Welcome to Step Seven and back to the more practical subject of marketing and repeat business.
Once you have got people in through the door, you want to keep them coming back. Marketing research shows that it costs 6 times more to get a new customer than keep an old one.
People love to think they are getting a bargain or a good deal, so consider:
The best and most obvious way to get repeat business is to ask for the sale! Whilst I know I am stating the obvious here, I also know that therapists are often uncomfortable about doing this. They don’t want to appear pushy or make their client feel uncomfortable.
Is this you?
If so you really need to start thinking about this differently. Imagine a world where your therapy didn’t exist. No one would benefit from its wonderful therapeutic and healing properties.
Without you being a proactive advocate and gentle seller, you’re helping create that world! Harsh but true.
So when someone finishes their session with you say “same time next week?” If you say it in a light-hearted gentle way, there will be no offence, and it will be easy for them to say yes or no. Think of what you are doing as offering a service to maintain their health. This is priceless!!
I am going to spend more time on selling in later steps, but I want to start the ball rolling now to get you thinking about it as a creative fun and beneficial process for both parties. When we think of selling we often think of people being pushy and persistent, not listening to us, often reading from pre–written text, like Jack Russell’s refusing to let go. However, selling seriously doesn’t have to be like this!
Think of it as being like building a relationship with a new friend. You need to spend time with each other, get to know each other to built trust and find areas of commonality.
If you think about building a strong relationship with a customer who is going to be with you for a very long time (and bring you referrals) you will want to invest time in making sure you offer them what they need.
Imagine you charge £50 an hour and your prospective customer wants a weekly massage and ends up staying with you for 5 years. That’s £13,000 of income from that one person! Worth investing time in? You bet! In fact, they are worth a whole lot more to you because of the referral business they will also bring.
If you treat you customers and prospective customers by nurturing a relationship with them, selling will not feel like selling at all. You’re just meeting a need that they have felt comfortable to express with you.
Reward referrals; we all know that the best form of advertising is word of mouth. We are such advocates of it that we reward our referees, and perhaps you should too. A thank-you card actually really touches people and makes them want to do it more. It doesn’t have to be a financial reward, but you could offer a slightly longer treatment or give a small gift of chocolates or flowers. Anything that brings a smile will make them love you even more and recommend you even more!
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