
What could some next steps be? * Group coaching or mentoring * Packages not previously offered * Affiliate products and services of other known and trusted professionals * Platinum level programs whereby they get more hands-on with you
One of my favorites is group coaching and tele-classes. You can keep the investment relatively low while delivering a tremendous amount of practical information and solutions because you gather several people on a call. This is a win/win. You get paid what you’re worth for your time and they receive incredible value.
1. Find at least one social/business networking site that you can join. Then become an active community member. Don’t get too wrapped up here though. You can spend hours on these sites. I have a countdown timer on my desk and I set it for 30 minutes when I get on Facebook. When the time’s up I’m gone. Social networking is only ONE aspect of running a successful business.
2. Think of at least 3 critical reasons your prospects would want to work with you. Focus on what they lose or miss out on by NOT working with you. Begin communicating these ideas in your sales conversations and marketing material.
3. Create 2 logical “next steps” for your current clients. If you have a difficult time coming up with something then just ask. You can ask your clients the next time you talk with them or send a survey to your client list. Trust me, they will appreciate that you are thinking of them and asking for their feedback before randomly creating solutions that may or may not work for them.
A great site for creating quick and easy surveys is http://www.surveymonkey.com/
You can start creating very cool surveys for free. This is a great resource that you should get used to using in your business.
Cheers and Success
Tom Buford “The Fee-Setting Go-To Guy”
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