How To Attract The Clients You Will Love To Keep
Behaviour of a particular type is a choice. People judge on behaviours. The behaviours of all those around you will affect how your business is seen – even those behaviours that are beyond your control.
Your potential clients will judge you from the first ring of your phone, the first seconds on your website and the first glimpse of your premises. Do all these interfaces say the same thing? They should. In a world where there is a plethora of choice, you need to craft your business personality and give your client something to believe in and to expect from you.
Many years ago, I was an aerobics instructor in a well known national chain of gyms. Standing up in front of over 100 people dressed in a g-string leotard (yes we really wore those things) – you’re kind of exposed. The way to deal with that is to present a ‘stage personality’ – give the people what they want. In this instance, the people were expecting extroverted loudness and super exuberant energy to uplift them – not a natural state for most people and definitely not for me. Each time I got up on stage it was ‘show time’. This is what you need to do too!
If you consider the fact that likes attract likes – and I did have some really cool ‘loud’ friends in those aerobics days – why would anyone want to deliver super-cheap to the beauty market – or to any service industry for that matter? Apart from delivering little margin – what does the discount approach really bring you… well, a few years ago, we got some insight into that…
In the days of super cheap deal sites in our industry, clients became very disrespectful. They moved from requesting to demanding to bullying – thinking that they had the right to name their price. If this is what you want – go ahead and run deals on deal sites.
However, if you wish to have a group of clients that you can have a genuine relationship with, and who will pay you a fair price for your work, you need to decide exactly who are you going to be – this is your show-time personality.
Now we are getting down to what your core values are – what you hold true in your heart as being more important than other things – honesty? integrity of knowledge? nurturing of others? respect? compassion? Core values are the guiding principles for the way in which your business will operate. Core values are every bit as important as your strategic goals. They determine what people should expect from you, your team, your business – even from the car parking and general surrounds. Core values are immediately undermined if every single aspect around your business does not reflect them. Core values are critical in site selection before you even open.
Right – now back to the part about attracting the clients you will love to see every day. Now that you have decided what your core values shall be – create five ways to bring them to life. This may be a professionally prepared placard in your waiting area saying ‘thank you for allowing us to take care of you today – we appreciate your business’, or a personalised take-home pack in the treatment room with the client’s name on a tag – like a personalised gift for her – or if you are running slightly late, an envelope with your next client’s name on it containing a $5 gift card and an apology for keeping her waiting. It’s nothing, but it will show her that you value her time. This client is very unlikely to arrive late in future – she will show you the same respect and value your time. Personal touches make an enormous difference to people. Bringing your values to life is the same thing as putting your heart into the business. Bring EVERY touch point back to your values – including all those exterior ones (clean windows, clean signs, clean pavement are three perfect examples of where core values become undermined).
OK so on to the involved topic of having other people represent your business – in particular, your team of therapists. This is an interesting thing, as often owners make the mistake of employing people who are just like them (like attracts like) because they are selecting on personality rather than on values. As it happens, you need a variety of personalities in a business to make it a whole – but that does not mean you can’t still extend or uphold your core values across different personalities. Core values are not personality bound and all personality types are able to uphold core values – behaviours are decisions. Your role as the leader is to manage those behaviours.
So – how do we achieve this? Simple – we select the right person by putting people on the spot during the interviewing process – if our top core value is nurturing people, just ask your candidate what they can think of as an example of really nurturing a client to make them feel special. if they come out with getting the client a glass of water after a facial – that may not be enough. You want the ones who can step up the effort in your areas of key concern. This is critical not only to your future success but also to your future freedom from your business. Recruiting on values is the only way to build a successful business unit – teaching skills is much easier than teaching values.
Before long if you put this simple regimen in place, your team will be offering exactly what you need them to – a truly nurturing environment – this is team culture.
Team culture is something that is felt – not spoken. When you enter an environment where positive core values are instilled, reinforced and upheld by all, you will feel the vibe. For the client that fits and also holds true these same values, it is truly like coming home. You can charge them what you need to charge – they won’t mind. They will feel comfortable. Client fit is never about price.
So – what will your core values be, and what changes can you put in place to get them out there on the airways today?