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Six Ways to Attract Quality Clients
Starting a new service-based business is not easy. The hardest part of business by far is getting AND keeping quality clients. Quality clients are people who value your work, gladly pay your rates and recommend you to prospective clients. Here are six simple ways to attract quality clients.
Respect the Law of Reciprocity
I am a big believer about the law of reciprocity. This is a biblical principal meaning that you give onto others what you would like to receive. In others words, treat people the way you would want to be treated. This principle needs to flow into all facets in your business. Here are some questions which will help you provide your clients great customer service:
- What does great customer service look like to you? What would you expect to receive if you paid for your own services?
- How would you like to be treated by the owner if you had a complaint?
- How do you know you have gone above and beyond to please your customer?
- What is a reasonable service request? What is unreasonable?
Every successful business needs to wow and impress their clients. This means you need to carefully examine what your client needs for each problem and then going above and beyond their expectations. You need to deliver massively for a few reasons:
- Improve your brand awareness quickly. Satisfied customers who received excellent customer service tend to refer at a higher rate than those who received mediocre or average service.
- Increase the quality of service. When you are looking to go beyond expectations, this will naturally translate into your quality of service. Everything you will do will reflect this higher caliber.
How do you deliver massively?
Going above and beyond can mean giving clients a little more time, providing them extra documentation or giving them an extra functionality/feature they were not expecting to receive.
Manage Expectations of Yourself and Your Services
Have you every meant to give a client something but due to scheduling conflicts, lack of resources or other issues you ultimately could not do it? These things happen. We all need to work to improve our work/life balance. Do not beat yourself about it but try not to make this is a habit. You want to make sure you are viewed as a business that overdelivers in value.
Your job as a service provider is to be upfront and clear in the beginning of your client working relationship.
Tell your new client what you can and cannot do. Think about how you what you want to communicate with your clients. What should your clients expect from you? Save yourself time and energy by writing down the answers to these questions. What feels manageable? What is reasonable? This includes, but is not limited to:
- business hours
- how/when to contact you during an emergency
- number of corrections/revisions (if applicable)
- preferred mode of correspondence (email/text/other)
And again, be sure to discuss this with your clients these issues PRIOR to start of your working relationship.
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Be Transparent as Possible
When things change (with yourself) or your business, the best thing you can do is to be transparent with your clients. Being transparent means letting your clients know your current limitations and proposed workarounds. I will never forget when I was pregnant with my son and still managing my personal training business. I knew that my business would need to change. When I told my clients I was pregnant, I also told them of my physical limitations and limited working hours.
Some changes are beyond our control. As I write this, we are in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. My son's school is closed and I am homeschooling him in between clients. As such, my hours had to be shifted. Similar to my pregnancy, I have explained to my business coaching clients of my new schedule.
Please do not lie about your limitations to clients. This is not a sign of weakness. Everyone has to deal with shifts in scheduling or unexpected events. Being transparent means you acknowledge that although some things are beyond your control, you are still able to provide clients superior customer service.
Don’t Be Desperate and Offer the Lowest Prices
As I said in the beginning of this article, starting a new business is not easy and it is very tempting to offer the lowest services or even not charging anything at all. I highly discourage you to do this for a variety of reasons.
If you offer low prices it is a signal to your prospective customer that you do not value your years of experience. Most of you who may be reading this article may be new to business but you may have many years of related working experience. Those years of experience is still experience! Do not discount yourself so quickly! Be patient and wait for someone who sees your worth.
Unfortunately a lot of new business owners are not patient. In the struggle to get new clients, they may think, "well, let me just charge the lowest price." Unfortunately this strategy tends to attract low caliber clients. I am talking about clients who pay the least and expect the most from you. This is a bad combination.
I tell my new business coaching clients to charge a rate that motivates them to show up and give their best work. That could be $150 or $500 per hour. Choose a magic number and stick with it.
Find Unique Solutions
As a business owner you always need to think about things that would benefit your client. For example, during my personal training business a lot of my clients would complain about feeling stiff and tired in between sessions. I offered clients a variety of relaxation solutions. In addition to offering a custom stretch, I partnered with a local massage therapist to give a discounted package for personal training and massage therapy.
Take a sheet of paper and think about not just add ons, but little ways you can enhance the client experience. If you do not know what to offer, ask your clients directly about they need from you to enhance their professional or personal life.
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You can do this! You deserve great clients! Got a question or comment? I would love to read it. Please let me know in the comment section below.