How To Stand Out From The Competition

We’ve already mentioned about the importance of building your list, so you’re probably thinking ‘great, what now?’ Alan Adams & Richard ReedFor most clinics these will be high income people who are incredibly difficult to get in front of. It’s not a problem though; it’s all about how you contact them. You just have to turn up in a completely different way that makes you stand out and get a response, even if that response is telling you to clear off! In my experience, though, the worst case scenario is that you’ll get a polite no from the very person you’re targeting. There are a few strategies but some variety on lumpy mail always goes down well, or even a shock and awe package, let me explain…

I’ve been interviewing some of the country’s top business people for an NLP modelling project on the mind-set of the super successful. The idea is to find out what’s happening on an unconscious level that makes these people really excel at business and to find out what the common traits among them are, as well as what they have in common that will be an important marker. Once we’ve learned all of this, essentially we have the business holy grail – a blueprint for success. The problem is these people don’t know me, they get a barrage of requests for different things, are really time pressured and they have the ultimate gatekeepers whose sole job is not to let anyone near them. So how did I do it?

Well, as an example, I got myself invited to an Innocent Drinks event hosted at the company’s HQ in London, and had the opportunity to talk to Richard Reed, one of the co-founders of the company. I explained about the modelling project I was working on and asked him if it would be okay to interview him. He said it sounded like a great idea but he was too busy and warmly wished me the best of luck.

Enter the shock and awe package. Richard had spoken that night about the need to be persistent in whatever you were trying to achieve and likened it to tapping on an egg. If you just kept going eventually ‘the chick of yes’ would pop out. So I got a chicken egg, emptied the contents, went to a local hobby store and bought a kit to make up a small Easter chick, which I had to glue together Blue Peter style, and hey presto, the chick of yes was hatched (actually, the way I glued it together it looked like a slightly deranged chick of yes).

I then commissioned a local artist to do a series of drawings showing how, if Richard took me up on my offer of a time management workshop for his team (in return for the interview), this would help his team sky-rocket their performance and give him more time. I put all this in a box along with the chick of yes and a few added-value items and a few days later I got a congratulatory email from Richard saying good effort and telling me to contact his PA and make an appointment for the interview.

I’ve approached a lot of truly successful big name business owners and I always follow up and always get a response from the person in question, even if it is a no. I try to find out something about them and then personalise what I’m sending; for example, Theo Paphitis mentioned in an article he liked marmalade on a Saturday morning, so I sent him an award-winning jar. He said no but that’s still a response. He’s actually had two now, so I’ve had two nos but I always find persistence is important in business and I’m going to get my mum to make a jar up and send it to him – hopefully that will get a yes; who can refuse a mum? 🙂

If I can touch some of the hardest-to-reach people in the country using this method, you can get in front of your dream clients. Anyway, even if you’re sending a KitKat and tea bag offering them the chance to ‘take a break’, they’re far more likely to engage with whatever it is you are sending them. But, and here’s the pitfall for many, just because you’ve sent them something, don’t expect them to ring you, you absolutely need to follow up, also try to drive them to do something online, then you can see if they’re interested, preferably with a phone call if you can, maybe an email checking that the box got through or even something prior to you sending the package just to say “something’s on its way to you”, to create a little intrigue. The main thing is to have some steps in place and to follow up on the phone with further follow-ups planned for if you don’t get through to them initially. Remember the life-time value of these clients, what would you be prepared to pay to get them as clients?

By Alan Adams

About 

As an award-winning business coach and bestselling author, Alan S Adams has helped hundreds of businesses across the UK to move from simply surviving to positively thriving. The publication of his second book Passion To Profit: 7 Steps To Building A Kick-Ass Agency and his third book, The Beautiful Business: Secrets to Sculpting Your Ultimate Clinic, sees him focus very specifically on creative agencies and aesthetic clinic sector, sharing advice and guidance with the potential to revolutionise turnover, client retention and overall growth. Alan was also recognised by Enterprise Nation as one of the UK’s Top 50 Advisors and APCTC Coach of The Year Finalist.

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