The Secret of How To Get Clients To Keep Coming Back Repeatedly


Three Month Vacation:Online Business Podcast

Most of us are like crazy chickens, focused solely on attraction and conversion.

We fail to see the biggest resource in our business—returning clients. If you’re able to keep your existing clients and they buy everything in sight, you may never need new clients again.

But what magic spell would cause them to buy everything in sight? Incredibly, the answer is “feedback”.

 


Join us as we explore

Part 1: How do you get feedback? And when do you get feedback?
Part 2: Why safety plays a big role in feedback
Part 3: How to copy with feedback
 
Right click here and ‘save as’ to download this episode to your computer.


I’d been driving for about 5 years before I got to Auckland, New Zealand

When we moved here, however, my Indian driving license wasn’t valid and I had to sit for both the written and driving test. And I failed the first driving test within minutes. We barely got on the road, and down a slope when the assessor failed me. Ten minutes later, we were back where we started. As you’d expect, I was perplexed and wanted to know what I’d done wrong.

He wouldn’t tell me. “I’m not supposed to tell you what you’ve done wrong,” he said brusquely. “You’re supposed to drive correctly and when you make an error, I note the error and fail you, if necessary. And you’ve failed this test.”

This is often how we feel when clients won’t give us feedback on our products, services or courses.

But whose fault is it? Is it the client’s fault or ours? In most cases, we’re at fault, and this is because of a primary reason. We fail to figure out the difference between testimonials and feedback. We use the words interchangeably, and it gives the client the feeling they’re supposed to praise you all the time.

Praise is hard, because you want to reserve it for special occasions and anyway a constant stream of praise feels worthless. So the first task is to separate the concept of testimonials from feedback. The client should know clearly—and unequivocally—that they’re not praising you, but giving you feedback. Then, they should know that you’re going to do something with the feedback.

So how do you get feedback? And when do you get feedback?

Let’s take a look at three main areas of feedback and see how we can ensure we get the feedback that we need.

The three areas are:
1) The safety issue—and reward issue
2) The implementation issue
3) The specificity of your questions

1) Let’s start off with the safety—and reward

There’s a video online called “Austin’s Butterfly”. It shows a group of very young children appraising the work of one of their classmates. Austin, who’s probably in first grade, and has just drawn a butterfly. There’s only one problem. The Tiger Swallowtail butterfly looks amateurish and the kids know it. At that tender age, they’re not about to let Austin get away with such a terrible piece of art.

Then something quite amazing happens.

The teacher takes over and asks the kids to give feedback. One by one they pipe up, with their critiques, so Austin can take a crack at the second draft. They point to the angles, the wings, making the wings of the butterfly more pointy. They go on, and on, and the illustration improves with every draft. Six drafts later, the butterfly looks like something you’d find in a science book. The finished butterfly is so stunning that anyone—you, me, anyone—would be proud to call the illustration our own.

And yet this article isn’t about whether we can draw butterflies or not, is it?

Instead it’s about safety. The reason why those kids walked Austin through every one of those five subsequent drafts, is because they felt safe. So what made them feel safe? And how do you get your clients to feel safe? Incredibly that safety didn’t start on the day of the Austin butterfly demonstration. It started long before the teacher walked into the room. Safety needs to be created miles before you get to your destination.

So what do we do on Psychotactics?

Notice the “What Bugs Me” on every page of the website? That “bug” is designed to create safety. Yet, you’ve seen organizations ask for feedback before. Why does that bug bring in over 200 clients writing to us every single year (that’s about 2500 bugs since we started). The answer lies in the statement that accompanies the bug.

The statement says: We’ll give a reward of $50 for the best bug of the month. Have we been diligent about this reward? No, I can’t say that we’ve been super-diligent in doling out the reward. But at a primary level, 99% of the clients aren’t interested in the reward at all. They’re just interested in us fixing the problem.

We have something similar in our membership site at 5000bc.

The moment you get into the Cave (which is our forum) you are faced with a question thats says: What makes you unsafe in 5000bc? And even a casual glance at that post-—and it is a post in the forum—shows you that members have vented their feelings and there’s been an immediate response. When you get on an online course, like the information products course, you have an Ask Sean—again in the forum, as well as the ability to contact us at any point in time.

But contacting us can be a little intimidating.

It’s easier to ask the question in the Ask Sean post. When you examine the posts, you’ll find that clients aren’t always asking questions. They’re often giving a bit of feedback and mostly testing the waters. Is it safe to give feedback? When I answer the question, I’m always aware of everyone watching. When you treat one person with disdain (no matter what the issue) you create a factor of lack of safety.

Without safety you’re not going to get feedback—not the feedback you’re looking for, at least.

The clients aren’t exactly looking for rewards either. Those kids in the classroom weren’t getting any candy for their feedback. Their candy came in the form of change. Their opinions were valued and they were instantly rewarded with another draft. When they made suggestions, another draft showed up. They wanted to be heard, to see change.

And this takes us to our second part: The implementation

The Article Writing Course has been held since around the year 2006—and in the early years, we’d have three or four batches a year—now we have just one. This means we’ve had several hundred clients on this immersion course—and several hundred chunks of feedback.

Why chunks?

Because at the end of every course, we reserve a whole day—as part of the assignment—to get feedback. But why do clients give feedback? They do, because of the first reason: safety. They also want to make the course better—just like the kids in the classroom. The reward is the ability to be part of the change. It’s been almost 10 years. We should have stopped getting feedback by now, don’t you think? I mean how much feedback can you get on a course?

And yet here is the highlight of last year’s feedback—in brief

Action: Go over all the material and remove elements or testimonials that are confusing.
Action: Go over the autoresponders and fix them.
Action: Reconstruct the syllabus to move from learning components to actually writing complete articles.
Action: The weeks that aren’t part of the main course need to be treated as “starters” or “dessert”.
Action: Create Level 2 Course

Action: Fix the notes.
Action: I could, however, mention how the 55 minute club works—in the sales letter.
Action: Be clear that the connectors are sub-heads and sign posting.
Action: Review all instructions to make sure there’s no inconsistency. And consistent language.
Action: Get writers to post their goals on the forum.
Action: Syllabus goes first.

Action: Feedback: What do they specifically look at?
Action: Remove any connection to the 9-month course
Action: Tell participants in advance that there will be changes mid-stream.
Action: Live call not needed.
Action: Sean handles several projects at once. This is a perception and needs to be tackled.

Notice what you just read? It was an action list, based on a feedback list.

The clients came up with this immense list of things to be fixed—and spelt it out in great detail. We then compiled the list, and put in the action plan to fix the elements that needed fixing. Almost as soon as the clients came up with the feedback, we demonstrated we were not just asking for feedback, but we were going to take action—and we wrote what action needs to be taken.

The same applies to any feedback we get off the “what bugs me”

You probably heard about Rosa, didn’t you? If you didn’t here’s the story. Rosa goes and buys a product off our website. It’s the “Dartboard Pricing” series and she loves it, but has something to say. She says I need to have the books in ePub. Now this is a tiny nightmare, isn’t it? Because while it’s relatively easy to transform books into ePub, our books are filled with cartoons and captions. Those cartoons and captions need specific coding and yes, the nightmare is revealing itself, isn’t it?

But we got in touch with Rosa, said we’d work on it and then we posted Rosa’s feedback in the podcast. And shortly after, another podcast listener said he’d do the job (I’ll give you the link to this ePub genius at the end of this piece).

So he set about the task of fixing the books—one by one—but first worked on Rosa’s request. This week, I wrote to Rosa and told her we had not only taken her seriously, but we were going to send out the PDFs and the ePub documents, so she could happily read on her tablet or phone.

Do you think Rosa feels safe?
Do you think she’s bound to give feedback again?
Do you think she was rewarded, both by the initial response as well as the implementation?

But what if you can’t implement something?

Take for example, the courses we hold offline—at workshops such as the one in Amsterdam, or Vancouver or Nashville. The workshops are designed not t give you information, but to give you skill. Clients come up with all sorts of feedback, even during the workshop.

At the storytelling workshop in Amsterdam, Ellen—one of the participants, suggested a walking group. “We walk in the Netherlands”, she said. Now, if you get to our workshop, you’ll notice you’re not in the room a lot. That’s because you learn the least in the room.

We get groups to leave the room and sit by the pool, by the stair, in the lobby—just about anywhere they wish to sit and discuss the assignment they’ve been given. And yet, here was Ellen talking about “walking groups”. So we sent them off for a walk. And half of them took our advice, while half chose to sit instead.

So yay, the feedback went like clockwork, but it’s not always so hunky-dory—this implementation bit—is it?

And when you can’t change things, you head off the objections off at the pass. For instance, if you look at the feedback we got from the last course was “Sean is handling too many projects at once”.

Now that’s like saying “fire is hot”. The reason you’re even reading this article is because I like to write articles, but I also like to paint, cook, take photos, dance, learn languages, mentor my niece—and take a nap in the afternoon (that’s a project too, you know). So what would you do with such feedback, especially when you know nothing is going to change?

I mean I handle projects but then I know what to keep and what to drop. Yet, the perception may exist and a client that’s going through a rough patch may find an easy target—me—the guy with ten million projects. That client may not have any idea that I’m not dancing right now, or I’ve put my Japanese and photography on hold. They’re working off a supposition—their perception. And to make sure this problem doesn’t arise, we head it off at the pass. I bring it up early in the course, or the book, or the workshop.

It’s on a slide, or in an introductory page, or somewhere it cannot be missed. And it needs to be repeated several times, so it sinks in, because not everyone sees or understands everything the first time around.

If you cannot or will not implement something and you have your reasons for it, you need to be very clear why you’re avoiding that course of action. Rosa’s suggestions were doable, and we went ahead with the plan, but it’s also quite a task to convert every book on the site to ePub. If this were the case, and we couldn’t fix every PDF, we’d just have to head off the objection before the client bought the product.

However, to get back on track—the implementation is what matters

Implementation creates safety. Implementation tells your client that they matter. That their opinion is important. And if you can’t fix it, at least put out an action plan, so they can see that you’re hard at work. Then cross out the elements as we’re doing with this new Article Writing Course. Will we be 100% successful? No we won’t but we’ll keep at things until they get fixed. And then we’ll have another big list to go through.

So we looked at safety and reward.

Then we had a long dive into implementation and at least the need to communicate with the client; the importance of having an action plan.

Which takes us to the third part: The specificity of your questions.

The Secret of How To Get Clients To Keep Coming Back Repeatedly: Part 2

Click here to continue listen to: Feedback: The Secret of How To Get Clients To Keep Coming Back Repeatedly


Next Steps

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

If you’ve been a subscriber, then you know that you automatically get the downloads on your phone or on your computer if you subscribe to iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes you can get this podcast via email, RSS or Stitcher. Click on any of the links below. The best button is the Website button, because you get goodies too (goodies found nowhere else).

View in iTunes   |  Android   |  Website   | RSS


Oh and before I go—Can I ask you a small favour?

Would you be kind enough to leave a review. Your review, rating (and subscription) are most appreciated. They help the rating of the show and I read every single review. And if  you have any feedback, you also want to write to me at sean@psychotactics.com. Anything you’d like to see or listen to anything you don’t like, just write to me at sean@psychotactics.com. I actually implement the feedback.

You can do this from your phone or your computer. Here’s a graphic, if you need any help.


 

Enjoyed this show?

Don’t forget to join the weekly free Psychotactics Newsletter designed
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Biggest Landing Page Mistake And How To Fix It: Episode 85b


Three Month Vacation:Online Business Podcast

What’s one of the biggest “rookie mistakes” when putting a landing page together?

It’s the rookie, sitting down and writing the entire page at their desk. If you want a reasonably boring landing page, write it yourself.

But what if you didn’t write it yourself? Who would write it for you?  Find out more in Part 2 of this series.

 


In this episode Sean talks about

Part 1: How do you find the ideal client?
Part 2: What happens when you dig into a single problem?
Part 3:  What do you do with all the other problems?

Right click here and ‘save as’ to download this episode to your computer.
 

Useful Resources

Client Attractors: How do you maximise the power of features and benefits?
Listen to: How To Design A Successful Sequential Landing Page
Read: How To Design A Successful Sequential Landing Page


There’s a reason why I moved from PC to the Mac.

In 2008 I had to do a series of presentations for a radio station.  Since the clients of radio stations are always looking for ways to get the attention of their clients, the presentation of The Brain Audit seemed like the perfect match. If there’s one thing I’m very possessive about, it’s the slides for my presentation.

I tend to make changes, simplifying the content and moving the slides around until the very last minute. Even if I have done the presentation dozens of times before, you can be sure I will be making changes at the very last minute.

In this case, the terms of my contract prohibited me from making those changes at the last minute.

The radio station was putting all their slides together in advance, so all slide decks had to be submitted the week before the presentation. This rattled me enough to show up three hours before I had to make my presentation. The technical crew was more than happy to let me go through a run through of my presentation on the big screen.

As I clicked through the slides, I realised that something was wrong. The presentation I was seeing on the screen looked a bit like my presentation, but somehow it was different.

The weird part was that it looked better than what I had done.

After I had got over the shock of someone tampering with my presentation, I asked the crew how they had gone about changing the presentation. “We didn’t do anything with the presentation itself,” they said. “We just ran it through keynote — which is a presentation software for the Mac.”

That one idea was enough to get me hooked onto the Mac, even though I had used the PC for close to 15 years. The Mac had solved a problem that I didn’t know existed. It had taken the best possible presentation I could muster, and made it far more beautiful than I could imagine.

Since then, I have dumped all my PCs and stuck to the Mac. So does this make me the ideal client?

It does not, because I wasn’t aware of the problem in advance

To find the ideal client, you have to find someone is already deeply aware of the frustration they are facing. If you find someone like me—someone who’s surprised and delighted, you’re going to get a very shallow rendition of the set of problems the client faces—and most certainly never get to the depth of the biggest problem.

You have to find someone who already has a problem

And the best place to start could be a random place like Facebook. Since everyone already has an opinion on Facebook, you may shortlist your ideal client based on a friend that responds to your question.

You may have a tiny list of subscribers on your e-mail list, and if you send out a request, there’s a good chance that at least a couple of responses will show up in your inbox. If you already have clients like we do, you’re often still like a newbie, especially when you want to launch a new product or service.

Let’s say we want to launch a product on how to take outstanding photos with your iPhone

In many cases it’s easy enough to locate a great client, and it’s more than likely that they would like to take great photos, but don’t know how. Once you interview them over the phone, or in person, you’ll quickly find a series of issues.

– Taking great food pictures with an iPhone
– How to improve your vacation photos
– How to use manual controls with your software
– How to shoot close up or macro photography
– Great portrait photography with Your iPhone
– How to dump the SLR at home and take outstanding photos with your iPhone.

The problem is obvious, isn’t it? How do you choose? All of these problems seem headed in divergent directions.
The answer is: You don’t choose. You get the client to choose.You focus on the problem at hand and dig deeper.

The questions would hinge on the single problem:
– Why do you want to take your iPhone instead of a Nikon?
– What frustrates you when you take the Nikon?
– Can you describe a day on your vacation?
– What are the consequences of taking a heavy camera along?

If you own a Nikon 7000 like I do, you’ll find yourself leaving the camera back in the hotel room a lot.

The Nikon 7000 is a great camera, but it feels like you’re lugging a brick along—and when you take three months off every year, that’s like lugging a brick for 90 whole days. So unless I’m going on a trip—like the time we went to see orcas in Vancouver, or camels on the road in Australia, I keep the DSLR—that’s the Nikon—in the hotel room.

And once you get me started, I can keep going on and on about the problems of a heavy camera. However, as the interviewer digs deeper, she may find that I like the iPhone for other reasons as well. I can use a slew of software, improve my photos, use filters, create depth of field (that’s a feeling of fuzziness for objects in the distance)—and do that all before I get back to the hotel. With the Nikon, I have to get back, download the photos into a program like Lightroom, and then I’m chained to my computer, instead of enjoying my vacation.

When you dig deep into a single problem, you get the client to give you a ton of details.

You get them to describe their frustration on that one problem.
You also get a sense of what they experience with that one problem when you ask them to describe their day.
And finally, you get the consequences—a truckload of consequences.

You then take the biggest problem and put it in your headline and sub-head on your page

The frustration and the sense of what the client experiences: that needs to go in the first couple of paragraphs, followed closely by the consequences. Which leaves us with a sort of dilemma, doesn’t it? What do we do with all the rest of the problems the client brought up? Do we just get rid of them?

This takes us to the third part—what to do with the rest of the problems.


Element 3: What do you do with the rest of the problems?

The answer is simpler that you think.

Remember the Portabooth—that portable recording booth that you could take on the road with you? Well, it didn’t have one benefit or feature, did it? It has a series of them. And yet, the client is most interested in the biggest problem. Once you’ve solved the biggest problem, the rest of the features are really a bonus for the client. They are a nice-to-have, but not a deal breaker.

The way to use the rest of the problems brought up by the client is to see whether you want to tackle them in the first place

With the Portabooth, we could bring up the rest of the features and benefits and explain why there was a problem and how the Portabooth solves that problem. Unlike the biggest problem, where you have to go into a lot of detail, you can just use a paragraph or so to explain the rest of the main features.

You bring up the problem—for example: Assembles in seconds Just close two zippers—and describe the problem briefly, before bringing up the solution. Now you’ve taken every one of the remaining features, turned it into a problem, and brought up the solution.

But what if the problems were incredibly divergent, like in the case of the iPhone photo book?

Think about it for a second: Is the book going to show you how to shoot portraits, use manual controls, take pictures of butterflies—as well as show you how to take great food photos? If so, then hey, the product already solves the problem, so simply use the remaining features on the sales page itself.

If the problems the client brought up, don’t fit in with your product or service, then you have to ask yourself: Am I going to include them in this product or service or do I simply focus on one thing?

In Psychotactics land, we’ve focused on one thing

Instead of writing a book of 200 pages, we may restrict ourselves to 59 pages. We’ve come to the conclusion that clients want to get a skill, not more information. But if you’re selling a product like a mixer, for instance, you have a ton of features and benefits. Even so, it’s better to restrict yourself to just four-five problems being solved.

In today’s world it’s easy to get overwhelmed very quickly, and keeping the features and benefits to just a few is the best way to go. If, however, you still have a ton of features and benefits and would like to talk about them, then restrict them to bullet points. Bullet points are amazingly effective, because they form a quick summary of the product or service.

And there you have it—the series of steps you need to give your product or service the limelight it needs.

You focus on one.
One plane landing on the tarmac at a time.

It makes for a tidy airport and a very successful landing page!

So what did we cover?

1 How to choose one problem.
2 Defining why the problem is important.
3 What to do with the rest of the problems.

We looked at the racehorses—and how they bolt out all at once. It seems like a good idea to introduce all our benefits and features, but instead of benefits and features, we need to use a problem. We get to the problems, by inverting the features and benefits. And then once we have the list of problems, we get the client to choose one. Which is the client’s most pressing problem?

– Trying to write this landing page all by yourself is usually a big waste of time.

You struggle to write it and then the problems are not that which the client experiences. Plus, it’s hard to figure out the emotions the client feels. I’ll ignore my own advice only to come back later and realise what a fool I’ve been. It’s so much easier to call a client and record their experience. Or better still, take them out to lunch—because you’ll get to drink some wine too. And that’s always more fun. Take your recorder with you and make notes as well. Both are very important.

– Finding a client is always daunting.

The best kind of client is a client that’s already deeply frustrated. Someone who’s been going through a heck of a lot and can describe in great detail what they’re experiencing. I’ve lugged my camera around a lot to tell you what that feels like and why I leave the camera behind. You may think Facebook isn’t the best place, but you’ll be amazed at how much feedback you can get on Facebook. Are they the best clients ever? Of course not, but once you launch your product or service, you can always tweak your landing page.

– Go deep into the problem. Ask the questions.

– What frustrates you the most? Why does it frustrate you?
– Can you describe a day on your life?
– What are the consequences of postponing this decision? How does it make you feel?

Finally, what do you do with the rest of the problems?

If they fit in with your product or service, then simply put them in as features and benefits. Or as bullets. Talking about features and benefits, there’s a way to write them a lot better than just listing them, and here is where you can find out more about how to maximize the power of features and benefits.

P.S. Take a look at that landing page as well. It shows you how to create a tiny landing page and get the right information across.

Click here to listen to Part 1: How To Design A Sequential Landing Page (Using the Power of the Problem)


Next Steps

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

If you’ve been a subscriber, then you know that you automatically get the downloads on your phone or on your computer if you subscribe to iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes you can get this podcast via email, RSS or Stitcher. Click on any of the links below. The best button is the Website button, because you get goodies too (goodies found nowhere else).

View in iTunes   |  Android   |  Website   | RSS


Oh and before I go—Can I ask you a small favour?

Would you be kind enough to leave a review. Your review, rating (and subscription) are most appreciated. They help the rating of the show and I read every single review. And if  you have any feedback, you also want to write to me at sean@psychotactics.com. Anything you’d like to see or listen to anything you don’t like, just write to me at sean@psychotactics.com. I actually implement the feedback.

You can do this from your phone or your computer. Here’s a graphic, if you need any help.


 

Enjoyed this show?

Don’t forget to join the weekly free Psychotactics Newsletter designed
to dig deep on one topic, rather than overwhelm you. And get access to a detailed report on “Why Headlines Fail (And how to create headlines that work)”
Subscribe

 

The Article Writing 2016 Course Page Is Live

shakespeare_L

It’s finally here: The Article Writing Course 2016 If you want to be on the course, you’ll need to get to the page below.As you know, we’ve sent you the prospectus and the sales page (without the ‘buy now’ buttons well in advance) so you could do your due diligence. Well, here’s the final step. […]

[Continue reading...]