December 15, 2010

Do you Really know what your client wants?

There was a great article recently in StartupSmart about Brian Singer, co-founded the surf wear brand Rip Curl in 1969. Since then, Rip Curl has grown to become a global brand with sales reaching $450 million a year. He has a very simple tip that is extremely insightful.

"We both knew a lot about surfing and a lot of our friends were surfers. We knew what they wanted and we delivered it to them.

He also said; "Make sure you are the customer. Live the customer's life… Whatever you do, listen and respond. If you don't do that, you won't be around for long."

Singer insists that the business’ success comes down to the simple truism of knowing exactly what customers want and delivering it to them.

How will you do that, how do you know what your clients want, and what evidence do you have to support it?

What is your clients’ point of view; Why do they buy your product, and more importantly why do they buy from you? What does your product, service, business actually do for them?

As my mother used to say; If you don’t know ask. Do not assume that you ‘think’ you know. Actually do the work to find out.

Unfortunately, many business owners assume they know certain things about their clients and their potential clients. This can be fraught with danger, it can lead to other compounding issues such as; Ineffective marketing, creating the wrong message, attracting the wrong type of clients to your business, and most importantly NOT delivering what your clients actually want.

What are you assuming about you business and your clients, and why they buy your products?

It sound too easy; Get to know your clients better… build in some simple feedback into your sales process system. Maybe ask them some specific questions when they pick up their next order…

  • Talk to them; when you ask the questions, don’t forget to record the answers. So keep it simple. You might be surprised at what you find out.
  • Tell them what’s going on, what’s coming up that may be of value to them, or may interest them.
  • Build your relationship by giving back with the occasional thank you or bonus.

Apart from the obvious, what are the benefits for your business?

Having a better relationship with your clients where they feel appreciated and valued, is a benefit in itself. They will be more likely to help you when you ask for feedback, and be more likely to offer word of mouth referrals for your business; the holy grail of marketing.

You will get good information about what your clients want, so you can deliver it to them. More importantly, you can use this valuable information to help you find more of the right type of clients for your business.

Furthermore, when you ask them for referrals, they will be more likely to help you grow your business.

It seems like a very simple construct; ask them what they want then give it to them…

Image: Tree of Knowledge Photographer: Immi

December 13, 2010

Prosperity comes from overcoming fear

An article from Fabienne Fredrickson:

: "Until one is released, step by step or all at once, from the roots of fear-based thinking, no amount of Mo-ney will give prosperity. This is fact..." - Anonymous

Even though I'm totally unplugged from what's going on in the world, by choice, stuff is still trickling in. You see, I've made a conscious choice for years not to listen to the news, read the papers or listen to talk radio. It's not just that I'm a very sensitive person and I react to negative stuff more deeply than others seem to, it's that I don't like what it does to my mindset. Somehow, I seem to focus on the bad news and then it affects everything else in my life. Some people have told me in the past years that my "unplugging" is foolish, that I'm missing out on what's going on in the world, or that I'm naïve, thinking that if I don't hear it, it doesn't exist.

Well, in a way, that's true for me. If I don't know about it, then it can't affect me. And so, while the rest of the world seems to be spiraling in a big mess of fear, worry and doubt, I'm oblivious to it, in a good way. Because my mind isn't tainted with this "stuff", I'm continuing to prosper, we continue to grow, and more abundance is flowing into my life in every area. And I wish more people would do what I do. Here's why.

You have to understand that the news media is only interested in one thing, and one thing only: Advertising do11ars (I know, I used to work in advertising.) The more people are tuned in to their show or read their publication, the higher they can charge their advertisers. And to artificially grow the numbers, the media has to do ANYTHING it can to get your attention. And FEAR is the best way to get someone's attention, and to get them to keep coming back for more, for "fear" of missing something important.

When you understand this, you get clear that there's a lot of hype out there, and it's all plugging in to what I call the "collective fear". And when you're in fear, you cannot be prosperous, no matter how much mo-ney you have. Why? Because prosperity is a state of mind. Let me say that again: When you're in fear, you cannot be prosperous. Here's something I read recently in a channeled text:

"Until one is released, step by step or all at once, from the roots of fear-based thinking, no amount of Money will give prosperity. This is fact..."

Listen, I get that fear is a biggie. It's easy to get sucked in. I know a few people right now who are gripped with fear. They're holding on so tight to their mo-ney, that they're "white-knuckling" it through life. They are absolutely miserable. And you know what? They actually have plenty of mo-ney in the bank! But because they have fear, it doesn't matter. Because prosperity is a state of mind.

The key to attracting prosperity is to refuse to focus on things that cause you fear, and to eliminate fear from your life. Now, some clients say to me,"Fabienne, how can I *not* focus on fear. There is evidence all around me that things aren't going well?" My answer to them is that you can CHOOSE not to struggle.

Look all around you. Nature doesn't struggle. A blade of grass doesn't struggle to grow. It just does. Instead of focusing on all the things that appear to be "going downhill", shift your focus. Look at everything around you that IS going well. There's a way that we, as humans, tend to focus on the 2% that's NOT going well, as opposed to the 98% that IS going well in our lives. What are YOU focusing on?

The best way that I've found to get out of fear these days is to focus on the present moment. If I'm in a bad mood or noticing that the collective fear is leaking into my world, I stop everything and I tap into the present moment. However simple this may seem to you, it's actually miraculous. I throw on a scarf, go down to the beach and take a walk along the water. I put my attention on the subtle scent of the sea air, I listen to the seagulls, I watch my footsteps in the sand. I stay totally present. Why?

Because you CANNOT be in fear AND in the present moment at the same time. It's impossible. When you are in the present moment, you are in direct connection to Spirit or God or the Universe, whatever you choose to call it. And that is your direct pipeline to love. And love and fear cannot coexist. It's a universal law.

What does this have to do with Client Attraction? EVERYTHING. Here's why: If you're gripped with fear, sitting at your desk, wondering where the clients are or why people are leaving, you are feeding yourself with this collective fear. That stops you from marketing and the energy that you DO put into your marketing when you actually do it is a negative energy. Which brings more of the lack into your life, which then repels prosperity.

Instead, focus on what's going well. Be in gratitude for what you DO have. Take a break from work, walk away from your desk, tickle your kids, go walk the dog, focus on the air outside, whatever it takes to just take your focus OFF of the fear. When you do that, you will watch the fear literally disintegrate right in front of your eyes. Then, when you go back to work on your marketing, you'll find yourself coming from a totally different perspective. Instead of coming from "lack", you'll be coming from "attraction". And that's when the clients come in. That's when the mo-ney pours in.

Your Client Attraction Assignment:

Take special notice of when you get sucked in to the collective fear. Put yourself in a place of being unplugged from it. Stop watching the news, stop reading the papers, and change the conversation when your friends and neighbors begin talking about things having to do with lack. Shift your focus to what IS abundant in your life.

1) Appreciation and Gratitude

List at least 10 things/people you are grateful for in your life right now:


2) Choose one item/person and describe "why" you are grateful for this. Describe how it makes you feel:

3) Acknowledge your successes

List at least 5 successes you enjoyed yesterday. These can be very little (like making your bed) to very significant (like getting a new client)


Do this every day. Then, once you're in a place of feeling abundant again, it's time to get back to marketing. Remember, you've got to take ACTION too. You can't just sit on your sofa and wish for new clients. You've got to implement authentic, compelling and consistent marketing that will have people REACH OUT to you, credit card in hand, wanting to work with you.

More about Fabienne:

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction SystemTM , the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time...guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your in.come,

December 12, 2010

Season's Greetings!

Wishing you all the very best for a wonderful Festive Season with friends and family...

Merry Christmas!!

Image: Christmas Baubles Photographer: Simon Howden

December 11, 2010

Acknowledge when you achieve

Pessimists are often perfectionists and are too tough on themselves.

"Perfectionism is negative and irrational. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do your best..... but you'll never deliver if you expect to be perfect" says Rooke.

The solution? Acknowledge when you have achieved, not just when you haven't, and don't attribute success to good luck or other people - you've achieved those things

Optimists know how to take credit when it's due.


are you one of those people that must do everything right the first time and it must be perfect otherwise, well it's a failure (in your head of course!) ?

won't allow yourself to celebrate the milestones reached and goals achieved?

This coming year it's all about Giving yourself a Break and just allowing things to take their course and allow yourself to be the you.

It's time to celebrate all achievements big and small, you really can do it!

Image: Achievement Photographer/Designer: Gregory Szarkiewicz

December 7, 2010

What's in a Colour?

Colour plays such an important part of our lives and has such an impact at varying levels that at times, we don't even realise that we've made a purchasing decision or selected our wardrobe for the day based on the how a colour makes us feel.

When we are happy, we tend to lean towards bright, vibrant, happy colours that match our smile and spirit. When we are sad or tired many of us will select colours that are darker, muted so that we don't draw attention to ourselves.

We do the same for our business... we want to evoke an emotion, we try to convey a feeling, we want our product/image/brand etc. to reach out to our target market and to make an impact - give that WOW factor that makes us the product of choice.

Colour trends have come to play an important role in how we "package" ourselves... so much more research is carried out in this area, and it's not just for fashion. It has a huge impact on business as well.

Here are some tips from Global Colour Research Limited and the impact of Colour for your business.

Ten Things about Colour for your business:

  1. Colour is one of the most basic means of human expression.
  2. Consumer demand requires you to know your target market's colour preferences, even before they do; maintaining an awareness of forecasted trends allows you the time to react to market changes and make modifications to product or service lines.
  3. Distinct colour application can help communicate your message, brand, or product more effectively.
  4. An accurate colour selection helps your brand stand out in a saturated global environment.
  5. Informed colour choices can align brands with a particular attitude or status.
  6. Inspiring colour solutions help companies to position themselves against their competitors, creating a more directional offering for their client base.
  7. Many purchase decisions are made within the first three seconds; in this short period of time, colour is the only factor available to be communicated effectively.
  8. Colour is a powerful influencer for pushing sales; specific colours reflect certain moods.
  9. Limited edition colour options increase sales and heighten product exclusivity.
  10. Product developers that select trend conscious colours attract consumer interest.

I find it so interesting and so important... I love working with our clients on how we fit the colours of their business together with their brand/products.... it's like a jigsaw in some ways... getting the colours, the client and the business pieces all together

December 6, 2010

Loving what you do ... business & personal

The topic of many discussions over the last weeks have revolved around "Do you Love what you do?"

Some of these discussions have been very passionate and others somewhat subdued... quite a few people have been really surprised to learn that for them, that they actually "Don't" love what they do and were a little taken aback to find out that they were way off track in terms of what they want to be doing and where they have ended up.... and others just love everything about their business.

I have to admit that I LOVE the twinkle in the eyes when others talk about what they love doing... it is so contagious and when you see other's passion, you feel what they feel and then all of a sudden you are whisked away on the journey with them as they share the story of what they do - without a doubt, it's one of my favourite parts of my job

So, when we are working with someone who has lost their way, how do you bring that back around to where you want to be going and what you want to be doing??

One of the key questions that we raise with our clients then is 'how much effort are you willing to put into actually taking this step?"

It's a warts and all approach, as we uncover all of these outside pressures; family, clients, expectations from colleagues, that have ultimately steered them in an alternative direction.

In some instances, they make a decision to keep doing what they are currently doing as the change is too hard for them to make.

Although, most make a decision to change direction and take their business to the place that they had always dreamed of when they first started their business.

The process is involved, but the reward far out ways any negatives that you may come across... I've done it with my business and so have a first hand understanding of what you need to put in to achieve what you really want.

Do you LOVE what you do?

December 4, 2010

Hello, what do you do?

As a business person you get asked this a lot… by people you meet, at events and especially at networking and business functions. How do you answer this question? And do you know how powerful your answer can be if you thought about it and worked on it?

Generally, the standard answer is; I’m a dentist, an accountant, lawyer, plumber… I make kites. At this point there is an uncomfortable silence in the conversation. What can you say to that? There is nowhere to go. You immediately feel guilty because you have not been to the dentist and you are sure that he is going to ask…

How you respond to this question will be the difference between creating a great impression and just making up the numbers… The answer you give creates a perception of you and your business. It is known as your verbal logo. It is your opportunity to create a great first impression, you only get one chance.

Being able to speak passionately, from your heart, will make it a lot easier for you to craft and develop your verbal logo. If you prepare and practice your answer it will sound more conversational. You do not want it to sound contrived or forced. If you are smooth and comfortable with your delivery you will create a good impression at these events and occasions.

A well constructed verbal logo is a powerful tool. It is your opportunity to create the right perception of your brand. How you are perceived is how that person will describe your brand to someone else. Perception is everything!

Take the example of a small, independent kite manufacturer. What do you think his answer might be when asked what he does…? If you said; “I make the worlds best environmentally friendly, hand made kites.” you would not even be close.

Instead, he conjures up the most wonderful image in our minds, and leaves us with an awesome perception of what he does.

His answer… “I make quality time with dad.” What a fantastic answer, it is a conversation starter and we now know exactly what he stands for. The natural reply is; “how do you do that?”…

We now have a fabulous insight into why he makes kites, and what is important to him, what his clients’ value, and why they buy his kites!

We give our client self confidence and a beautiful smile” – Who wants to go to this dentist?

Tips to remember when crafting your verbal logo:

· Your verbal logo is very powerful and it forms how your brand is perceived.

· Think about why you do what you do, and what is important to you.

· Speak from the heart; If you speak about what you are passionate about, you won’t sound like you are selling.

· Know why your clients buy your brand. It is not the product but the result of what your product does for them.

· Practice your verbal logo so you are smooth and confident with your delivery.

Why do your clients buy your product? When you know this, then this will be the answer to your question when you are asked…

December 3, 2010

ummm.... Procrastination

We have been carrying out a lot research to help understand what types of barriers we all face when we are trying to grow. I have been looking at these barriers on two levels; business and personal.

Whether we like it or not, they are intertwined and we must be able to work on all these areas so that we can be the best person we want to be.

The first stop on my research adventure was Procrastination. For me, I found it both interesting and confronting at the same time....

The definition of Procrastination:

Procrastination refers to the deferment of actions or tasks to a later time

"For an individual, procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of personal productivity, the creation of crisis and disapproval from others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments"

I thrive when I have a million things do to and am under the pump - I find then that I move quickly from one task to another just like clicking my fingers... if however, I have a fairly relaxed schedule, then I tend to put things off and 'dawdle' around the things I have to do!

For me, I know that when I have that slower pace, I tend to start to question the things that I do and why I do them and how I do them and should I do them and so it goes on and on....

"Most people who procrastinate will spend a lot of time and energy berating themselves for procrastinating" yep that's one for me!!

How about you? Do you find that you beat yourself up because you procrastinate? Do you think that you lazy when you procrastinate?

On conducting further research, I found that the core feeling associated with procrastination was a feeling of "unworthiness" and we "use procrastination as a way to keep us from getting to where we say we want to go"

Feelings of unworthiness are pretty heavy and bring all kinds of different feelings on top of those you are already thinking about. I am still working through some of these so that I can better understand why I do some of the things that I do.

Particularly in terms of valuing my worth as a business person..... and I guess if we are all honest, well then I think we all question ourselves about being worthy of our success at various times in our lives. It's then what we choose to do with this information that allows us to move forward....

Some questions to ask yourself and have a think about:

  • Do you know what effect Procrastination has on you and your business success?
  • Is procrastination a barrier that you face?
  • How do you handle your procrastination?
  • Are you even aware that it could be holding you back?
Love to hear your thoughts?