Imara Development Programmes

LEADING EDGE TESTED AND PROVEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESS OWNERS & SELF- EMPLOYED PROFESSIONALS

It’s All in The Relationship: 3 Steps to Retaining Long Term Consulting Clients

8 September 2017

By Joe Z Mairura

Are you a Consultant, Coach, Therapist, Trainer or some other similar Independent professional business owner?

Then clients are to your business what carbon is to steel

Without clients/customers you can be the best in the world at what you do; but it doesn’t amount to much.

If you don’t have a supply of clients, you don’t have a business; but an expensive hobby.
You are no more than a subject matter expert that no one has ever heard of.

If you want a successful and sustainable business you need a regular flow of clients.

Yes and No!

Yeah…?

There is nothing wrong attracting a constant flow of clients into your business. Even smarter, is focusing on continually courting, nurturing and ultimately holding on to your clients for the long term.

That’s where stuff happens. Because…

They’ve heard of you…

They’ve already bought from you…

They already know you…

And they’ve some form of relationship with you…

So the smart thing to do is to nurture that relationship so they return to buy from you again and again.
Doing this will ensure you have more successful relationships and business with your clients.

And so to the inevitable and obvious question; “how do you retain your clients for the long term?”

First, offer you clients Value and Excellent Service – to your existing clients ongoing and extraordinary value by serving them to the highest level. Far too many Consultants, Coaches, Therapists, Trainers etc… just concentrate on attracting new clients, and once they have acquired them, they are off again spending even more time trying to acquire even more new clients and not allocating enough time to really serve and add even more value to the clients they have recently acquired and ensuring they are still serving their existing ones – continuing to offer the highest level of service and results.

The danger with this approach is just focusing on the one- off sale and not nurturing the long term relationship and the potential for more repeat sales.

Fact

All clients are selfish and only interested in what you can do for then, how you can solve and continue to solve their problem and alleviate their pain points. This is good; and is why you are in business; to serve your clients and customers.

But do not confuse this with subscribing to the erroneous and “business-limiting” mentality of “the customer is always right” approach.

No; the customer is not always right.

I know that sounds completely bonkers, contrary to the accepted way of conducting business… may be…

I know; it sounds like…“business heresy”; like way out counter-intuitive.

It is.

But that’s for another time.

For now grok this, clients quickly grasp that over time, it’s advantageous for them to have someone like you on their side. Constantly engaging informing and nurturing. Their “go to” guy or gal

Doing this one thing of serving your clients to the highest levels and adding even more value to them; pays dividends and will actually do wonders for your business.

Why?

Simples!

It helps you to retain your clients longer. If you’re serving your clients at a higher level, and you’re focused on providing even more value producing results for them, they’re going to want to stay with you.
Because, you’re providing your clients or customers with more value and more results.

If they stay with you longer, they are going to come back to you: for more projects, more services; to refer you to other people and clients, because they’re so ecstatic and satisfied with what you’ve provided and continue to provide to them

That’s great for your business.

Second, keep your clients informed- focus on is keeping your clients informed with the latest industry or market information’ or professional trends.

Always looking out for them, whenever you’re: exhibitions, reading checking out different blogs, researching trade publications – whatever – always have your client in mind and take every opportunity to add even more value to them.

Doing this fosters client loyalty and trust.

Your clients really value someone they can turn to, an adviser, someone they can trust. Whether that be as: coach, consultant, trainer or a mentor.

Being that person; and being “the go-to person”, regularly front of mind, most clients value and like having someone like that (You) their side.

The third- build and sustain relationships- this is powerful continually working on building and maintaining relationships with your clients. Not just within the business context; but also think creatively about what you can do to sustain relationships with your clients “appropriately”, outside the business context.

For instance getting to know your clients as individuals. What are they really like as people? What makes them tick? Their families, children, hobbies, interests. Simply recognising your client as a person, learning more about them as a person and sharing also more about yourself, can really cement that relationship etc.

The occasional out for a coffee, or lunch, or whatever it is, getting someone outside of the typical business environment can do wonders for business relationships. Not enough people do it.

It’s all in the relationship.

In the avoidance of any misunderstanding, let me be absolutely clear; I’m not promoting “inappropriate” relationships, in order to influence the client in favour of your custom, or some sort of business sweetener to get the business. No; I’m talking about transparent and ethical relationship building; based on integrity and mutual trust.

Be the person that will take the time to establish strong relationships with your clients. This is not about spending every single day or allocating certain days or weekend for them; nor is it about share your most personal secrets.

This is about simply recognising your client as a person, a fellow human being, learning more about them as a person and sharing also more about you as a person, can really strengthen that relationship.
If you are a consultant, coach or trainer and you want to know “how you might start to do this, go here for more information

With my warmest wishes

Joe

P.S Ultimately, we are in the relationship business. The stronger your relationship with your clients, the stronger the business bond and the more the basis for longevity
Focus on the three things above in your business, and you’ll be able to retain more clients and you will build and grow a lucrative and sustainable business

Here’s that link again

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Failing Your Way to Success

31 August 2017

By Joe Z Mairura

Failure.

There’s one word we are all don’t like being associated with.

Failing sucks

Ask anyone who has had to endure it, they will attest to it. Yet in a strange sort of way it’s an essential part of our growth.

We have a troubled relationship with failure. We don’t like talking about it. There almost a societal imprint of shame associated with it. Words like: ‘loser’ ‘good for nothing’ waste of space’ and more than I care not to mention, spring to mind

But is failing per se, bad, or is it the meanings we have come to attribute to it that are so destructive?
There is no shame in failing. Our failures are “building blocks” to our intended success; whatever success means for you. The key is to identify where the “building” happens.

It’s not about many times you fall, but rather, how many times you get up.

Here is how Michael Jordan- the best and most successful basketballer there has ever been- sees it;
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Now Isn’t it telling, that the best and most successful basketball player there has ever been, failed so many times, and yet he attributes his success to these failures?

If this resonates with you, you might want to start here

To your brilliance

Joe

P.S. The only real failure is not trying at all, and trying with purpose and intent

Here’s that link again

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Do you Attract or Repel it.

28 August 2017

Joe Z Mairura

Security

Now there is one word that is woven into the fabric of our daily existence

I suspect not a day goes by without voicing it, thinking it, behaving it, acting it
living it.

Economic security…

Food security…

Job security…

Financial security…

Accommodation security…

You get my drift.

So why have I brought up the issue of security?

Very simple really . I have, in the last few weeks; 8 to be exact, been reading, reflecting and thinking into my beliefs, thinking, my attitude, and relationship with money, wealth and being rich.

We have a very troubled relationship with money, whether we have it or not. We hold and have very entrenched unhelpful beliefs and attitudes about money and wealth…

The operative word here is beliefs

What‘s is interesting is, we did not even originate these beliefs. They’re inherited, and passed down the generations from figures of authority, by institutions perceived to have authority and or influence.

And what’s more, the attitudes and engrained beliefs have no basis in real evidence; but have just gone unquestioned.

There seem to be two dominant beliefs about money and wealth. You have either an Abundance or Scarcity attitude towards money and wealth; with the former predisposing you towards attracting it and the latter repelling it … a “money consciousness” vs “poverty consciousness”

So, how do you show up in the above equation?

What‘s it your attitude towards money?

Do you attract it, or repel it?

Think carefully about your answer. As I’m finding out, its’s not as black and white or as simple as you may have been led to believe…

…No; what do you really believe about money and how does this show up in your daily life.
It will serve you well to stay in (dwell on) the question

I initially thought it was pretty simple and straight forward until the same question as I have asked you, was put to me; and it wasn’t.

Before we go any further, let me dispel any illusions you might entertain. The attracting money consciousness neither is not exclusive domain of the financially rich nor is the poverty consciousness the exclusive domain of the financially poor. On the contrary the latter (poor) can and do possess an abundance consciousness and the rich and wealthy a poverty and scarcity consciousness respectively.
Everything in the universe is energy and money is energy too.

The thoughts that make up our thinking are energy too. Now energy attracts or repels. Like energy attracts and is drawn towards like energy. Therefore, since your thoughts are energy, how you think about money and wealth will determine how much you attract into your life.

This discovery has been HUGE for me… mind bowing for me… I’m still processing it.
Back to where we started… “Security”

Coming from a place of security is adopting a ‘closed and “holding on to” attitude, and therefore coming from a “poverty consciousness” disposition.

That’s the problem right there; when it comes to money and wealth; because it will influence all your decisions. Coming from this position only serves to attract and foster scarcity and a poverty consciousness and thus repels abundance.

Here is how Napoleon Hill put it; after 20 years of in depth studying both the most successful and not so successful people of his time:

“Fortunes gravitate to men whose mind has been prepared to “attract” them, just as surely as water gravitates to the ocean.”

He goes on, “Poverty is attracted to the one whose mind is favourable to it, as money is attracted to him whose mind has been deliberately prepared to attract it, and through the same laws. Poverty consciousness will voluntarily seize the mind which is not occupied with the money consciousness. A poverty consciousness develops without conscious application of habits favourable to it. The money consciousness must be created to order, unless one is born with such a consciousness”

This is hard to swallow in the first instance. It certainly was for me the first time I was exposed to it; especially as in the face of our societal programming sounds as if he is blaming those who are not successful and therefore seeming to suggest it’s their fault.

NO; that’s not what he is saying at all

As I continue to reflect on and think into this area, I am coming to the realisation that the reason we do not enjoy the wealth and abundance that we wish for, is not because we are not capable, but rather because we have something in our thinking that prevents us from doing so. Something in our belief system that leads us to think in a self –sabotaging way and consequently develop behaviours and habits that stand in the way of our success and abundance

Our behaviour is the “offspring” of (are driven by) our belief system

I offer you the following three questions to help guide you in thinking through this in a more structured way. The answers may not be immediately forthcoming. Don’t worry; just stay in the questions. I can guarantee you they will open up new lines of enquiry that you had not thought of before

Here they rare:

1. What do I need to shed in my belief system to move me form a mindset of scarcity towards a place of abundance?

2. What do I need to modify in my thinking to free myself from the shackles of self-sabotaging thinking, behaviour, habits and actions

3. How do I continually demonstrate to myself that I’m not being controlled by limiting beliefs and thinking

With my warmest regards

Joe

P.S. The more you focus on security the more you attract scarcity and poverty and as a result the less abundance in your life. Security and scarcity go hand in hand

Food for thought

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We have a Troubling Relationship with it... (Revisited)

25 August 2017

By Joe Z Mairura

We desire it…

We chase it…

We need it…

We all want it…

We long to acquire more of it…

It helps soften the blow…

We both admire and loathe it in others…

We are prepared to: dismiss, judge, suspect, condemn, hate, and in some cases kill for it…

…yes; literally.

In case you haven’t worked it out yet…

…I am talking about money, riches and financial wealth.

We have a very dichotomous relationship with money and wealth- a troubling relationship at that. We hold some weird and deep-seated societal ideas and beliefs about money, riches and wealth.

The thing is, we are unconscious to all this. But it comes out –“seeps” out- in the language we use and in the way we speak about money, wealth and riches and rich people,

Take a moment or two and re-run in your head, the myriad conversations you have had about money, riches, rich people, your attitude to those with more than you etc…

What did you discover?

I don’t need to know the answer; you do.

Perhaps you might consider this question too: What’s the source of the beliefs you hold about money; moreover what’s the validity of the evidence that supports your beliefs or attitude to it?

All I ask is that you are stone- cold honest with yourself about what is revealed to you about your beliefs, thoughts, feelings and resulting behaviours and actions about money, riches and financial wealth.

These ideas reside deep within your subconscious and unless you are aware or conscious of them, they will manifest themselves in your daily realities, through your conversations, behaviours as actions.

In the last four years or so I have spent thousands of hours with: professionals, professional business owners, fellow business owners, and with my coach and mentor exploring and reflecting on this.

Over this time, I learnt a very uncomfortable truth; which hit me like a boomerang on its ‘return flight’; right between the eyes … pretty much ‘floored me’

Do you wanna know what is was?

Yeah?

Perhaps best not to

Really?

No way…

It might knock you for six…

You’re gonna need a ‘Scotch on the Rocks…straight up’, or similar, on the ready; cuz this be huuuuuuuge!

Well, here goes…

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

The vast majority of people, business owners included, fear success-including financial success-more than they fear failure!

You might want to read the above sentence again.

They do

Perhaps you do; but have not given it much thought

I did!

And I’m still reeling from this discovery about my thinking, my beliefs, my attitudes, behaviours and actions about money and how all this has played out in my personal and business life.

… I’m dead serious

“Get outta here Joe” I hear you say…

You see, that’s exactly it, I bet you dismissed it outright…

Perhaps because you were expecting it and it took you completely by surprise!

Left you feeling a bit uncomfortable perhaps?

Put you on the spot, may be?

You see, that right there is the very problem.

We don’t belief and as consequence don’t think we have a troubled relationship with money or financial wealth. Sadly the, majority of us do…

And we’re completely unconscious to it.

Why?

Because we have been so programmed over the years, that we are not even aware we‘re doing it. And our immediate responses, reactions are nothing but merely a deep seated automatic defence mechanism; often framed in some sort of rationalisation, justification or some ‘simplistic’ explanation

And do you know where it comes from?

I’ll tell you…

…From our ‘knotted’, warped’, confusing, confused and self-sabotaging and self-limiting belief system and subsequent attitudes towards money and financial wealth. And do you know what; most of these beliefs we did not even originate; instead they have been programmed into us over a very long time.

Any of the following ring any bells?

Blessed are the poor….

Money does not bring you happiness…

Money is not the be and end of all…

It’s not all about money…

Money is not everything…

Money doesn’t grow on trees…

Work hard and you will do well… you will be rich/wealthy…

Money is the root of all evil…

Take this last one for example; we have down the years, conveniently omitted “the love of money bit at the start of the above statement; and the resulting consequences?

Money is intrinsically evil.

Do you grasp the implication?

Our troubled relationship with it… positive and negative? it is all around you!

Don’t get me wrong; we all desire for and aspire to the kind of financial wealth that allows us a lifestyle of choice and freedom.

But you see the issue is not about the wanting; it’s more about the believing.

So I ask you:

What do you really believe about money and wealth?

Do you believe you are worthy of it?

How do your beliefs about money and your being worthy of it, manifest themselves in your daily life?

I offer you these questions to aid your thinking into this very real and important aspect of all our lives.

Do not be deceived by the simplicity of the questions. I encourage you to really “go within”, because without doing so “you will go without”. The clarity that ensues as a result of thinking into this is both, liberating and affirming

A lot of people think positively about money and financial wealth, but unconsciously believe negatively and therefore think and act negatively.

Here is an incontrovertible truth; what you think about money and wealth, will determine how much flows into or out of your life. It’s therefore important to sort out your beliefs and thinking about money riches and wealth; because how and what you think about money and wealth, has a huge impact on how much comes into or flows out of your life

Think into the above questions honestly and deeply and they will provide a window to your subconscious and the resident “architect” (belief system) sponsoring your thinking, behaviour and actions and decisions about money and wealth.

I offer these thoughts to you in the spirit of service

With my warmest regards

Joe

P.S. Remember, the quality of question(s) you’re willing to ask yourself or be asked by others will determine the quality of answers received….and, consequently, the quality of life you lead.

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Which Comes First?

23 August 2017

By Joe Z Mairura

Riches or Freedom?

What comes first?

It’s so obvious; isn’t it?

Is it?

Really?

Nope it ain’t

Try this one; ‘which do you want, to be rich or to be free’? You’re probably thinking “Joe that’s a daft question, I want both, It’s so bloody obvious isn’t it?”

Is it?

So why don’t so many of us including some very rich people have both? Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean one can’t have both. But to do that requires a high level of self-awareness
The two answers above reveal a very fundamental misconception held by about 95% of people about money riches and freedom. That one precedes the other; that riches mean freedom

Nope it ain’t so

Our societal conditioning over the years has meant most of us think- no; actually believe- that freedom and financial freedom at that is a point in time… this happens, then that happens, then I became financially free. In other words you have to be rich first in order to become free.

Once again, Wrong!

I’m a product of that conditioning too; and I have held these beliefs for a long time

As you will know from my previous few massages, I’m currently thinking into and reflecting on my own attitudes to money, riches and financial freedom

I have learned some hard lessons to date… some, quite sobering in fact

Here‘s one, “rich does not mean free”

So obvious, and yet has probably been the most important lesson of my sojourn into, money, riches, wealth and freedom so far.

Here is one I wasn’t prepared for at all. “How much money do you need to become financially free?” It took me completely by surprise

Do you have a figure?

I’ll let you stew over that one.

That’s why the opportunity to work directly with me on this is so essential to your personal and professional success.

Let’s talk

With my warmest regards

Joe

P.S. Since freedom is so obviously important to most of us. How many of us have a freedom plan.

Do you?

What’s you freedom plan?

Here’s that link again

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