Hey there. How you doing? It's Chris, your friendly neighborhood, Internet Sherpa.
Back again with another one of those tips on how to use the Internet to bring bodies through the door, put cheeks in the seats and of course build your list.
Today I want let you in on a conversation I had this past week that hits this list building thing I keep talking about from whole ‘nuther angle.
In this case, I was chatting with a potential customer who was having a bit of a challenge making the jump from his old location to a new one.
He’s a massage therapist and as he tells it, he needed to relocate. Thing is, he didn’t relocate across town, he jumped two whole time zones.
He went from Full book, loyal clientele, the whole nine to not so much.
His biggest challenge is that he’s old school. He’s been laying hands on for a bunch of years and his normal way of finding new business was word of mouth.
You know, you tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on and so on.
Well, as you can imagine, and as I'm sure you've seen, it's not always easy getting it going in the new digs especially when word of mouth is your primary method of getting new business.
So, he reached out to me because he wanted to see what this Internet things was all about.
Now, his challenge, and the reason he hasn’t done anything online before is that he couldn’t make that connection between stuff we do online and how they bring bodies through the door and put cheeks in the seats.
Well, here’s the thing.
It’s not about the tools. It’s about the story you’re trying to tell.
The Internet just makes it easier to tell that story to more people than back in the day.
And that brings me to the take a ways which is the story that you should always be trying to tell.
What makes you special?
That’s One of the toughest questions I’ve ever come across.
Back in 2012 when I was just building websites, I’d ask that question to give me a head start on populating the about page.
What I didn’t know then, but I do know now is that the answers I was getting, were accurate but they really didn’t answer the question.
The typical answers usually involved how long someone had been in the business, how they kept up to date on the latest trends and techniques or how much they valued their clients.
Those may all be true, but… they don’t really make you special.
That’s just the price of admission. The two drink minimum if you will.
Yeah, I wrestled with that question time and time again until I had my a-ha moment.
I realized I was asking the question wrong. So I flipped around just a little.
Instead of asking what makes you special, I asked, why do your clients think you’re special?
Now the question isn’t about you. It’s about your peeps.
And if you think about it that’s kind of a big deal.
If they don’t think you’re special, they ain’t coming back
Unless you’re just convenient and they don’t care.
But assuming that’s not the case how exactly do you separate yourself from the pack?
When you break it down, in a room full of folks that do the exact same thing you do, there are really only about three or four different ways that you can separate yourself.
You can compete on price, you can compete on product. You can compete on experience. You can compete on added value.
Added value is more of a B2B kind of thing, at least ti my understanding, so I’m just going to pay attention to those first three.
You could compete on price, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
First of all when you start a relationship based on price, kinda hard to switch gears and start talking value.
Besides no matter how low you go with your prices, someone will always be willing to go lower.
And unless you’ve got a product or service that no one else in your market has, then you do what everyone else does.
A cut and color is a cut and color. A Swedish massage is a Swedish massage.
Now before you get all bent and start telling me how your particular primo technique and all that pump the breaks. That brings us to the last thing that you can compete on.
Now, in my opinion, this is where you want to do all your competing.
This is where your story hangs out.
I read a book a few years back by Michael Gerber called the E-Myth.
I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Or at least heard quotes from the book, like working on your business instead of working in your business.
He hit on a bunch of topics in that book, but one of those topics was the customer experience.
He talked about engineering the customer experience from the moment a customer walks through the door until they walk back out again.
Your atmosphere, your technique, your attitude.
All the stuff that lines up with what your client was looking for when they came in and what gets them to feel some kind of way about you.
It was good advice when he wrote it and it’s good advice now. You hear it referenced a lot when it comes to building your clientele.
Now I believe that you don’t turn off the experience machine when your clients walk out the door.
Oh no, no, no!
There’s an opportunity to be had here.
I continuously beat the drum about building your list. Well, here is one of the main reasons why.
How you communicate with the folks on your list is part of the story you’re telling about what you and your company are all about.
Do you really care about your clients, or only when they’re standing in front of you?
When you’ve got a list, you don't have to wait until they walk through the door.
Get the party started with the stuff you send out before they visit for the first time and with the stuff you send out between visits.
I like to tell my clients to treat the folks on your list the same way you’d treat your inner circle of friends.
What kind of stuff would you get out to them on a regular basis?
it’s not like you have to start from scratch either.
Aside from the obvious promotional stuff, there are two other kinds of content you want to push out on a regular basis.
Of course what you send has to be specific to you but there are guidelines you can use to handrail your efforts.
I have a checklist I use with my social media clients that helps me get the info I need in each of those three categories. I’ll drop a link in the show notes if you want a copy.
I'll have to bring this up with my new potential customer when the time comes. He’s got a story to tell. I’ve just got to expand his mind a little and show him how to use the tools to tell it.
Should be a fun conversation.
If you need help figuring out how to tell your story, download the checklist or just give me a call so we can kick some ideas around.
(702) 582-6708 or hop on my scheduling app at https://chriscarter.net/appointments
Those are always fun conversations and look forward to them because man, sometimes the things we get up to can be downright entertaining. I kid you not.
So your story has everything to do with what you want your client to experience.
If you’re building a list it’s up to you if that means just while they’re in the shop.
Okay it’s time for me to bounce but before I go let me say thanks again for listening.
You could be throwing your attention anywhere in the world, but you’re throwing it at me and I do appreciate it. I’ll do my best not to abuse the privilege.
Go forth and do good things. I’ll talk to you next time.