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How to Retain and Nurture Your Clients

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Would You Like To Immediately Triple Your Income Whilst Reducing Your Marketing Costs By 6 Times?

Welcome to the power of client retention and nurturing; one of the most valuable processes in business, and one of the most neglected.

Business owners work hard and invest substantially to acquire clients. Yet, once clients are converted they rarely utilise processes that maximise the client’s value.

Acquiring a new client is between 6 to 20 times MORE costly than retaining and nurturing an existing one.

Let us demonstrate.

Let’s say you advertise your coaching services in the Yellow Pages. Your advertisement costs $4,000 and you convert 10 clients. Your Cost of Acquisition is $400 per client. Each client is converted, on average, into a 3-month one-to-one coaching contract, valued at $1,500. Your gross profit is $1,100 ($1,500 – $400). 

Your net profit ($1,500 – $400 – all other expenses) is $750.

Most coaches stop there. They feel as though their job is done. In fact, some coaches have the perception that unless a client specifically requests additional services, it’s unethical to propose more services.

Of course, this paradigm of thinking is preposterous. Only by (ethically) getting your clients to undertake a wide range of products and services over an extended period of time can you be of significant value to your client. By limiting their access, for whatever reason, to valuable products and services, you are doing your clients a disservice.

Limited Thinking = Limited Business

The truth is, most businesses fail to think past their first core transaction. This is disappointing and destructive commercially. But it’s most disappointing from a relationship perspective. If you can’t think past your first transaction, it’s impossible to truly serve your clients. Only by approaching the relationship from the perspective of longevity can you create true, enduring value for your clients.

Do you know the number 1 reason clients cease to do business with you? Apathetic Despondence. Your clients don’t feel that you really care. In most cases it’s not that your client stops doing business with you – it’s that you stop doing business with them! Business owners think they’re doing their clients a wonderful service, simply by providing the bare skeleton necessities. They don’t create value in the relationship. They don’t develop a clear point of distinction. They don’t show they care.

As a purchaser of services and goods, how many transactions would you be involved in each year? Hundreds? Maybe even thousands of transactions with different businesses. When was the last time you felt genuinely cared for; special; nurtured by a business? Possibly never!

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to be served by a business person that genuinely cares about you, you know first hand the loyalty this creates. You buy from them again and again. You’ll travel ridiculous distances, pay more, and buy more frequently… simply because they care. And that makes you feel important.

An Economic Case

As well as the ethical case for retaining and nurturing clients, there is an excellent economical case. Referring to the example earlier, let’s see what happens when we nurture our clients.

Your Yellow Pages advertising resulted in 10 clients, each earning you a net profit of $750 each. At the end of the 3-month one-to-one contract the majority of coaches display their Apathetic Despondence and fail to nurture their client. This results in the relationship reaching a ‘natural’ end.

However, if you nurtured your client over an extended period, they may also invest in: Teleconference Series ($197); Bootcamp ($3,500); Group Coaching ($1,000); Seminars & Workshops ($500); eBooks, eCourse, etc ($500). That’s $5,697.00 income.

You’ve multiplied your gross income by almost 4 times. Your nurturing costs are practically negligible, meaning your net profit has increased by 7 times! This strategy alone can almost immediately turn a coaching business making $30,000 per year into a business earning $100,000 + per year.

How To Retain & Nurture

Retention and nurturing strategies are simple, fun, and low cost. So many businesses fail at nurturing that it makes nurturing such an easy process and massive point of distinction for those businesses that do!

Here are some retention and nurturing strategies to implement immediately:

Link clients and prospects into a regular communication cycle. Regular communication is paramount to any retention and nurturing system. It’s impossible to build a relationship if you do not regularly and predictably communicate. Many businesses ‘dig up’ their databases to use as promotions. This is destructive. You are asking without first giving. Clients and prospects will resent you for this. But they’ll love you for giving them something for nothing; and then providing them with an opportunity to invest.

Thank clients for doing business with you. Most businesses behave as though the client is the lucky one to be using their service. You may behave like this without even knowing it. After every session, service, or product purchase you should THANK your client. Send them an email; sms; card; letter; small gift. Make them feel special and valued.

Give away’s. We all love unexpected gifts. An excellent nurturing and retention strategy is to give away high perceived-value, low cost gifts.

An excellent way to create value for your clients, at little or no cost to you, is to develop joint ventures with other businesses. For instance, you could approach health spa’s and get them to provide a free treatment voucher. They are often willing to provide a free treatment as a loss-leader to acquire new clients. This strategy can be applied across a broad range of services.

Add-value to the relationship. Send clients specific information relating to their challenges. Send research, reports, tools, press releases. Anything that your client will find interesting.

Go further than expected. The key to creating true value is to go further than your client would reasonably expect you to go. If you do this, you tilt the reciprocal obligation in your favour, and your client will feel indebted to you.

And here are some additional pointers to keep in mind…

Focus your marketing on existing clients. Your current clients have already overcome certain hurdles to doing business with you. They are much more likely to buy from you again. Focus most of your time, efforts, and resources on better serving your current clients. Go deeper rather than wider.

Be consistent in your approach and interactions. Treat clients with honesty, humor, and respect. Present a consistent, solid, and professional style to your clients – one they can grow to depend on.

Follow through on your commitments. If you promise to send information or to follow up, be sure to do this. You’d be surprised at how many professionals promise to send information, but then never do. You will gain loyalty and trust by doing what you say you’ll do.

Allow yourself to connect. Find out about their lives, hopes, goals, and desired outcomes. Ask questions that encourage a deeper sense of shared understanding. The greater the level of connection, the greater the mutual satisfaction.

Have fun. It’s easy to get caught up in goals, outcomes, deliverable. Whilst clients do want outcomes, they also want to work with people who enjoy what they do. The more fun you can have while providing strong outcomes, the longer your clients will stay.

Position yourself as a resource for life. Tell clients at the beginning that you want to be their coach for life. That means they can always come back to work with you no matter how much time has passed between meetings.

Ask for feedback and input. At intervals throughout the working relationship, solicit feedback and input. Ask your clients how they feel about working with you and ask if they have suggestions for how the working relationship or outcomes can be improved. Asking for their ideas shows that you care about their opinions and value their contributions.

Share resources. Do you know of a good book that your client might benefit from reading? Tell him about it. Do you have the name of someone who could help your client move ahead on her business plan? Tell her about it. Sharing resources is a terrific way to build loyalty and satisfaction.

Reward them for staying on. You might consider implementing some kind of loyalty or perks program, where your long-term clients are rewarded for staying on. You might offer them gifts, products, or services for a certain level of ongoing participation with your business. Maybe Gold or Platinum Membership to your exclusive club.

Keep learning. The more you focus on gaining new knowledge, new skills, and new experiences, the more you have to offer your clients. The more you have to offer, the more they will benefit. The more they benefit, the longer they stay. Keep focused on your own professional growth and learning – make this a priority. Both you – and your clients – will gain.

Top 10 Marketing Principals for Coaches

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Just as marketing is the cornerstone of your business success, systems are the foundation of effective marketing. If you consider the key differentiators between an extremely successful enterprise and an averagely successful enterprise in the same industry, it’s always one of two things (or a combination) that makes the difference.
 
They are marketing and innovation. And whilst innovation can give you first to market advantage, it will not guarantee the sustainable success of your business.
 
To develop systems that’ll underpin your marketing success requires awareness of the necessary elements; an implementation plan; an action plan; a means to monitor effectiveness; a continuous improvement process; and perseverance.
 
In this article we’re going to focus on 10 core underlying principals of marketing. These principals will form the framework of your marketing plan and build the foundation by which you’ll implement the specific marketing techniques of future modules.
 
1. Strategy and Planning
 
Every company that is successful at marketing has strategised and planned their success. Marketing success is not a product of chance. To be an effective marketer, you must plan. Develop a comprehensive Marketing Plan utilising the information contained here and set yourself specific tangible goals.
 
2. Innovation
 
Differentiating yourself, your business and your products from your competitors is critical. If you do not differentiate, your prospects will have NO COMPELLING REASON to choose your service over that of your competitors (of which there will be many).
 
The most powerful way for you to differentiate your business is through product innovation. By innovating a product (it doesn’t have to be a complex innovation) you’ll be perceived as an expert in your niche area.
 
Your marketing battle is won and lost in the minds of your prospects and clients. It is significantly easier to get into your prospects mind first, than it is to convince them that you have a better product than the competitor that did get there first.
 
The best way to innovate products is to focus on solving the problems of your niche market.
 
3. Perception
 
Where does your marketplace exist? This is a CRITICAL question!
 
Your marketplace exists solely in the mind of your prospect and client. Every effort you invest in marketing is an effort to win the perception of your prospect. Only by establishing the right perception can you invoke them to take the actions you desire. Your prospects perception is their reality and everything else is simply an illusion.
 
Your objective therefore is to build perceptions that compel your prospects to act in accord with your desires.
 
The most wasteful effort you can expend in your business is to try and change the perception of your prospects. By marketing without differentiating and innovating you are trying to change the perceptions of your prospects!
 
People rarely change their minds and even when they do they resent doing so. You must build perception through first to market niche products.
 
4. Communication
 
Communication in all forms with your prospects, clients and the public at large is critical in determining how your business is perceived. Just as effective communication is critical in interpersonal relationships, so too is it critical in the business-client/prospect relationship.
 
Everything you say (or don’t say), in your written communication (advertisements, brochures, articles, sales letters, follow-up letters, etc), and verbally (on the phone, public speaking, delivering your service, etc) dramatically affects the perception prospects and clients have of your business.
 
Ensure that all communication delivers the message you want to convey about you, your business, products and services; and ensure that the message you convey is CONSISTENT with your niche markets expectations and desires.
 
5. Sacrifice
 
Paradoxically, effective marketing usually requires sacrifice. Sacrifice in the following areas may be necessary:
 
Products. Many businesses as they attempt to attract more clients go through the mental process of thinking that more products will equate to more clients (which in turn will equate to more revenue and profit). This is not necessarily (most often not!) the case. By expanding your product base you become exposed to the risk that you dilute the perceived benefits of your service in the minds of your prospects. And remember, perception is everything.
 
Often a focussed, narrower, niche specialty product can be SUBSTANTIALLY more effective than a diversified product range. You CAN NOT be everything to everyone, so be valuable to your core niche market.
 
Market. To build the requisite perception in the minds of your prospects you may need to sacrifice some market share. Experts and niche products build stronger perceptions and greater loyalty than generalists.
 
Change. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of possible market trends. If you have successfully built your brand perception in the minds of your prospects, a lot of damage can be done by trying to change strategy to chase first to market advantages or compete in new unsubstantiated niches.
 
Profit. Successful businesses re-invest profit to expand. Building perceptions takes capital. Sometimes it’s better to sacrifice some profit taking early on in order to expand your business and entrench your position. This may make it significantly more difficult for competitors in the future and generate much larger profits in the long run.
 
6. Multiple Strategies
 
Successful marketing is not built on one strategy alone. Prospects need to impacted multiple times before you can develop the necessary rapport, trust and comfort for them buy from you. To achieve multiple impacts usually requires multiple marketing strategies.
 
Reliance on a single marketing strategy also places you in substantial RISK. For instance, if you rely on a Yellow Pages advertisement for your lead generation, several competitors may also start using the same medium. In one year your lead generation may be diluted to only 10% of previous years, yet your marketing budget may be grossly spent.
 
People are diverse. Within your target niche there are people that prefer and respond to different mediums in different ways. For instance, within your target niche, there may be people that search for your services on the Internet, and some potential leads that may not even own a computer.
 
Marketing strategies and mediums to consider are:

  • Information Forums;
  • Specialist Interviews;
  • Print advertising;
  • Flyers and pamphlets;
  • Affiliate Programs;
  • Joint Ventures;
  • Publishing;
  • Tele-classes and Tele-Seminars;
  • Education Forums;
  • Internet;
  • Direct Mail;
  • Referral;
  • Viral Marketing;
  • Workshops, seminars and group events.

7. Mindset
 
It’s CRUCIAL to your success that you develop the appropriate Marketing Mindset. Without the right mindset you simply will NOT be able to market effectively and produce the necessary results.
 
8. Client Focus
 
For you to maintain the right Marketing Mindset, you must be passionate about the RIGHT THING. You must LOVE YOUR CLIENT. If you are passionate about invoking positive outcomes in the lives of your clients and helping them overcome their substantial challenges; AND you are UNRESERVED in your ability, then you should have no barriers to developing the right Marketing Mindset. 

  • Only coaches that doubt their ability to assist clients are sceptical about telling prospects HOW they will help them. 
  • Coaches that are nervous about CLOSING A SALE are coaches that are sceptical about their ability to help the prospect. 
  • Coaches that doubt their ability FEAR providing a guarantee because they think people will ask for their money back. 

If you are focussed entirely on your clients’ success, your success will result.
 
9. Educate, don’t Sell
 
Effective marketers EDUCATE their leads, they don’t SELL their services.
 
Education based marketing is largely about Credibility Marketing, such as public speaking, information based teleclasses, publications, networking, hotlines, free educational give-aways (such as reports, assessments, tools, eCourses), etc.
 
Education marketing demonstrates, in a non-intrusive manner, to your leads how you can assist them overcome their substantial challenges. Education based marketing allows you to communicate to leads at a different level. Their barriers are substantially lowered, as they’re framed in a learning context, not a sales context. They’re not sceptical.
 
10. Cycle of Life
 
Only a very small percentage of your prospects are READY to purchase at any particular point in time.
 
Most businesses have a marketing system that TOTALLY NEGLECTS this fact. If 100 people enquire about your services, most likely only 5 to 15 will be seriously looking to purchase at THAT time. The others are simply inquisitive or think they may purchase at some time in the future.
 
This process is called the Cycle of Life. People regularly enquire about products and services without buying. Think about yourself. You may have the idea that you want a new couch. That thought sits in the back of your mind and over time you visit a few retailers that sell couches. You may visit 6 places over 3-months. EVERY one of those salespeople think you are going to buy a couch THAT VERY WEEKEND! But do you? NO! But will you buy a couch at some point in the future – YES.
 
How many of those couch salespeople keep in contact with you over the course of several months until you actually decide it’s time to buy? We’ll tell you how many… NONE!!!!
 
What if just ONE of those couch salespeople offered you a non-intrusive process to learn about what couches will compliment your lounge room, which couches last longest and which ones stain very badly and which ones didn’t? You’d most likely take him up on the offer. And then, after 5-months of learning and being educated by this person, who would you feel COMPELLED to purchase from? Of course!
 
Or to use another analogy, what if 2 sets of parents had children selling cold lemonade at a parade on a hot day. Each set of parents had 4 children. One set of parents assisted their children establish a nice table and inviting sign from which to sell the drinks from.
 
The other set of parents assisted their children set up 4 stands at equal intervals along the parade.
 
Which family sold more lemonade? Of course it’s the children with 4 stands because people are thirsty (desire the product) at different times along the length of the parade. When their client wanted their product, they were there! Nobody was going to double back to get a lemonade.
 
The life of your prospect is the same as the passing parade. You must recognise that your prospects are going through the Cycle of Life. You MUST be in your prospects consciousness IN THE INSTANT they desire your product. You MUST have a means to add value to them in a non-intrusive and informative manner throughout the ENTIRETY of their Cycle of Life. 

Work Relationships

Business Development, Professional Development Comments Off

A client has approached you with one of those situations that most people have encountered in their working life at some time or other: “What are the best ways to approach a person in the office I don’t seem to be able to get on with and ‘clear the air’ with them once and for all? Terry Neal, LCI’s Master Coach, answers…
 
This can be a challenging situation for your client who feels that this needs to happen as well as for those other staff members who may be indirectly affected by this as well. As the coach in this situation I would start by checking with your client as to what relationship they would like to have with this person once the “air is cleared”.
 
Does your client want to have a once only meeting with no further thoughts of interaction with their colleague other than what’s necessary for business – or do they want to establish a better long-term working relationship as well?
 
Initially you may detect that this situation could be a case of sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination. If this is the case, then ethically you would need to assist your client by providing information about appropriate government departments which can assist them with these matters. If this isn’t obvious at first, be aware in case your client talks about certain behaviours during the course of their session with you that could lead you to feel that one of the above scenarios is taking place in their work place.
 
However for this example, let’s assume that apart from clearing the air that your client would like to be able to have a better long-term working relationship with their colleague. Therefore to begin with you could ask the client to imagine themselves in the perfect scenario with this colleague.
 
You could ask them something like this: “Let’s imagine that tomorrow morning when you come into the office that the difficulties that you’ve been experiencing with your work colleague aren’t there anymore. How would you know that this has happened? What would you notice that was happening differently with you?
 
This could be a great way to encourage your client to image their ideal office scenario with their colleague. You could then follow this up with more questions that draw out the details of this picture; questions like “What else would be different if this miracle happens?” and as they talk about some of the ways that they’d feel different, encourage them to talk about what they would be doing with or saying to their colleague if they were “less angry” or “not feeling belittled” – or whatever the challenge was that they were having with that particular colleague.
 
It would also be important for you to help your client to see what the contrasts would be from before to after the miracle had occurred particularly if your client starts to rehash the original situation over again and starts to get stuck in that cycle of hopelessness. Keep on bringing them back to the positive where the problem has been solved through a miracle. You could then ask your client to look at how the other person might be in this miracle situation, how they might be different. What would your colleague be saying or doing in this miracle situation – especially towards you?
 
Now at this point you may find that your client may be saying that it’s OK having this miracle picture and it sounds great BUT it’s not happening in this way NOW and that they’re still in a situation of being in conflict right now – and that they have to be back with their colleague tomorrow morning at work.
 
If this scenario is raised by your client through their frustration with the current situation and they’re not able to entertain the possibility of a “miracle” happening, or if they are excited by the prospect of such a “miracle” scenario happening, you could assist them to begin creating a different relationship by asking them to recall if there have been any times in their interactions at work (or elsewhere if this also occurs) when there hasn’t been any conflict or when they thought that there might have been a difficulty but it didn’t happen?
 
Most people can bring to mind some occasion, an exception, when there was no conflict and maybe there was even agreement on a particular issue or topic. Encourage your client to focus on such a situation/s if they have happened more than once over a number of topics.
 
If your client cannot remember a time when there was an exception or an area of common interest was shared by them and their colleague, you could suggest one of two things. First, go back to the miracle question and review the scenario created by your client and ask more questions about this scenario that they would like to have with their colleague.
 
You would do this to see if what your client wants is at all feasible for while a miracle is always possible, there may be another miracle scenario that your client can imagine for which there are some workable exceptions. For example if your client said that in a miracle scenario, their colleague wasn’t at work and/or had been fired, this could be a scenario but maybe not the most appropriate one to work with. Rather than “clearing the air” or possibly creating a better working relationship with them your client has merely removed them from the picture.
 
Second, you could ask your client to observe their colleague and to note any situation where they could be involved with them in a positive way; for example listening to their point of view on a particular issue and stating agreement with them if it’s also your point of view. In other words noting ask your client to note opportunities however small that could help to create some measure of connection between your client and their colleague.
 
It would now be a good idea to assist your client to review where they are in relation to the whole office situation after imagining a miracle and noting possible exceptions. You could ask your client: On a scale of zero to 10 where 10 is where the office situation is exactly how you’d like it to be while zero is where it’s as bad as it could possibly be, where are you right now? You could then follow up with a question like: What would need to happen for you to notice a small improvement so that you could say that things have moved up a little bit on the scale?
 
If your client seems confident and has expressed a desire for change you could also check out how confident and motivated they are by asking once again using a scale of zero to 10 with zero being “not at all” and 10 being “totally confident and willing”, how willing they would be to make things better and how confident they are that things are going to get better.
 
So the final step in this process using solution focused therapy would be to set your client some tasks that are either active (e.g. pick a day between now and next time we meet and on that day pretend that you miracle has happened and note how the day goes) and/or observational (e.g. observe your colleague and those around him or her and note the colleague’s actions and what they talk about to those around them). This could assist your client to find a point of common interest which they were not aware of before.
 
It would be important once again to mention to your client that this unobtrusive observational action may assist them in finding a common point of interest that could act as a starting point for communication with their colleague

Optimal vs. Non-Optimal Clients

Business Development Comments Off

Many business people, particularly in the early stages of their business, are so intent on getting a customer that they accept anyone. But not all customers are created equal. Generally only a small percentage of your target niche are customers that are beneficial to your business.
 
It’s most often the case that your optimal customers, which may represent only 20% or less of your customers, actually subsidize the service you provide for non-optimal customers. In other words, if you didn’t have your optimal customers, you would lose money. Or conversely, if you only had optimal customers, your profit would skyrocket.
 
Here are some attributes of optimal and non-optimal customers. Maybe when you look at these certain customers will come to mind!
 
Optimal customers: 

  • Pay on time;
  • Pay a higher price;
  • Spread word of your good service;
  • Stay a customer for a long time;
  • Purchase frequently;
  • Are easy to deal with.

Non-optimal customers:

  • Demand a lot of your (non-billable) time;
  • Are delinquent payers;
  • Don’t appreciate your service;
  • Shop around based on price;
  • Are unpredictable and difficult to service.

The challenge then becomes how to attract more optimal customers and less (none!) non-optimal customers. Here’s a 6-Step Plan to maximize the number of optimal customers you have.
 
STEP 1: Clearly DEFINE the characteristics and attributes of your optimal customer.
 
Firstly you must know who your optimal customers are. You need to know as much as possible about them. Only by defining their unique characteristics can you then a/ explore ways to get more like customers; and b/ exclude customers not exuding these characteristics.
 
STEP 2: TARGET your optimal customers.
 
Your optimal customers may only comprise a small sub-section of your niche. Generally though, they’re harder to convert, but much more loyal and lucrative when you do.
 
Now that you know their characteristics, you need to target them. You need to know information such as: 

  1. Where they physically reside/work;
  2. What journals, papers, websites, etc they read in common;
  3. What their common problems, challenges, motivations are;

STEP 3: Structure a unique sales process to CONVERT them.
 
Your optimal clients often require: more information; more credibility; more time; more trust to convert.
 
To land the big fish, you need special equipment. The sales process you use to attract and convert your non-optimal customers most often will not work to convert your optimal customers. That’s why your optimal customers only comprise a small percentage of your customers.
 
It’s most likely you’ll find optimal customers slow to convert, particularly early on. You’ll need to dedicate 80% of your marketing time and effort to converting them. And your follow up process may extend across numerous contacts over several months.
 
STEP 4: OVERDELIVER.
 
You need to be an expert in your niche to convert and retain optimal customers. This means becoming an expert; espousing that you’re an expert; and delivering as an expert. And to augment this process you should strive to constantly DELIVER MORE than your prospect is EXPECTING.
 
You can do that by providing an extra service at no cost; giving away a voucher for a free session with another professional that you might have a JV agreement with; or providing valuable information that will assist them tackle common obstacles that relate to their lives.
 
STEP 5: Create impetus through ENDORSEMENT.
 
The point here is that if you want to light a rocket under your sales, you’ve got to go beyond selling products and services. You’ve got to sell a social identity.
 
Use your existing optimal customers to attract others. People of similar stature, trait and status gain credibility amongst their peer group. Use testimony and endorsement from existing optimal customers to build your credibility and trust with prospective optimal customers.
 
STEP 6: Be PERSISTENT.
 
Many businesses chase the big fish, but only a very small percentage actually work with them. One of the main reasons is lack of persistence. If you want to be successful you have to be more persistent than your colleagues chasing the same target.
 
IMPORTANT…
 
Everything you do reflects on your service and brand. To attract, convert and work with optimal customers, you need commitment and consistency. Remember how to apply the Rule of Commitment and Consistency: 

Once someone has made a decision they stubbornly defend it. You can use this self-validating process to up-sell and cross-sell additional products and services.
 
Soon after a sale, ask for referrals. Have a structured, automated system to ask clients for referrals within a short timeframe of them buying.
 
Carefully structure your selling strategies and scripts to invoke incremental “yeses” to taking up your service.
 
Act consistently. Everything you say, do, deliver and imply must be consistent. The moment you deviate in consistency you’ll lose credibility.
 
Once you finish running a session with a client or group of clients, be sure to reset a date and time for the next session before you finish. Clients will be far more committed to your services at time of delivery, and this is the best time to ask for future commitments.

Finally, every single piece of communication you have with them needs to be of the highest quality, consistently exuding your high quality service and brand.

The Rule of Liking

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People prefer to say yes to individuals they know and like. This simple rule helps to understand how Liking can create influence and how compliance professionals may emphasize certain factors and/or attributes to increase their overall attractiveness and subsequent effectiveness. Compliance practitioners may regularly use several factors.
 
Physical attractiveness is one feature of a person that often may help to create influence. Although it has long been suspected that physical beauty provides an advantage in social interaction, research indicates that this advantage may be greater than once supposed. Physical attractiveness seems to engender a “halo” effect that extends to favourable impressions of other traits such as talent, kindness, and intelligence. As a result, attractive people are more persuasive both in terms of getting what they request and in changing others’ attitudes.
 
Similarity is a second factor that influences both Liking and compliance. That is, we like people who are like us and are more willing to say yes to their requests, often without much critical consideration.
 
Praise is another factor that produces Liking, although this can sometimes backfire when it is too transparent. But generally compliments most often enhance liking and can be used as a means to gain compliance.
 
Increased familiarity through repeated contact with a person or thing is yet another factor that facilitates Liking. But this holds true principally when that contact takes place under positive rather than negative circumstances. One positive circumstance that may works well is mutual and successful cooperation.
 
A final factor linked to Liking is often association. By associating with products or positive things, those who seek influence frequently share in a halo effect by association. Other individuals as well appear to recognize the positive effect of simply associating themselves with favourable events and distancing themselves from unfavourable ones.
 
A potentially effective response that reduces vulnerability to the undue influence of Liking upon decision-making requires a recognition of how Liking and its attending factors may impact our impression of someone making requests and soliciting important decisions. That is, recognizing how someone making requests may do inordinately well under certain circumstances should cause us to step back from some social interaction and objectively separate the requester from his or her offer or request.
 
We should make decisions, commitments and offer compliance based upon the actual merits of the offer or request.
 
How to Apply the Rule of Liking in Your Coaching Business

  1. Use strategies to be liked by your prospects and clients. (Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie for some powerful tips).
  2. Always be positive and genuinely interested in the concerns of prospects.
  3. Always be fully present when communicating with clients and prospects. Never talk to a prospect on the phone while you’re on the internet or reading emails.
  4. Listen to your client when they tell you about their interests, their family and friends. Get in the habit of remembering names, events, favourite teams or pastimes and use this information to show a genuine interest and desire to get to know your clients. This shows that you care and people naturally like those that care

Source: www.coachingclub.com.au