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Marketing Strategies: How to Keep Clients Longer

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If you're offering packages, coaching groups, platinum-style programs (what I call "PSPs"), consulting or membership programs through your business, keeping your clients motivated and accountable is something to which you should pay close attention.

One of the most fun ways to accomplish this is by creating friendly, healthy contests that make it exciting for your women entrepreneur clients to stretch beyond what they currently think is possible and create breakthrough results.

I've experimented with creating contests and "everyone-can-win" competitions in my PSPs and clients love them!

My contests are designed so that everyone has a chance to win, as each participant competes WITH herself, not against anyone else. This is important because it honors my values that:

Each of us is capable of achieving more than we think possible.

When each of us stretches and grows we allow others to do the same.

There is abundant success available to each of us, without taking away from anyone else.

For example, one mini-contest that clients just completed was to raise their gross income by 30 percent within a 60 day period. The prize was a valuable e-book, by small business marketing expert Sandra Martini, titled "How to Repurpose Your Work: Do It Once and Get Paid Again AND Again". It normally sells for $147.00.

Initially, most clients didn't think they could win, especially since the 60-day time period extended over the months of December and January (not usually great months to increase business).

But, the women entrepreneurs took the challenge seriously! Before they knew it, the 60 days were up and a whopping 50 percent of participants had succeeded in winning the prize! And, they now know what it takes to increase their income by 30 percent in a short period of time, which means they'll be able to easily do it again.

Can any coaching, consulting, organizing, training or other service-style business create a contest? Of course!

Here are a few simple small business marketing ideas to spark your creative thinking create clever and motivating contests for your clients:

For the Executive Business Coach - Create a challenge for your clients to increase their team's productivity by 20 percent in 30 days. The prize? A pair of tickets to their favorite professional league game, or a private lesson with a semi-pro golf instructor at a local exclusive club.

For the Marketing Coach - Challenge your clients to increase their mailing lists by 20 percent or their income by 30 percent in a 60-day time frame. The prize? A coveted information product.

For the Holistic Health Practitioner - Ask your clients to take three five-minute "breathing" breaks at the same time each day for one month. The prize? An extra session with you!

For the Career Coach - Create a two-week challenge that motivates your clients to complete their personal assessments and new career investigation assignments in record time. The prize? Dinner for two at an exclusive restaurant.

For the Professional Organizer - Challenge your women entrepreneur clients to clean out the clutter in five areas of their office in five days. The prize? A one-day trip to a local day spa.

The trick to making your contest or challenge work is to set the bar at a specific number or dollar amount, making it high enough so that reaching it feels like a stretch. Be sure to keep the timeframe 60 days or less (or people will lose motivation), and make the prize a coveted item, even if it is one they could buy it for themselves (because that's not the point).

Another small business marketing tip: Although you are supplying the prize you don't have to pay for it out of your own pocket. You can easily get another business to donate the prize, especially if you offer that business publicity by mentioning them in your newsletter, writing a press release or giving them a glowing testimonial they can use on their website.

It's human nature to want to "best" ourselves, so why not take advantage of this innate quality through contests? Use contests to help your client create accountability, break through perceived limits, and create extraordinary results for themselves, thanks to your creative inspiration!

Would you like to learn more creative tips to retain customers that help entrepreneurs to quickly move away from "dollars-for-hours work" and create more money, time and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site, www.kendallsummerhawk.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar "7 Quick and Simple Tips to Brand, Package and Price Your Services for More Money, Time and Freedom in Your Business.” Award-winning small business expert Kendall SummerHawk is the "Horse Whisperer for Business."

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Kendall Summerhawk
How to Charge What You're Worth and Get It
kendallteam@kendallsummerhawk.com
Kendall Summerhawk's web site

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Digital Teardrops is owned by Terrie Soberg. Terrie's focus is on helping small business owners. She enjoys teaching them the benefits of having a website and using internet marketing and video on the web to increase their business profits. She created the Sherburne Community Directory that lists the local business owners in her area. She am able to go out and visit with the business people as part of her service. Being a small business owner for over 20 years gives her excellent insight into the needs of people struggling to make a profit, especially in the difficult recessionary times we are experiencing now. Meet Terrie...

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Brilliance Unbridled
Brilliance Unbridled
Engaging, artful, spirited and comprehensive. Readers will quickly find their own unique brilliance in this new look at the world of business entrepreneurship.

How to Charge What You're Worth and Get It!
How to Charge What You're Worth and Get It!
Why settle for less when you KNOW you're worth MORE? Kendall Summerhawk will show you how to quickly and easily charge 20-30-40 percent (and more!) than you do right now (plus reveal the simple secrets to raising your fees that NO ONE else is telling you) so you can confidently charge what you're worth and get it!