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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ask Jenn: How can I keep my clients coming back?

Editor's note: Our readers ask, and The Reiki Digest's advice columnist Jenn Givler answers. Here's her column for this month. If you have a question for Jenn, send it to askjenn@thereikidigest.com or add it as a comment to this post on our web site.

By Jenn Givler, Reiki Master and Intuitive Business Coach

Hi Jenn,

This is the second time in two days that you have either been recommended or have appeared in some communication, so I'm taking the cue from the Universe and writing this evening.

I am a Reiki Ryoho Master/Teacher and I face the challenge of attracting and retaining clients who are committed enough to wellness to consistently practice Reiki. Many clients see the benefits of Reiki; however, it doesn't typically make their prioritized list of things to do. I originally targeted my niche market as individuals interested in holistic wellness, being proactive about their well-being and open to a "non-traditional" modality for wellness.

How do I incent individuals to come to me and return?

thanks,
dpreiki

DPReiki,

I’m so glad you took a cue from the Universe and reached out ;)

There are many ways that you can try to incent clients to return for repeat sessions. However, the best thing to first address is your niche.

When thinking about your niche, it’s really important to focus on a specific group of people with a specific challenge that you can help them with. And I know you’ve identified a niche, but I’m going to challenge you to focus that group even more.

The reason for this is two-fold. First, it will allow you to work with only your ideal clients – those people that you truly and deeply resonate with, and who truly and deeply resonate with you. And secondly, when you are out in the world with your business, it will help people understand exactly how you can help them.

To understand this a little better, let’s do a visualization exercise. Take a few deep breaths and become centered. Clear your mind. Now, visualize yourself at a big party full of great people, great food, and a wonderful atmosphere. Really sink into that vision. Imagine you are being introduced to someone for the first time. After the initial introductions and a small amount of getting to know one another, the question arises, “What do you do?” How do you answer that question? And how do you feel when you’re asked that question?

If you answered that question by trying to explain or educate the other person, or if you felt fear or anxiety when asked, there’s a good chance your niche isn’t defined enough.

When your niche is too general, you have to use very general language when talking to people about what it is that you do. For example, you might say something like “I’m a Reiki Practitioner.”

From there, the other person might say, “Oh, wonderful – and what exactly is it that you do?” And you go on to explain what you do in regard to Reiki, and possibly have to educate the person a little bit on what a session is like, and what exactly Reiki is.

In this instance, depending on the other person, they may understand what you do, but they may still be unclear on exactly how you can help them.

However, if you can define your niche as being a specific group of people with a specific challenge, you can give a very defined answer to that question – no education or explanation needs to take place, and most importantly – people feel an almost instant connection with you and what you do. They quickly understand how you can help them or someone they know.

An example of that would be “I’m a Reiki Practitioner and I specialize in helping moms reconnect with their spirit.”

A statement like that instantly connects with a busy mom… or someone who knows a busy mom. Hearing something like that, someone might respond with an answer like “Oh wow – I’m a mom of 2 busy boys, sometimes I forget who I am. And it seems lately, I even forget what I enjoy doing!”

When I look at the niche you’ve cited above, it’s actually a bit broad. And even though we want our niches to include lots of people, we want them to be more defined.

From a marketing standpoint, this makes your message so much clearer, and you voice easier to hear. You’ll know exactly how to write your marketing materials (including your web site, brochures, fliers, etc. . .) in a way that really reaches and connects with the people who need you. And, you’ll know exactly where those folks are congregating so you can put yourself right in front of them.

From a practice standpoint, this will help people understand why regular Reiki treatments with you are important. If the mom in the example above understands that you can help her reconnect with her Divine Spirit – and even remember her hobbies, and learn how to take time for herself – she’ll come back to you again and again.

By narrowing your niche, you’ll deepen your work with your clients. You’ll understand exactly what these folks are needing from you and you’ll be able to structure your practice around their needs – you’ll be able to offer sessions, session packages, workshops, etc. . . all based on their specific needs.

DPReiki, I could talk for days about how having a niche helps your practice – both from a marketing stand-point, and a deepening stand-point. If you have follow-up questions, please feel free to post them here. I’m happy to carry on the discussion!

For now, here are a few questions to help you start the process of narrowing your niche:

1. Who are your favorite clients to work with? List them out.
2. Why is it that you like working with them so much?
3. What qualities and traits do these people share?
4. What common challenges and issues that you feel strongly about helping them with?
5. What do you bring from your past experience that makes helping them resonate so deeply?

If you see commonalities, or patterns, or you see a particular defined group emerging – excellent! From here, you can begin to address those people and those challenges directly in your practice.

Thanks, Jenn, and thanks, dpreiki!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Pamir | Reiki Help Blog said...

dpreiki & Jenn,

The "If you're talking to everyone, you're talking to no one" brand of new marketing think doesn't fit Reiki very well, since Reiki is so broad and universal. This point can be discussed till the cows come home :).

What does work is to let clients know that it takes 4 sessions to evaluate if Reiki is the right choice for a set of symptoms or a personality type.

Also really impressing upon clients that healing and transformation is a circular, layered process, not linear; there aren't shortcuts and their commitment to the journey directly correlates to benefits received.

When I decided to commit myself to the above and select only clients who were in alignment with it, attraction and retention no longer factored in.

A killer resume / CV really helps too!

Blessings...

7:22 PM  

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