Creating a Sea of Clients Starts With Relationships

Here’s a very human approach to creating steady clientele and doing good business from legal expert and Zi Living principal Keeley Mitchell. Whether you’re a yoga teacher, or not, read on for simple tips on being present in relationships and showing up in your interactions with people! Catch her on-air show online (starting Thursday at 2 pm) at yogabizstudio.com.

This past week my family officially said goodbye to my Aunt Betty that passed away on October 14, 2013. There was such an out pouring of love and support from so many people. But there was one particular group of people that caught my attention and inspired this piece.

My aunt’s passing reconnected me with former clients and work colleagues. Many of these people I had not spoken to in years for one reason or another. Although not the happiest of circumstances to reconnect under, I was happy to hear from many and catch up with what was going on in their lives. You see, at some point during our business dealings we had formed a sincere bond.

These revived connections got me thinking about the role of relationships in business.  More specifically, how relationships play a major role in the growth of yoga or wellness businesses.

Easiest way to grow your business?

It is not a secret. Actually, it is quite obvious, but it is often forgotten. One of the easiest ways to grow your student or client list is to build genuine and meaningful relationships.

People do business with people.  People come to you because they like you. Therefore, building meaningful relationships that are genuine and real can steadily increase your business.

Excellent training and having a perfect location are important, but are nothing if you fail to connect and build relationships with your students and clients. Below are four easy steps to building meaningful relationships.

1.      Reveal Your True Self. Don’t hide behind a curtain; afraid to reveal your true self. Your students and clients want to connect with the true you.  So let them see it. I openly share in my writings and the talks I give that I was in an unhealthy marriage for eleven years that nearly destroyed me, that I was not happy practicing law in the traditional sense, and that I have three beautiful children.  These facts make me who I am and played a part in me developing a passion for yoga and wellness. Most importantly, such facts humanize me.

2.      Not Only Speak About Yourself, But Listen As Well. Connecting with clients is a two way street.  Listen to the stories that your students and clients tell you. For almost two decades of dealing with clients, I always appreciated the personal information they confided in me. Clients have shared with me information about their weddings, births of their children and the death of love ones. A few years ago, I was so touched when a student felt comfortable enough to share with me about his sex change operation. Treasure such moments. Even more so, treasure the immense trust your students and clients are putting in you.

3.      Ask Questions And Connect. Whenever information is shared with you, show interest. If a student is telling you about her dog, then ask about the dog’s name, breed, age, etc.  Show genuine interest in getting to know your students and clients.  And whenever possible, find a way to connect with them.  If you have a dog as well, share that piece of information. Having similar connections builds phenomenal rapport.

4.      Find A Way To Remember. Lastly, come up with a system that helps you to remember the information you gather from your students and clients. Think about how special a client will feel if you remember to ask them how their children are doing or whether their ill mother has gotten better.  Not only will your client remember this small gesture, but it will deepen your bond.

Will you connect with everyone? Unfortunately, no!

Connecting with everyone will be impossible. As the saying goes, “you can’t please everyone.” And while that is the case, taking the steps above will definitely allow you to connect with many.  Focus on building genuine relationships. Being your authentic self and connecting with others is one of the easiest ways to build the sustainable yoga and wellness business you seek.

Keeley Mitchell is a corporate attorney, a yogi, a mother and adventurer all rolled into one. She launched Zi Living, LLC, a consulting firm for the yoga and wellness industry, to offer the growing number of entrepreneurs in the industry business-minded guidance. A longtime yoga practitioner, Mitchell supports clients in everything from concept development to project planning to sustainability with a perspective that encourages truth and authenticity. Learn more at  www.ziliving.com and www.yogabizstudio.com.

My Area Yoga is an online directory, calendar, blog, and information hub for the wellness and yoga community. Currently offering service in the northeast, as well as Chicago. Our mission is to be the most comprehensive online resource for the local communities.

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