I encourage my clients to love what they do and do only what they love. That doesn’t mean all the other stuff can’t or doesn’t get done, far from it. Since my new clients are largely ignoring most of those bits anyway, we look for ways to clear the clutter and get those bits handled either by paying for it to be done, or by swapping skills with someone who gobbles up that sort of stuff.
A good way to work out which tasks should be on your To Do list and which on somebody else’s is to measure your energy; your body will always tell you what you love and what you don’t. If we can’t get up every day and know we are going to love our work, then there’s a message in there and not a very subtle one either.
So, which bits do you love? Take time to work that out and then take action to sub-contract the duff bits. I wonder what you’ll choose? One woman’s meat (or veggies!) is another’s poison.
Choose to come from a place of love, allow it to permeate everything you do including what you think and say. Wrap everything in love; this is very attractive to your ideal client and repels those who are not a good match for your vibe. If you have any client you can’t love for any reason – refer them on to someone else. If you love yourself, let them go. Make your office a lovely place for you to work and for your clients to visit.
Add value just for the joy of it – a birthday card, a Christmas card, and genuine messages of thoughtfulness and kindness to your clients, showing them you care. Be thoughtful about your client journey – what is their customer experience at every point from their first enquiry to the end of their time with you and beyond? Did they have to leave a message on your voice mail rather than speaking to a real human being? How long before you returned their call, if ever? Are you so impossible to reach your prospective client gives up trying?
Do you make it easy for your clients to book appointments with you and then find your office? What about an online appointment booking service and travel directions on your website? Make it clear what your cancellation policy is, what clients should expect on their first visit and how to pay. Never assume. Walk yourself through their client journey and ask yourself how you would feel if you were your own client. Is it a lovely and easy experience that encourages repeat business? A mystery shopping service might help you assess that. Never take clients for granted or find them annoying; it leaks.
When I saw Elton John live in concert at a stately home, we had great tickets in the first five rows. He sang all my favourite songs and I cried in all the right places and I was just in heaven. But the businesswoman in me noticed something about him and learned a really important lesson that night. He didn’t take the applause for granted – not for one moment, he loved and appreciated it, and he demonstrated to me between every song that the minute he loses our love, he knows his income flow is over. What a showman! But it was his business savvy which really impressed me and that must be difficult to sustain after all this time, unless you genuinely appreciate your buying public. Many a lesser entertainer has fallen at this hurdle, not loving the audience enough. Where are they now?
Create an infectious energy and buzz around your premises or virtual premises, keep the energy high and very attractive. The desire to continually improve the service to your clients demonstrates that you are still in love with them and with your business. And if it works, don’t fix it too often as although clients appreciate you refreshing what you do now and then, they don’t like constant change, it’s unsettling.
Once you notice yourself not caring any more about any of this, you are no longer on the upward curve and it may be time to move on. Writing this has reminded me too of a few dark corners which could stand me shining my light of love in there and having a clear-eyed review. You?