21 Oct Three R’s of building your practice – Recruiting, Retaining & Referrals – Part I
Recruiting: For many service providers, today’s economic climate means that there is a smaller pie to slice up. It is more important than ever to constantly attract (Recruit) new clients. Unfortunately, tacking up a business card at the local “natural foods” store or sending out ton’s of generic emails just doesn’t get the job done. As discussed in earlier posts, it’s important to determine exactly “who” your target client is. If you are doing a large amount of insurance billing, then your target client would be auto accident or personal injury/workers comp cases. If you are looking to obtain more of the pampering/stress relief clients, your target would be more affluent business professionals. In any event, when you decide “who” your client is, then you can focus on where and how to obtain them.
A quick example (because this one section could be the makings of an entire book!) would be affluent business professionals. You need to ask, “where do they work?”, “where do they live?”, “what other services and products do they purchase?”. These are the areas where you need to focus your marketing efforts. So let’s say you determine that many people in this group live in a community we will call “XYZ Meadows”. This community almost certainly has a homeowner’s association and I would bet that they put out a newsletter at least once every 3 months. This association will be listed online and in the phone book (remember phone books?). In my experience, the person in charge of creating and distributing the newsletter is a volunteer and has a limited budget. Placing a small business card size ad in this newsletter will cost next to nothing and you may even be able to work out a trade for massage services. This gets your information to a highly targeted audience through a medium they are going to read because it DIRECTLY affects their life.
Once you get a new client, you have to make sure you KEEP them. My next post, Part 2 – Retaining, will cover this.