Only everything!

Little red heart being held between two fingersBut, you may be thinking, “isn’t being in business just about, well… business?”

Nope. You see, love is the secret ingredient to my business and I’ve been carrying on a love affair with my clients for years!

I didn’t pay much attention to what was happening, at first, until I started getting e-mail messages and notes from my clients who were signing off with the word “love.”

You know, “Love, Mary” and “Love, Joe”, and that sort of thing.

I started realizing that I really do love my clients. And so I started looking for what it was that made my clients love me and why I loved them in return. (I was really clear it wasn’t about the money they were spending with me.)

What I discovered is that being in love with your clients and having them love you back is all about making a personal connection with them.

Business, just like life, is a popularity contest. People do business with other people whom they know, like, and trust.

Before our customers and clients can love us, they must first get to know us, then decide if they like us, and then come around to trusting us. Only then will they begin loving us.

You ARE your business.

Ask any of your best customers why they are using your services and buying your products and chances are, they’ll say it’s because they like you and they enjoy working with you—not because you have the lowest prices or the nicest office or for any other reason.

This know-like-trust-love connection doesn’t happen accidentally. In business you must actively work to build relationships with people you want to do business with.

Communication plays a big role in this process—both the verbal and non-verbal kind. Continual communication with your prospects, existing customers and new clients is crucial to developing this know-like-trust-love connection. And that’s really what attraction marketing—and being a “soul” proprietor—is all about—strengthening that connection by building the relationship.

According to Tim Sanders, in his book The Likeability Factor, he says there are four critical elements that must be in place in order for your customers to start knowing, liking, trusting, and then loving you.

Here are those critical elements that can help you create a love affair with your clients:

Friendliness. You won’t get very far if you aren’t friendly. We are drawn to friendly people. This also means being nice—to everybody. You never know who you’re being nice to. They may turn out to be your best future customer.

When I owned a small retail store a few years back, I never made an assumption about a potential customer based on their appearance or their demeanor. The very people who looked like they may not have had the means to buy anything were often the very ones who purchased the most.

If you’re not a naturally friendly person, you can start learning to be more friendly by just giving people you pass a smile. Smile when you’re on the phone and smile even when you don’t feel like it.

Relevance. Even if folks are friendly and you are friendly in return, they have little reason to care about you if you have no relevance—no importance—to their life and their well-being.

Relevance is the extent to which the other person’s life interests, wants or needs are connected to you.

“When you are relevant,” says Sergio Zyman, former chief marketing officer for Coca Cola, “you’ve connected to someone’s sweet spot—that area of our hearts and minds in which our passions are concentrated, the bull’s-eye in each of us that represents something very significant.”

So, what’s your sweet spot? If you need to relax, your massage therapist will certainly have relevance for you. If you’re a yoga instructor and your clients need to balance their mind with their body, then you’re their sweet spot.

Empathy. Do you understand your clients and their needs and wants? Are you able to see things from their point of view and to feel what they feel?

My dictionary defines empathy as “identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives.”

Can you imagine yourself in the place of your customers or clients, and from their vantage point, are you able to understand their feelings, desires, ideas, and actions—both the good ones and the bad ones?

If so, you’ve hit upon a key point in determining who your perfect (ideal) client is: they are just like you! It makes it much easier to serve someone you already know well because you’re both so alike.

Be real. In human terms, a real person is someone who is genuine, true, and authentic.

Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, in their book, Get Real, define ‘real’ as being “true to yourself and true to others; possessing authenticity and sincerity.”

‘Realness’ is really something that’s almost impossible to define because ‘realness’ is simply something you feel. What feels real to you may not feel real to another. And if you believe that someone is real, then you’ll feel like they are sincere.

Phoniness shows through quickly. You won’t be able to pull the wool over your customers’ eyes very long, if at all. So, always be real with your clients. They’ll be real with you, and your relationship will blossom from there.

Combine friendliness with relevance, empathy, sincerity and authenticity and you’ve got a powerful formula for successfully connecting with your clients.

When you strive to connect in these ways, you’re well on your way to a great love affair with each client you meet.

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What would you like to do next?

Are You a Soul Proprietor? Find out here.
6 Ways to Make Your Marketing Sacred Find out how here.