Do you remember a Snipe Hunt? One of the initiations into Boy Scouts was to send the Tenderfeet out on a Snipe Hunt. This was where the new guys were sent out at night to find and bag a Snipe.
From the Oxford Dictionary
- a practical joke in which an unwitting victim is sent in pursuit of something that doesn’t exist.
- “one or two gullible youths are selected to participate in the notorious snipe hunt”
- a foolish or hopeless search for or pursuit of something unattainable; a wild goose chase
You can watch the video or read the rest below.
I can remember my first hunt. I was a new Tenderfoot in Boy Scouts and we were out at Camp Nash. Joey and I were excited. About thirty minutes in, we knew something was off. And sure enough, the older scouts were having a hoot at our expense as we scoured the woods at night, looking for the elusive Snipe.
I see too many owners pursuing the elusive Snipes in their business. They are posting meaningless “look at me and my business” posts on Facebook or other Social Media sites. Or they are drinking gallons of coffee networking and wondering where the business is. Or they are spending dollar after dollar in one form of advertising or another without really knowing who their ideal customer is and where they are, in order to message them.
Or there is the business owner that has grown to the point where they now are working 60 – 70 hours a week trying to keep up with the workload of delivery and the back-office work necessary to keep the business running. All because they haven’t taken the time to hire the right people and then to have the policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) so the business can run while the owner is not in the shop.
I get it. Many owners are busy. And, if they can take an hour or so once a week to 1) Identify the key systems and processes that drive their business. 2) Start writing out the steps to fulfill each process. 3) Have each process reviewed by the people that will be performing the process. 4) Storing these where they are accessible for everyone that needs access.
For all of you gloriously self-employed, congratulations… you have a different kind of job. Creating a business requires that you step out of the business on a regular basis to work on the business so it can run when you are not there.
Being busy is a Snipe. You can’t escape being busy. But you can become more productive and focused by taking the time to identify and then to optimize the processes that drive your business. Do yourself the biggest favor. Schedule two hours a week to step out of your business to focus on your business. Your family and your bottom line will thank you.
And if you would like access to some resources to help, you can check out the resources at www.ras-squared.com
I wrote earlier about how one key to building a solid client service plan is to decide what your vision is.
Here we’ll talk about the second step in taking your satisfied clients and turning them into raving fans. You have to know what your clients want. When you know who your clients are, you will know better how to serve them. Understanding the demographics are really important here. A higher income earning woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working-class man in his 50’s.
There are four areas you want to consider and think about when figuring out what your clients want:
- Listen to Your Clients
- Ask Your Clients Sincerely
- Offer More than Just a Product/Service
- Know When to Ignore Them
These are all important when deciding what your clients want out of their experience with you.
Listen to Your Clients
You want to listen not only to what is said but also to what is not said. Clients often say they want one thing and really want something else. For example, if your clients are asking for lower prices, you may discover that their real need is a low-risk engagement.
Also, listen to your “quiet” clients. These are the ones that don’t bother to complain because they feel that the service was so bad they’ve just given up. Or, don’t feel like their voice matters. A way to do this is to survey clients or check in after a service delivery to ensure they are satisfied.
When clients say “fine” LOOK OUT. This is typically code for, “I don’t care enough to respond”.
Ask Your Clients Sincerely
People know what you’re thinking even if you don’t say it. I have a client that calls his client’s 2 – 3 days after service to ask how the product is working and how was their experience. Lately it has been via text as it gets a better response rate. Ask them questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Let them feel that you care!
Offer More than Just a Product/Service
Your clients are often looking for much more than a product or service, they are also looking for an experience. For many of my clients where they are technically very smart, this means learning how to use emotional intelligence to connect with clients. To allow their clients to “be heard” even when you already know the answer. This helps clients contribute to their solution.
Know When to Ignore Them
This sounds like it goes against providing good client service, but the reality is, you can’t give them everything and some people you cannot satisfy. This is where being clear on your niche, and how you serve them, is important. If you encounter a potential client that doesn’t fit your vision and the work that fits your superpower, they are not going to be happy. They will be happier somewhere else.
If you get stuck, take a tour of our resources, and let us help you through the process.
Let’s look at the e-myth and see if we can debunk the myths. of e-myths a to help you avoid falling into the e-myth trap.
First, what is an e-myth An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:
- Some capital
- Projected a targeted profit
This is just not realistic. Think of starting a business as a marathon. Sure, everyone starts out of the gate at record pace, but after a few miles people start slowing and some drop out entirely. Building a successful business takes stamina and agility, grit and perseverance. AND, it takes a skill-set and mind-set.
The reality is that there are many different facets to a successful business and none of them can be ignored if you plan to find success.
Let’s explore the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting, nurturing and the potential failure of a business.
The emotions that occur, in order, are:
- Sense of self-loss
This is usually caused by the e-myths and assumptions we talked about. You can get your hopes so high on instant success that even the smallest lag and you are sent into an emotional tailspin. This is also brought on by the stark realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge. Now, faced with limited choices you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t do this.
Use our FREE test drive to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
Your Word of Mouth marketing is NOT enough!
I can’t tell you how many business owners tell me that they are super thrilled with their word of mouth marketing. BS!!! (Belief System). They just don’t want to spend the money.
Data from Harvard Business Review shows that while people ask for referrals and are promised referrals, very few customers actually provide referrals. Be honest. How many referrals did you ask for? Probably not many. How many did you get? Probably even fewer.
Do you really want your business to rely on the good will of others? Do you want to be dependent upon someone else remembering to say something good about your business? That is leaving a lot of your success up to somebody else.
When you rely on word of mouth marketing, you are NOT in control of your destiny, period! If you ever want to sell your business, your word of mouth reputation is not sell-able. That is not something a new owner can replicate.
Does that mean word of mouth is bad? NO!!! It is a great indicator to tell you that your customers do like what you are delivering. You need to think of how you can make your lead acquisition consistent and controllable BY YOU! If you are going to rely on word of mouth (please do not let this be your only channel), stack the odds in your favor with incentives and reminders.
Does this mean you have to spend a lot of money on marketing or advertising? No, it does not. What it means is that you want to get clear on who your ideal customer is. I know you have heard this and most of you have not done it. Be honest. Just because they can fog a mirror, does not mean they are a good customer. But when you are clear with who they are and what problem of theirs you can solve, whenever you communicate to the market be it your existing customers, your networking events, your FB groups or your advertisements, now they hear you and they want to speak with you. When you can describe their problem better than they can, they say to themselves, “She gets me.” “She knows how to help me.”
A mentor of mine once said, “When you dial your marketing in, you create magic. You can predict your future.”
Don’t leave your future in the hands of somebody else’s good intentions. Let’s talk about how you can create a message so compelling, they are calling you!
If you would like to learn how you can do this visit my free video everything you know about marketing is wrong and learn how you can stand out in the marketplace
This is not the first worldwide pandemic.
There was the Antonine Plague which ravaged the known world from 165- 180 AD. It, too, appeared to originate in Asia. Scholars think it may have been smallpox.
Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome at the time. He was known as a warrior, general, and philosopher in addition to being emperor. Even today, many leaders look to his writings (Meditations) as a guide for life and leadership. His philosophy was Stoicism.
The Stoics held a set of values, four of which are:
We can all do with remembering these values during this period of time. It looks like this pandemic may be here for a bit.
We can leverage self-discipline to prevent ourselves from giving into our anxiety and perhaps spending money we don’t have, or letting our selves go. Or letting our business go because we have been shut down and we are waiting for guidance. (Do I watch Netflix or create a new way to serve your customers?)
We can muster the courage to lead. To lead our business, our teams, and our community by demonstrating that we can continue to create value even in a pandemic.
We can leverage our wisdom to recognize this is a long game. Longer than anyone hopes for. And, we don’t need to get caught up in the minutia of the statistics and flailing of science and government as they try to find a solution. Nor should we listen to the prognostications of media as they continue to capture our attention to sell us stuff.
We can tap into justice by recognizing that we are all weathering the same storm. But we have different experiences and resources. Some are well suited with a castle and moat, while others are living in a lean to. We can do our part to help the communities we serve.
I say yes, the stoics have quite a bit to say to us and we can use their wisdom, discipline, courage, and justice and tap into ours not only to survive this “plague” but to come out on the other side better, stronger and more resilient.
If you are interested in how your business can create
- More customers
- More revenue
- More profits
- WITHOUT spending more money on marketing or advertising, join me for Your Market Dominating Message: a free webinar designed to serve main street business.