How can you use the Law of Attraction in your business?

Do you use the Law of Attraction in your business, to get the clients, staff and suppliers you want? If you ever find yourself using words like ‘coincidence’ or ‘serendipity’ or saying that good things just seem to happen, then you are probably already using the Law of Attraction without realising it.

Some years ago I was introduced to a book called Attracting Perfect Customers by Stacey Hall. It showed me how to find perfect clients – the ones you really want to work with – and I’ve been using the techniques in my business and with many of my clients, very successfully.

Recently I learnt how to take the Law of Attraction even further in business, when I heard Michael Losier speak. He’s from Canada and has written a book called The Law of Attraction. He said that the Law of Attraction works because the words we use determine the results we get. A collection of words, put together in a string, becomes a thought. A thought becomes a vibe – a feeling or mood – which can be either positive or negative. Vibes become results – either positive or negative. So if you look at the results you’re getting and you don’t like them (because they’re negative), the way to change them is by changing the vibes you give off, which you do by changing your thoughts, which you do by changing the words you use. Michael says there are three words we need to take out of our vocabulary, to help us create positive results. They are:

  • Don’t
  • Not
  • No

So instead of saying “I don’t want an overdraft,” or “I don’t want to work with a certain type of client,” we can think about what we do want. “I want a parking space right outside that shop,” or “I want to earn £X this month.”

According to Michael, there are just three steps to creating attraction and getting what you want. They are:

  1. Identify what you desire
  2. Give your desires attention
  3. Allow it to happen

The third step is the most important and is probably the hardest to do; yet the speed at which the Law of Attraction will create what you want is in direct proportion to how much you allow.

Make sense? If not, get hold of a copy of Michael’s book! He’s not in the UK much, but is running some workshops in London this weekend (9-11 September) and you can find out more at www.MichaelLosier.com. He’s a really entertaining speaker and you’ll learn loads about how to create whatever you want in your business!

15 Ways to Give your Business an Unfair Advantage – Part one

 Here are some great tips I read recently in Real Business Magazine. Parts two and three to follow soon!

1. Keep your customers happy – at all cost

“Start with the customer. What makes your proposition better than anyone else’s?” asks Simon Calver, chief executive of LoveFilm. He says LoveFilm’s brand is built around three core principles – range, value and convenience – which is hard-wired into every LoveFilm employee’s brain. It seems to work: today the movie rental firm has 1.6 million subscribers across the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. “Make your customers love you by offering them the best customer service you possibly can. The customer is always king.”

2. Go into partnership

Sometimes being an entrepreneur isn’t about doing it all yourself – it’s about finding the right partners to grow your business. Take Specsavers, which has a 42 per cent market share in the UK. The company operates a franchise model, where the stores are split in a 50/50 joint venture basis between Specsavers and the individual optician: “All of our optometrists have a guaranteed salary and the loans they put into the business are usually paid back by the company within three years. “ explains founder Dame May Perkins. “The structure of these partnerships hasn’t changed in the past 27 years.” Share the profits, share the risk.

3. Measure everything

“There’s always talk about how entrepreneurs are big risk takers. But, in fact, when you’re running your own business, you make sure the way you roll the dice is in your favour,” explains LoveFilm’s Calver. “Every move is calculated. Entrepreneurs are actually far more analytical and focussed than many big corporates.” For example, with more than 500 marketing campaigns on at any moment, LoveFilm measures “absolutely everything” it can, to keep on top of its spend.

4. Encourage reviews and recommendations

“Reviews are becoming huge – 73 per cent of all shoppers check with other consumers or friends before purchasing from an unknown brand,” says Andy Phillipps, Reevoo’s chairman. “Business owners consistently underestimate just how willing consumers are to write reviews. If asked, 15% will review products and services without any incentive at all.” Just look at LoveFilm: its customers have generated 80 million film ratings and written 843,000 member reviews, helping LoveFilm to promote the most relevant titles.

5. Make your idea actually happen

“Too many people walk away from a good idea and blame it on something like the recession. But to be successful, you have to stay really determined,” says Richard Harpin, the boss of  insurance and maintenance giant  Homeserve. “When people come to you and ask whether you’ve thought of ‘this’ or ‘that’, don’t get distracted. Have a single-minded focus.” He adds that while you can work on developing other parts of the business simultaneously, you have to keep true to your original goals – and never give up. “Develop other products, channels and markets but keep it true to your vision. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t just walk away when things don’t go as planned.”

Where do your clients hang out?

When you know who your ideal clients are – the people that you really want to work with, who will love working with you – to get your marketing message to them, you need to think about where they hang out. When you know this, you can put your marketing messages in places where they will see them and respond to them. If you just splash your messages everywhere, your prospective clients will see them, but so will hundreds of other people that you don’t want to work with, so most of your effort and money will be wasted. Putting your messages in places where your prospects won’t see them will waste your effort and money too.

To figure out where your clients hang out, think about who your perfect clients are and what makes them tick. Combine these with the products and services that you want to provide and you’ll get a picture of who these people are and where they hang out.

For example, if you provide weight loss advice to people who want to get fitter and live a healthier lifestyle, leaving a brochure in a pub won’t bring you many enquiries – if any. You will have more success if you leave that same brochure in a doctor’s surgery.

If you specialize in helping women become more successful and assertive at work, promoting your business in magazines aimed at men will be a waste of time.

For ideal clients over a certain age, will they see your message on the internet? More and more people are going online, regardless of their age, but you still need to know where on the internet they spend time. What other products and services are they looking for? Which websites do they visit?

 Where do your clients hang out? Make a list of everywhere your clients ‘could’ spend time and another list of places where they don’t hang out. For instance, your clients might hang out at industry specific networking events, but not at trade exhibitions. Once you’ve got your list, make sure you only put your marketing messages in places where your clients hang out and you will save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Six ways to keep your customers and get them to spend more.

“Loyalty marketing” is based on the idea of cultivating and nurturing strong relationships with customers and clients to encourage loyalty over time. Businesses who adopt this are more likely to result in business growth and success. It is said that it costs up to 10 times as much to win a new customer than to keep an existing one.

What is new in loyalty marketing?
Clever ways to encourage customer loyalty have been developed by top brands. The good news is smaller businesses can replicate these approaches.

1. Offering discounts
Using direct marketing techniques through mail, email and now SMS texting, it is possible to direct exclusive discount offers to your existing customers. Here are some tips:

2. Loyalty cards
Encourage your customer to come back for more with point systems or cards that can be stamped to collect free gifts and complementary items. Find out more about structuring effective loyalty programmes at the CRM Trends website.

3. Hospitality
Stores can send out exclusive invitations for loyalty card members to take advantage of a pre-sale or pre-season shopping evening. Add value with fashion shows, demonstrations and complimentary glasses of champagne.

Extending hospitality to a customer or client has traditionally been one of the most effective ways of cementing a relationship and making a confident statement about your business. However, some organisations have strict rules about what their staff can or cannot accept. The advent of the bribery act (see our regulation page on the Bribery Act 2011) means that policies deeming what is “proportionate and reasonable” hospitality may be tightened.

4. First impressions are lasting
Identify what is the first thing that people come into contact with when approaching your business, and make it as attractive and approachable as it can be. Is it you, yourself, or your business card? Is it your answer phone message or your website/email response to their web enquiry? It could be your van, your front door or your shop window. Make it sparkle and make your customer feel really welcome.    

5. Reciprocal discounts
You could team up with some business associates or approach related businesses to offer your customers a quid pro quo deal. For example, if you provide lessons in a sport or other skill you could arrange for your students to get discounts at a favoured supplier of their specialist equipment. In return, the stores could refer its customers to you for discounts on lessons.  

6. Say thanks with a card or note
Once you have a new customer’s details it is tempting to get them onto your sales contact database for sales offers. If they first received a courteous personal note or card thanking them for their business, think how much more receptive they would be to your follow-up sales messages.

Who to focus on
If you have a large customer base it may be profitable to focus loyalty offers and rewards on those customers with the highest potential lifetime value to improve profitability. Use our interactive tool to identify the customers most valuable to your business.

What’s your marketing strategy?

Chantal Cornelius from AppletreeLast week I wrote about setting goals for your business and marketing. Once you’ve done that, you then need to plan how you’re going to get to your goals – the strategies you’re going to use.

Whatever sort of journey you’re on, you need to work out the best way of getting to your destination. Will you drive or take the train? How will you get to the station and if you drive there, where will you leave your car? There are lots of options to consider and you need to select the most appropriate, which will be based on your starting point and your destination.

There are four main strategies you can consider, when deciding how to get to your destination. Unlike with an actual journey, you can use more than one of the strategies. In fact you could use all four of them in combination, if appropriate, to help you reach your goals.

Why do you need a strategy? For the very same reason that you set goals your marketing and your business. You could just set off and try lots of different marketing activities, in the hope that they will take you to your goals – a bit like just turning up at a bus stop and hoping that one of the buses that stops there is going your way (and assuming that buses still stop there!) Or you could plan the best approach and only spend your valuable time and money on what you know will work. Having a strategy and following it is much cheaper in the long run than the scatter gun approach to marketing.

The four strategies are based on your clients – current ones and potential ones – and your products and services – existing ones and new ones you can develop.  There are four ways in which you can combine these elements, giving the following four strategies:

  1. Sell more existing services to your existing clients
  2. Sell new services to your existing clients
  3. Sell existing services to new clients
  4. Sell new services to new clients

Many people overlook the first strategy, yet it is usually the easiest and most cost effetive one to use. Number four is usually the most expensive and risky, although it can provide the greatest returns. Start at number one and once you’re sure you’ve done all you can there, move on to the next one. Each one needs a different type of marketing, so getting clear on what you want to achieve will help  you get there.

Click here to read last week’s blog about the starting point of your journey.

Don’t sell me X, sell me Y

Chantal Cornelius from AppletreeWhat do you really sell? If you’re a Marketing Consultant, do you really sell Marketing Consultancy? Is that what people actually buy from you?

Here’s an exercise you can use to get a fresh look on what you really sell. Ask people at a networking meeting, your clients or your staff for alternatives to what you actually provide. When I did this at a recent event, I said “Don’t sell me Marketing Consultancy, sell me …” and here are some of the suggestions I received:

… new clients

… introductions

… help with developing my community

… more business

… lovely customers.

Get the idea? So if you’re an Accountant, don’t sell me accountancy – sell me financial security. If you’re a catering company, don’t sell me catering – sell me an event that boosts my reputation. If you’re a career coach, don’t sell me career coaching – sell me my dream job!

If you need some suggestions for what you really sell, get in touch and I’ll send you some ideas.

Where is your business going?

Chantal Cornelius from AppletreeWhen you first set out on a journey with a map, you need to know where you are. If you don’t know where you’re starting from, you can’t work out the best route to your destination and you can’t determine how long it’s going to take you to get there.

If you’re putting together a Marketing Plan for your business, the first thing you need to think about is where your business is now. Knowing where you are at the start of this journey will help you plan the best route to your goals. It will also help you set your goals so that you can see the distance you’ve got to travel between where you are now and where you want to be. You might think that you’d like to take on 100 new clients in the next twelve months, charging each one £1000 per day for consulting or coaching. However, if you’ve only got two clients right now and you’re only charging £300 per day, you’ll have a lot of work to do to reach your goal. (If that’s the goal you really want to aim for, that’s great and knowing your starting point will help you plan the most effective way of getting there.)

So what is your business? What resources do you have to deliver what you do to your clients? How long have you been doing what you do and what sort of reputation and experience do you have?

You also need to think about the products and services that you currently provide and be clear on what you offer, to help you decide the best direction to take. Are you delivering what your clients actually want and doing what you really want to do? Is there a demand for what you want to offer or are you doing something you think people might want?

Who are your clients? What sort of people and businesses do you work for? Where are they and why do they need your help?

Finally, what about your competitors? Do you know who your main competitors are and what they do? How much do they charge and what makes you different from them?

There’s a lot for you to think about when you start creating a Marketing Plan for your business, but get really clear on where you are now and it will be easier to decide where to go and how best to get there.