The principles are so simple.
As Jay Abraham has said (and many have repeated), to grow your business you need to do one (or all) of the following:
1) Get more clients;
2) Increase the amount each client spends; and/or
3) Increase repeat business from existing clients.
Many people recommend that you spend time on #3. The theory is that it’s easier to get people who already know you (and hopefully like you and trust you) to do business with you again in the future.
This is certainly true in the mediation field. Yet, many say it is more challenging to get repeat business in our field because (there are many reasons).
Of course there are… I’m not denying the reality of the reasons “WHY NOT.”
The naysayers often have a million reasons why something will not work.
But, here’s an idea: focus on the reasons why they should and turn the should NOT around…
1) The other side will mistrust my champion’s suggestion of a mediator. Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes this works to your advantage. Because mediators do not decide the issues, if one side suggests someone the other side may be more likely to go with that person thinking that well, if they trust them then they will have some influence over that person.
2) There is no repeat mediation business. Says who? Do you follow up with parties? How about a status call to see how things are going? It is unrealistic for all conflict issues to be solved in one mediation in a non-litigation context, e.g. family business, divorce or other family mediation. They may need a check up. In the litigation context, lawyers will have new cases and they will be repeat players.
If they don’t have any further pressing conflict, they could be sources of referral. Ask for referrals, give them some articles and business cards they can share with friends/colleagues who may need them at some point down the road.
Ok, so you work on getting repeat business. You send out your new articles to those you have worked with in the past. Maybe you email them periodically and say hello.
And, you work on getting new clients.
You look back over the past year and ask what brought in business? What is working? What have you not done that you know might?
Perhaps you can work on generating referral networks. You can finish writing those articles.
Maybe you need to sign up for the next 2-3 industry conferences and commit to going. And as we discussed in our Rainmaking Teleseminar, prepare in advance and set up some meetings or meals or events with people you want to meet.
Maybe it’s time you finished that workshop or education seminar you are preparing and actually get the word out that you are offering it on the following dates: Feb 2008; April 2008; July 2008 (for example). Then, put together a flier, an email, a big ad on your blog, invite people to attend, again and again. Offer them something free and irresistible that will make them want to come. A free conflict inventory! A cost assessment! Some new secret negotiation technique (you better get researching…)
It takes time, ongoing effort and a CAN DO attitude and you know what?
You may choose today to focus on Why you can and will make a difference. Why if you believe that you can assist people plagued by conflict, then perhaps you have an obligation to do what you can to let the world (or at least your target market) know about the services you provide.
Yes, it takes work, sweat and diligence. But anything worth having in life has a price. Are you willing to pay it?
NEVER GIVE UP!