How to Build Customer Loyalty in 2013

Isn’t it the ultimate goal of every small business owner to make customers become slaves to their fashion. To have their clients tatoo their names? To become lifelong raving fans? Yes yes and yes. I really loved this very simple and short and kinda funny article about how to make that very thing happen.

1. Be more than just a vendor.

When building your strategies, start with the needs of your customers’ customers and work backwards to discover how you can be the most helpful.

2. Be more than just a vendor.

Provide such incredible service that your customers feel like they’d be crazy to even consider buying from anyone else.

3. Be more than just a vendor.

Find customers for your customers so that they can build their own business and thus give more business to you!

4. Be more than just a vendor.

Whenever possible, meet your customers in social situations rather than purely business ones.

5. Be more than just a vendor.

I think you get the point. Have a great 2013, everyone!

via How to Build Customer Loyalty in 2013.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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Take a Guilt-Free Holiday Break

Conrad_Black_guiltyI have holidays on the brain. I’ve picked December to be the month of re-engaging with all my clients and important networks face to face for the first time this Holidays Season. No, this is not a new client aquisition strategy and it’s not a hard sell approach but it’s a building and nurturing relationships approach that’s more long term. When I saw this article about how to have a guilt-free holiday, my eyes went there. Hopefully yours will too. Here are some ways to do that:

Small business cloud accounting company FreshBooks recently offered some tips on its blog, ranging from the sensible but obvious (tell your clients you’re taking off) to the less expected. The advice from writer and entrepreneur Justine Smith includes:

Pay Your Bills in Advance. Who wants to pay bills while on vacation? I certainly didn’t, which is why I always tried to pay my bills before I took my time off. Besides the traditional bills, I also made sure to pay my contractors earlier so they too could enjoy the funds for their holiday needs.

Make Your List, Check it Twice. Before you officially leave, think about creating a schedule of projects and deadlines you have in the New Year so you can jump right back into work upon your return. You may also consider creating a hearty to-do list for the New Year so you can get all those gnawing tasks out of your head before you take time off.

via Take a Guilt-Free Holiday Break.

Some of my other ways to be guilt free while on holidays is to have a kick ass plan for January. Right now, I’ve got 3 big events planned to generate new clients for that month. Another thing I’m doing through the holidays is to draft the synopsis for my new book that I plan to publish in the first quarter of next year. There are so many things that I’m still thinking and planning all the while that I’m eating that turkey and sitting in the car through hours of travel out of town that by Jan 2nd, I’ll be raring to go!

So what are you going to be doing before you jet off to have a guilt free holiday this year?

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Best 3 Gifts You Can Give

My husband is out shopping with our 3-year-old as I work today. I have no doubt that he’s shopping for me. Here are 3 free and wonderful gifts you can give for the holidays or at any time. Not to be like a cheesy commercial but these gifts that are mentioned in the article are truly priceless because good ones are so very rare. Read on to see if you’ll be giving some this Christmas.

Compliments

When I was young and just starting my career, a manager told me that he had great respect for my work ethic and that he felt I had potential in the company. This one compliment had me hooked and motivated and taught me how inspiring and impactful a well-placed and well-timed compliment can be.

Credit

Give someone a little credit for a job or an accomplishment, even if it’s not completely deserved, and your next big idea may actually come from them.

Courage

In times of stress, people look toward stability. This is the time for leaders to take the stress upon their shoulders and say simply…everything is going to be okay. Whether it’s your employees, your friends, or your family, there has never been a more important time to be the rock.

via Best 3 Gifts You Can Give.

The  best gift of all though has been left off this list and that is the gift of forgiveness. This is the type of gift that’s both a gift to you and to the person you’re giving it. You can forgive contentious bosses and co workers, clients who’ve fired you, vendors who’ve gouged you and most of all, you can forgive yourself if you didn’t exactly achieve everything you set out to or do all that you promised yourself you would in 2012.

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Why Shorter Is Sweeter (& Always More Efficient)

English: Danny DeVito at the 2010 Comic Con in...

English: Danny DeVito at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m only 5’3″ so naturally I would subscribe to the notion that shorter is sweeter but even as a small business coach I think this idea is key to good communication. A client sent a sell sheet she’d made for a new program she was offering. It was pages and pages long. I kept scrolling and it went on. She said she’d learned it in a special online selling workshop. I don’t know much about the workshop but I know that as a consumer I didn’t have the time to read all that. As a marketer, I know that consumers of our information are bombarded by millions of other similar messages. The trick to getting the attention is to be short, interesting and relevant. Below are other tips to help you get more eyeballs and ears faster:

Get to the point. Now.  In a voicemail, just state your name, quickly explain your reason for calling and give the person a call-to-action.

Three is a magic number. Narrow everything down to the three most important points. Usually, once the top three points are listed, I realize the other info is extraneous or redundant anyway.

Use bullets. Tell the reader up front what the message is about and outline your points with bullets consisting of concise phrases, not complete sentences. Finally, close with a call-to-action — whatever it is you want the reader to do next.

Keep meetings focused. We’ve all suffered through endless meetings in which someone talks and talks and very little gets communicated. Make sure everyone is clear about the meeting goals and keep the time under 30 minutes to maintain a sense of urgency and focus.

via Why Shorter Is Sweeter (& Always More Efficient).

If you’ve been wondering how to increase your newsletter open rates or how to improve your ROI on your offers, take another look at how you’ve been presenting your stuff. Get real, get short and get going!

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