Most service professionals and owners of service-based businesses would rather have customers seek them out based on a strong personal referral from a satisfied customer, than have to promote their services – in other words without having to market or advertise. What they want, technically speaking, is called marketing through attraction, for want of a better term because most service professionals hate marketing.
So, what exactly is marketing through attraction?
Marketing through attraction is about offering exceptional value. It's about your customers liking you, about your customers or clients respecting you, about having prospective customers or clients lining up to do business with you.
Marketing through attraction is highly efficient (it frees up your time), and it's actually cool. The problem is that to most service professionals the specifics of marketing through attraction are poorly defined, if at all – and quite confusing.
In this post we’ll look at ten practical steps you can take starting today to build your services business through attracting perfectly pre-qualified customers or clients.
Work at Always Giving a Good Impression to Your Customers
Nobody loves interacting with a person who is stressed, worried, tired or who is obviously not having fun. Such people are unattractive by most people’s standards.
How do you do this?
Keep yourself rested and have some fun every day. Laugh, enjoy your life, and fix or eliminate the things that get in your way.
When you can do this successfully, and you infuse all your interactions with your customers with love and light that is genuine and not forced, you will find that you make them feel smart, special, and cared about.
Try it one of these days and you’ll be surprised how it makes it an enjoyable wonderful experience for people to give you their money!
This, incidentally is critical for success in other areas of your life, not just in business. If you need help, I can recommend Perfect Workday Formula. There are strategies in there to help you start your workday on an upswing, as well as strategies to help you learn to love what you do – or to reawaken the love you once had for your business.
Learn to Enjoy What You Do in Business
It becomes a lot easier to attract clients when you’re in a business you love. If you love what you do enough, you’ll get very good at it. You’ll talk about it; you’ll connect with other people, and things will happen – and your enthusiasm will shine through.
But as things are, if you haven’t noticed, some people invest more effort and energy in say a game of golf (a hobby) than most business owners invest in their businesses!
Work with passion – and with love for your product, and love for your customers or clients!
Set Clear Personal Boundaries
This means making sure that the people in your personal and professional life know what you need in terms of space, privacy, respect and honesty. Remember that you want to always give a good impression to your customers or clients and this will only happen if your lifestyle permits it. Fixing these things will make your life easier – and living easy is very attractive.
Set Exceptional Personal Standards
Most people are attracted to individuals who have chosen their path; people who are proceeding boldly down that path, whatever their current circumstances may be. Even in business. So, be clear on what you want out of life, and settle for nothing less.
This ensures that you’ll not settle for second best where the quality of your product or service is concerned.
Live well, be bold – it gives people confidence you’re a good person to do business with.
Deliver Exceptional Service.
In today’s market environment good enough is not good enough! Customers have a lot of choice, so even if you’re delivering excellent performance, it may not be enough to attract the clients or customers you really want.
Only extraordinary output is going to draw your best prospects to you! Go the extra mile, provide service before your clients ask. Learn from every mistake you make. And remember, your customers, especially the unhappy ones, are your best research & development team! That attitude will ensure you have a steady stream of leads and prospects beating a path to your door!
Also note that particularly with services, even one mistake will undermine a client's confidence, loyalty, and trust. This of course erases your best efforts to market through attraction. So, do your best every time.
Learn from those bad reviews, monitor your business listings on the review sites with a view to get better at what you do.
Pay Attention to the Small Details
This is big, as it covers many aspects of your business. So, something as simple as calling your customer or client by name can keep that customer or client and fan of your business for life. Or sending him a card to congratulate him on a promotion. Technology makes these things very easy today.
You have database programs where you can store names, addresses, emails and other snippets of information about your customers/clients. You have social media where they tell about themselves.
Beyond that, pay attention to the presentation, how you’re branding, the packaging, or the delivery of your product or service. Track all the small details at all the points where your business interacts with the customer, including the post-purchase experience.
These little things count.
All this may begin to sound like a lot of work but in reality it isn’t, if you have set up processes for doing it. Today you have a lot of automation to take most of the load off your shoulders.
Something else to note: many service professionals make the mistake of focusing too much on advertising and pay scant attention to relationship building. The fact is that advertising works best for businesses that sell physical,tangible products.
This is because customers can see the results. Services being intangible are very difficult to advertise and are almost always purchased based on the quality of the relationship that you have with the customer or client, or the quality the prospective customer has with an existing or past customer who recommends your services.
The more that people know you, and the more they know about you and your caring, your professionalism and your quality, the more business you will get.
Eliminate the negative costs of delay
Arrange your business and your life such that you can respond to a great idea as soon as you get it. This typically implies creating in advance (and having) reserves of space, time, money, energy and creativity.
When you have these things in place, this puts you in pole position when opportunity knocks. You are ready to make that call. You can make the decision quickly to sign a contract. You can enter a partnership or start a new venture overnight.
Money loves speed.
Additionally, make it easy for your customers, by putting processes in place so that you or your business can quickly respond to customer requests for support, enquiries, etc. You can do many of these things proactively by setting up a FAQ section on your website, preparing things like a getting-started guide that goes out automatically the moment a customer has paid for your services, posting content or videos that educate your customers, and so on.
Minimize Risk (and Always Control the Down-Side)
Arrange your business (and your life) such that when a great idea comes to you, you can respond quickly and easily – that bit about being ready when opportunity knocks. And if the implementation of the idea doesn’t go as planned, you simply smile and move on.
This is easy when you have built up a reserve in your business.
Use Loss Leader Offers to Bring in New Customers
The traditional way to market services businesses was to network with a hundred people and advertise to as many as you could reach. Today, you can give away valuable information in a newsletter that reaches tens of thousands of people, or a free report that prospects can download from your website, or print-on-demand T-shirts your give away to sponsor a non-profit – the ideas are many.
It’s sort of hit-and-miss but these strategies work in the long-run. Some prospects will only take the freebies and never come back, some will buy something small from you, or a service – and some will become your best customers, buying from you again and again, and probably give you referrals along the way.
Leverage the Law of Large Numbers
Leverage technology. Building a great website costs a lot less than running a few ads in the local paper, but a millions more people can visit your site than those who will read the local paper. No matter what service you’re offering, only about 1% of the population is going to buy.
But today, that one percent can still add up to tens of thousands of people! Understand this numbers game – and play it to attract the best, most qualified customers or clients for your service business.
In closing, you can build a services business by selling services to your customers and clients, or by solving people’s problems. Both these ways of doing business work in the short-run. But if you’re in the market to make a fortune and to tap the great opportunities in your market segment, choose to sell solutions to your customers/clients.
Implementing these tips above will position your services business as one that sells solutions, not one that sells services.
When you can do that, customers will seek you out – and they will be more than happy to give you referrals.