research your client

I hear the sounds of the waves crashing as my skin is bronzing (or is that burning) in the hot rays of the Caribbean sun. 

My body lays here on top of the beach towel and chair from the hotel property…tired from the 10-hour trip it took to arrive at this island paradise…exhausted from the amount of work I put into my year and my career up to this point. I NEED to relax and ENJOY this seaside getaway. We’ve spent MONTHS planning this vacation, researching on various websites, checking out TripAdvisor reviews for the various properties we were considering, pouring overflights until we found the right combination. We kept searching for information on the island, restaurants nearby, things to do, crime rate, how are the people, what kind of beach is it? What’s native to the island? Any festivals going on while we are there? What’s close by to go see? Where am I? I’m on the beautiful island of Anguilla, British West Indies.

What kind of vacationer are you? When you go on vacation, how do you choose where to go? 

Do you speak with friends, a search on the internet for reviews, scour the web for deals, call your local favorite travel agent? Do you put in the kind of research like we did above to find Anguilla?

How do you decide how to get there? Car, Plane, Train, Bus, Bike, Boat? What do you do once you are there? Are you more of the laid back type – chill on the beach and read a good book? Do you like to get out and explore the town and see what the place is like? Do you want to take an organized tour or venture out on your own?

Do you like to be around many people on vacation or do you want to get away from it all in your own private paradise? Do you want to take a cruise and sail around a few different islands or maybe go on a ski trip? Road tripping in the car or maybe see the United States or Europe in the observation car on a train?

NUGGET: Your client researches YOU just as much as YOU research for your next vacation spot.

There are as many different types of vacations as there are types of clients. When you go on vacation most times you research, research and research some more before you decide to spend your hard-earned dollars for a week (or more or less) away. Mother Google is here to stay and social media has evolved from 1.0 to 2.0 (think MySpace to Facebook) and 3.0 isn’t that far behind. The question dear reader…how do you research your client? Don’t you think it’s high time you started doing a bit more research about them?

NUGGET: If you don’t research your clients in advance you are missing out on sales and at bare minimum a chance to connect with the clients you do book on a deeper level.

You research your potential, current and past clients the same way that they research you. Google them – what shows up? Type their name in the search bar on Facebook – what do they use for their profile pic and their cover photo? What mutual friends do you have? Do they have a Twitter account? Are they mentioned at all when you do a search there? Do they have a YouTube channel? What are they blogging about? What are their passions? What does their website look like? Who’s in their circle on LinkedIn? Do you have any mutual connections there?

When they first show up to a meeting how are they dressed? How are your surroundings? There’s something called the threshold effect. Ever heard of it? The threshold effect basically states that people make 11 different assumptions about you upon your first meeting with them. Are you dateable? Likable? Trustworthy? Would they want to hang out again? How much money do you make? Where you fit in society? Sad…but true.

If you are currently struggling with your sales the first place to look is to find out if you are attracting your ideal client. How do you know who your ideal client is? Think about the past clients you have worked with.

GOLD NUGGET: Notice I stated “work with” I didn’t say “work for”

When you work “with” your clients it’s a collaboration of you and them together…working towards the same common goal – whatever the client desires most out of your service or product. When you work “for” your clients they are the boss – they tell you what to do, when to do it, where to be and it takes on more of a boss/employee relationship with an “I told you so” attitude.

I would encourage you to position yourself as the expert in your field so that the client comes to you to hire you for what you can collaborate together and create for them – working WITH them vs. the underling mindset that comes from working FOR somebody.

Don’t miss this. Working WITH is a completely different mindset shift. It’s what positions you in an EXPERT advisor role in partnering with your potential client to create their outcome together. It’s what shows you as the ONLY ONE who can get the job done for them if you follow the rest of the steps outlined in this book correctly. WORKING FOR is what people have done for ages and leads to a commodity mind set.

WORKING FOR becomes price competitive and the buyer thinks they can get whatever you offer somewhere else cheaper, faster and better. 

WORKING WITH shows you are the BEST CHOICE for the job and someone that the client can start a REALationship with (nod to mentors of mine Mark and Rebecca Ferrell). REALationships lead to REAL-ferrals. The old way of selling and asking for a referral at the point of sale is DEAD AND GONE. The new way is REALationships and problem solving working together to achieve the desired outcome the client desires.

Let’s get back to attracting your ideal client. How do you know WHO that is? Go back through your past clientele list and think about which clients you ENJOYED working with the most. Which of your clients that you worked with (NOT FOR) made you especially excited in the morning to work with …the ones you couldn’t WAIT to collaborate and connect with. What did they say about you and/or your company? More than likely they RAVED about you and wanted more. The key is to go where they go. Be where they are. Advertise where they are. Take them out to lunch. Offer to send them out with their spouse to their favorite restaurant if they give you an online video testimonial. This is WEB 3.0 people. If you DON’T have a video on your website you are missing out…BIG TIME!

Invest MORE time into your business than what you plan to do on vacation. It’s a WISE investment that will allow you to take more vacations and ultimately be where you want to be in life.

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