If you think more about getting new clients than you do about providing quality and value for your current clientele, you are ass-backward. Businesses grow because of the quality they deliver and the word of mouth that comes with it. You can bring in hundreds of clients every month, but it doesn’t mean shit if you’re losing them a few weeks later.
The hardest part about starting a business is keeping yourself fully booked. However, if just 50% of your clients keep coming back, your books can be maxed out completely within just a few months, no matter what industry you’re in. So, in this episode, I’m giving you the retention secrets that have made both of my businesses successful. And trust me when I say they are the result of a lot of trial and error.
This episode alone will give you a million dollars in return over the course of your life if you can follow it. I’m giving you my strategy and the top four ways to keep your retention up. Discover how to provide the value and quality for your clients that will have them bragging to their friends about you, and have them rebooking time after time without even thinking about it.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Why your past clients are always the easiest sale.
- The problem with assuming your clients are just going to keep coming back.
- How I see service providers going wrong in giving their clients too many opportunities to back off when in reality they really need your service.
- Why you can never get out of the hustle and truly grow your clientele without focusing on retention.
- The financial cost of finding new staff and clients versus retaining the ones you already have.
- How to provide the quality and attention that makes the decision to return a no-brainer for your clients.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hey guys. Retention. It’s a huge part of the success of your company. Today I’m going to give you the top four priorities to focus on in order to keep your retention up. This episode is not just any old episode y’all. I am spilling the secrets on what I teach my own teams, my own staff.
It’s a testament to a hell of a lot of trial and error that helped me to get both of my businesses to become so successful and what differentiated me from others. That was my focus on retention. This episode alone will give you a million dollars in return over the course of your life if you follow it. So without further ado, this is episode number 28. I am your host Becca Pike. It is time for your weekly dose of Hell Yes Coaching. Let’s go.
Hey, guys. I’m Becca Pike and welcome to The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast, the number one show for entrepreneurs looking to create their first six-figure year. If you’ve got the drive and you know how to hustle but you’re not sure where to channel your energy, we’ve got the answers. Let’s dive into today’s show.
If you think more about getting new clientele than you do about providing quality to your current clientele, you are ass backwards. Businesses grow because of the quality of service and the word of mouth about the quality of service. If you’re bringing in hundreds of new clients every month, it doesn’t mean shit if you’re losing hundreds of old clients every month.
Without retention, you can never get out of the hustle and bustle of growing your clientele. Understand this guys. The beginning of business is the hardest to keep yourself filled up on clients and customers because there is no snowballing effect of retention yet. If you keep even 50% of your clients every week, your books could be maxed out completely within a few months no matter what industry you’re in. Okay?
So imagine the load of stress off of your shoulders if you have guaranteed clientele booked out for weeks or months. You would be able to take your energy off of selling and put it in places that it’s needed.
It is our duty as professionals to do everything we can to keep our clients filled with satisfaction and continuing to use our services. Just remember, they want to. They want to stay with us. It is an absolute hassle for someone to find a new whatever you are. It’s a hassle to find a new landscaper, a new coach, a new hairstylist, a new house cleaner. They want to keep you. So make it easy for them to do so.
Also your past clients are the easiest sale moving forward. They’re always the easiest. There is no easier sale than someone who already trusts you, has built rapport, knows where you’re located, is in the routine of seeing you, and is comfortable enough with your pricing.
Another thing to remember before we go into these top four things. Never assume that any of your clients are “safe”. When you stop inspiring them, they will move on. I think it’s easy for business owners to assume some of their clients are just safe. Like oh that’s just Jennifer. She’ll always be here. She comes in every Monday, and she always will.
This is a thought error. This isn’t true. She comes in every Monday because she’s inspired to come in every Monday. You can never let yourself give Jennifer any less of you than anyone else just because she feels safe like she’s going to stay. Jennifer is your bread and butter. So you have to treat her as such.
So here are the top four things I listed out that you must focus on when it comes to retention. Number one is kind of a no-brainer, quality of your service. Continual quality guys. You want your clients to feel like they are winning the lottery by working with you. You want your quality to be so good that they are willing to drive an hour to see you, and they feel great about that drive. You want them bragging to their friends about you.
Continue to ask yourself how your quality of service can be even better than it is. What can I do to make my clients even happier? What messages am I receiving from them that they aren’t verbally saying? Is there something that I’m not doing? These smaller micro questions are where we want our focus and where we want to bring our attention to over and over and over again.
Number two, education. To me, this is the biggest piece. When my clients started coming to me at Massage Strong with 20 years’ worth of back pain, they truly didn’t know how massage would help them, okay. They were at their wits end, and they wanted to try anything. If you’ve ever been in 20 years of back pain, you’re willing to do whatever it takes.
I saw this happen over and over and over again where people would come in to try something, but they weren’t educated on how it could work for them. There was like a void in it. I noticed that most massage therapists in the industry, they would take an appointment. They would do the massage. They would take the money. Then they would ask their client if they wanted to come back. That was it. That was the whole shebang. I couldn’t believe more wasn’t being said.
So when my clients came in with back pain, I would first ask a ton of questions to get to know their bodies so that I could educate them. I would say when did it start hurting? Is it sharp or dull? What about when you cross your legs? What do you do for work? Do you sit or do you stand? Will you walk across the room so I can look at your hip alignment while you walk?
So these questions not only made them realize that I was taking this seriously, but it allowed me the authority to educate them when it was time. Because guess what? The things you think that are really simple in your industry, your clients don’t know. In massage, I thought it was very simple and obvious that you had to keep coming back because massage was a compounding effect. Most people needed to come 10 to 12 times before seeing 80% pain relief results. That was the norm, but they didn’t know that. So that was a conversation that we would have, right?
Once I would get the massage going, I would educate them with what I found. I would say hey, your right side QL is super tight. This is causing the right side of your pelvis to be pulled up towards your rib cage. It’s being pulled up a few degrees. So it’s causing knee misalignment on that side. That’s why you’re having knee issues on the opposite side. It’s due to compensation when you’re walking, right.
Then I would hit them with some free value and tell them a couple things that they could do other than get massages, like when they’re outside of the massage room. I would say one of the best things you can do is stop crossing your left leg over your right leg and do your best to do these two stretches that I’m about to show you.
So what happened is by the time we were done with the massage, I would have number one, established authority. Number two, placed myself as the expert. Number three, educated. Number four, given value and have prepared myself to verbally request the return. That’s a step I’m about to go over in a few minutes.
Guys one of the reasons I was capable of removing myself from the massage room and was able to take the leap to stop being the service provider and to start running the company is because I trained all of the staff members that this is what needed to be done. In order to work for us, they had to one, ask questions. Two, educate. Three, give free value. Four, verbally request a clients return.
So here’s a quick reminder. In the beginning of your business, it will land on your shoulders to educate. You will be doing all the talking and all the educating, but you will want to remove yourself from providing the service eventually. So you will have to rewire how you educate your audience when that time comes. You won’t be able to educate them all one by one. You’ll need to rethink how to speak to large numbers of people when you’re not “in the massage room educating them”, right.
So for me at Massage Strong, I stepped away from being a massage therapist. I focused on number one, training my staff to do what I did with retention. Number two, holding them accountable with retention tracking monthly. We would go over their retention, right. They would know exactly where I wanted them to be compared to where they were and how to fill in that gap. I would help them understand things that needed to be done to help them get to the numbers we wanted to see them at.
Number three, I started educating on a larger platform. So everything that I used to educate on when it came to knee pain and back pain, I just started creating that in videos and posting it on social media and in the email list.
So number three, a continual reminder of progress. Human brains are so funny. We have a hard time seeing progress when it’s not right in front of us splayed out in a diagram. It’s kind of like when you’re growing your business and you feel like nothing is working until you stop, you take a breath, and you look back at your numbers from the years and the months past. It’s obviously on a trajectory upward. By the end of it you’re like, “Oh my god, I’m a goddess. I can’t believe how fast everything’s going.” Right? Our perspective gets skewed sometimes and we need reminders.
When I was working as a massage therapist, I’m going to keep talking about working as a massage therapist apparently today. When I was working as a massage therapist, this happened a lot. Like a lot, a lot. People couldn’t see their progress. It happens now as a coach too.
I would have people that came to me with a frozen shoulder, and they couldn’t lift their arms even 20 degrees. I would tell them that they need to come see me for about six sessions before we would reassess. We would place all six sessions in a two week period.
A lot of times they would come in on their six session and complain that it wasn’t working even though their arm could now reach 120 degrees. That means in 14 days we went from 20 degrees to 120 degrees. We added 100 degrees in 14 days, but they were so deep in the pain and the frustration of the injury they couldn’t see what was happening.
So a couple years into massage I started taking pictures for people when they came in to show them the mobility differences. I would show them, “Hey this is you at 20 degrees on this date. Here you are at 90 degrees on this date. Here you are at 120 degrees on this date.” They were always blown away. The same person who walked in saying nothing was working walked out singing my praises to everyone they knew.
Now you don’t need photos. That’s just a tool that I used. You do need to continue to remind them of their progress. Same thing happens in business coaching. A client will come to me. They’ll have no boundaries in their company. They are slaving to their business. They are unable to breathe or sleep or hold a conversation about anything except their fireball of a business that is burning down around them.
Six months into business coaching they have delegated and staffed. They now finally have hobbies and a life. Their revenue is increasing. Their quality of life is increasing. They can’t see it. They’ll come to me, and they’ll be like it’s not working. They tell me that they’re not going to continue receiving coaching because nothing has changed.
So one of the best things I’ve ever done when it comes to retention is verbally showing people their program on a regular basis. Just as simple as saying, “Hey look. This is when you hired me. This is where you were then. This is where you are now. Good job.” It will be as simple as, “Hey look at where you were and look at where you are, and this is the timeline. You’re doing great.” Right, that’s it. Just some solid affirmations.
It’s, of course, great for my retention, but also, it’s because they’re humans and they need to hear that shit. They need to hear that shit. They need to feel recognized. They need to feel seen. They need to be reminded so that they can move on about their day with a better perspective.
As service providers, we can give them that service. The service of a better perspective, right, of a new perspective. Even if they walk away feeling amazing and strong and capable and have no idea why or correlate it to you at all. Sometimes heroes don’t wear capes, guys. It can be a bit of a thankless world, and actually that’s okay.
All right number four. Verbally requesting their return. So when a client would come out of my massage room, I would meet them at the front desk to take their payment. Like I said, other massage therapists I’ve been to take this time to say, “Hey, how was it? Would you like a cup of water?” Maybe if they were ballsy enough, they would say something along the lines of, “Would you like to get back on my books?” That was it.
This is what I think about that, okay. Imagine if you needed an expert because you were sick. Let’s say that your throat hurts. So you went to your expert, aka your doctor, and you said, “My throat hurts.” So he does the exam. At the end of the exam he says, “Okay, it looks like you have strep throat. Would you like to get on medicine?” You’d probably be like, “Uh yeah. Do I need to get on medicine?”
Imagine if he said, “Sure, what kind of medicine would you like to be on?” You’d be like I don’t fucking know. What medicine do you want me to be on? It would be the weirdest, right?
That’s how I feel a lot of service providers act. When your clients are coming to you, they’re coming to you because they’re looking for someone to help them. They need you to take authority and tell them what to do.
When my clients would walk up to me after their massages I would say, “Hey, like we were talking about in the massage room, your QL right side is super tight. It will take roughly six to eight sessions for me to get that worked out for you. Because massage is a compounding effect, it’s best if you put those sessions as close together as possible. I’d prefer to see you three times this week, three times next week. At that point, we’re going to reassess. I’d like to see you at 80% at that point.
“If you’re at 80%, then we’re going to back it off and you can come in once per week for about four weeks. By then I’d like to see you at 100%. Once we reach 100% mobility, I’d like to see you for maintenance once every month or every six weeks, whatever your budget allows. So we can keep this from happening again. Are you able to follow this plan? What day works best for you?”
Can you see how this is so different? My clients were obsessed with because, not because I have great hair. Not because I’m hilarious. No, but for real because they finally felt they had someone telling them what to do to get out of pain. Because ultimately that’s what they wanted so bad. Hardly anyone in the muscle therapy space was willing to take that much authority and that much responsibility for someone’s healing process.
So those are my top four ways to build retention. Let me also throw in a bonus. If you provide space in your company for your clients to stairstep their way to success, they are more likely to stay retained. Even as adults, we love sticker charts. We love seeing progress. We love getting recognized. We want the sticker, right.
In some of the coaching circles I’m in, you have to make a certain amount of money in order to move into the next realm of the mastermind. It’s literally like playing Mario. If you get enough points, you get to move on to the next level. People want to beat the game. It is in us, and it is human. I want to beat the game.
In these masterminds if you don’t have a higher level or higher rooms, the members wouldn’t be as inspired to keep climbing the ladder. We want the recognition, right. We want to see ourselves move through the levels.
It’s just like if you go to certain gyms, especially the gyms that have the heartrate monitors and the screens in front of everyone. When you come in as a newbie, you have a little title. As you have a certain amount of classes, you start getting stars and lightning bolts and little fire emojis of recognition right next to your name, like on the leader board for everyone else to see.
Think about an MLM market. You’re always hearing them say, “I hit silver today. Or I’m going for platinum.” This is literally a technique that the top people created as a way for members to stay engaged. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. If you really want the world to get healthier and you’re a gym owner, you’re going to be handing out stars and lightning bolts so that people feel good about working out.
So let me ask you this. How can you add this to your business? What does that look like for you? Also while we’re on the subject of retention, let me ask you. I’m going to leave you with these questions.
How often do you think about the retention of your staff? What is your turnover rate? Do you know how much it costs when someone quits, and you must retrain someone new? If it’s $2,000 to train someone new and you lose three people in a year, that is six grand a year down the drain when it could have been skipped altogether with just a little bit more focus on retention of your staff.
All of this is the same for retention of your staff. Everything I just described. So once you stop inspiring them and you’re more worried about your new staff than your OGs, they will leave. Focus on quality of leadership, education, continual reminder for progress, verbal affirmations, and verbal requests to stay with your company. All right guys, that is it for me today. Keep on keeping on. Over and out.
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