Last week I was having coffee with a client and he told me a story about one of his former customers. She was reading his newsletter, which goes out every month, and was surprised to learn that his company did stairs (that particular newsletter featured a stair remodel his company had done for someone else). His former customer was looking for someone to do stair work for her, yet it never occurred to her to call him for that type of job. Read more
I made a big pot of soup this week for a potluck gathering with friends. Making soup is not a process you can rush, but it is well worth the wait. Read more
Has your professional services business defined its market niche? You may think so, but a closer look might reveal that your chosen niche isn’t as effective as it could be. You may have selected a target market, but have no defined specialty in the services you offer. Read more
You can learn a lot about marketing by listening to the radio. And you can learn even more by noticing when you’re not listening. A clear signal and music or talk you like to hear will keep you tuned in to a particular station. But too much static, too many ads, or programming not to your taste will overwhelm the signal, and all you’ll hear is noise. Read more
We sometimes look with awe and envy when we see someone who we consider has made it. Why? Because we believe they must know something we don’t know, have something we don’t have — and maybe they do. They had a vision they were willing to fund with their time, energy, Read more
One day, the phone just stopped ringing. At first, you may not have noticed it. You were busy serving your clients, keeping up in your field, and getting the bills paid, like all good professionals do. But then a project ended or a client quit, and you didn’t have a replacement waiting in the pipeline. Suddenly you realized that it had been quite some time since any new prospects were referred to you. Yikes, what’s going on? Read more
One of the most persistent barriers to success for self-employed professionals is fear of rejection. Sometimes this fear is quite conscious. You know that you are avoiding marketing and sales because you’re afraid your prospects will say no.
Other times the fear is lurking in the background, making an impact you’re not always aware of. You may find yourself procrastinating about making a phone call or setting up a sales appointment, and blame it on laziness or poor time management. Or you may avoid following up because you “don’t want to bug people.” Or perhaps it feels pushy to ask directly for a sale. Read more
The best way to go about choosing your market niche depends a lot on the products and services you are selling. For self-employed professionals who market their own services, the formula for a solid niche is: target market + specialty + desire + affinity. Read more
Whether you’re offering free seminars or teleclasses to bring in more clients, or for-profit workshops as a line of business, filling your scheduled programs can be a challenge. I am often asked the question “where should I list my classes?” as if there were some secret places Read more
Have you ever thought about calling someone to offer them your services, or invite them to coffee, or some other business-y thing, only to put the phone down and get distracted doing something else? When I think about drawing a straight line from my activities to making money, direct contact is the #1 thing that comes to mind. Which leads the question, what is direct contact, why is it sometimes so hard to do, and why does it strike fear into the hearts of so many of us? Read more
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