“Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling” is one of the best books I have read on learning to promote yourself in the service industry. I started reading it after speaking with Woody Haiken from The Growing Practice who is a Book Yourself Solid Coach. What is amazing about this book is that just about everything he says in it can be found somewhere on this blog or on one of my websites but he has put it all together in one place!
The concept of the “Ideal Client” is one thing that he talks about. I only learned about that idea in about 2000 or so when I started in the process of supervision. One of the first things we worked on was developing a vision of my ideal client. The ideal client is one who nourishes you and that you look forward to working with. When you work on clients that are less than ideal you end up drained, tired and most likely broke! I have another post on the concept of the ideal client.
Some other of the things he talks about is how service professionals tend to think about the sales process as something that is not congruent with helping others. Many massage therapists just want to do massage and they don’t want to do all of the work to get and keep clients. They often have an idea that clients will magically appear. Promoting yourself is really just letting clients know what it is that you do so they can decide if it is something that will help them. People are looking for a solution to their problems. I first learned about that from building my website with Site Build it! When you learn to create your website and other marketing materials and learn to talk about what you do from the perspective of just wanting to educate clients and create relationships the sales process becomes less fearful!
The main thing in ‘sales’ is building trust and establishing yourself as an expert. That is the way of Site Build it! too – the system I use to create websites. It taught me about building trust with potential clients by providing information. (Who would know that a website building system would actually be my business mentor?) They teach you how to write and create a website that does that. I can’t tell you how many clients I get who read my massage clinic website and say that they can resonate with it all and that is why they are choosing me!
Michael Port’s basic process for getting yourself booked solid uses these simple steps:
- Direct Outreach
- Build Referrals
- Speaking and demonstrating
- Keep in Touch
A few other great quotes I like from the book:
The book yourself solid paradigm of sales is all about building relationships with your potential clients based on trust. It is, quite simply, about having a sincere conversation that allows you to let your potential clients know what you can do to help them.
If you don’t believe you are worth what you are charging, it is unlikely that a lot of people are going to hire you based on those fees.
Becoming comfortable with the sales process requires that you let go of your limiting beliefs you may have about being worthy of the money you are earning and requires a shift in your perspective of the sales process yourself.
The book is a great resource for massage therapists in learning to overcome the challenges of promoting themselves. When you start understanding that it is just about building relationships and trust it won’t seem like sales. When you create your vision of your ideal client and create a marketing plan that goes along with it people will value what you do. Setting boundaries around that vision is how you take the necessary actions to create what you want!